Sunday, October 13
We began our day on the most famous of Scotland’s lakes: Loch Ness! We took a boat to cruise along the dark waters and against the drizzling wind. The sky was grey and clouded by the mix of morning and mist.
Though the weather was rather bleak, the cruise itself was enjoyable. It was pretty calm, and Nessie didn’t pester us in any way. The cruise was simply just a passage from our departure dock to our main port: Urquhart Castle.
We roamed the comparatively smaller grounds of Urquhart Castle, climbing the tower and wandering between ruined fortresses left from long ago. It was a neat site, although, admittedly not my favorites of the castles I have seen so far. But hey, to each his own. I will say, however, it was pretty neat to hear that one of the students in the program actually has a connection with the castle; Urquhart is the castle of his ancestors.
The next stop was undoubtedly my favorite of the day: GLENCOE. The picture above was taken here. Along with its obvious splendor, Glencoe was the site of a couple notable movies: Skyfall and Harry Potter. In Skyfall, although the house itself was not built on Glencoe’s grounds, the grounds themselves are in the movie. Alternatively, in Harry Potter, Hagrid’s hut was in fact actually built on one of the region’s mountainsides. The hut is not there now, as it was taken down once filming was finished, but the spot itself is too familiar not to miss.
I think I’ll vote Glencoe as my second favorite stop of the weekend––next to the puppies, of course––not for its film resumé, but for its overwhelmingly pure state of being; it has been left untouched by everything but the past glaciers that moulded its very shape as it stands today.
Overall, I had the best tour through the Scottish Highlands I could have possibly hoped for. In fact, I think it may have been the most fun I’ve had here yet.