The Highlands and Loch Ness

I know, I know, I have been slacking on the weekend updates, but this is the final week before mid-semester break and I have been slightly preoccupied with writing essays worth 50% of my grade…so they kind of took priority (no hard feelings). This past Saturday, Lindsey, Amy and I took a bus tour through the highlands, up to Loch Ness. It was nice to take a trip where we simply had to show up, get on a bus and enjoy the ride (well most of it). Here is how the day went.

We were up and out of the door at 5:45am to get a train by 6:23. Our cabbie was a wonderful elderly man who had run 31 full marathons in his life and only repeated the London one twice. The others were all held in different places. You could tell under his adorable old man sweater that he was still ripped for a 60 some year old. I have decided that cab drivers are some of the most interesting people. Our train ride to Glasgow was filled with Les Mis musical numbers and singing that probably upset and deafened the only other rider. Oh Well! When we got to Glasgow, it was snowing, even inside the train station when we were drinking some Starbucks to wake ourselves up!

We eventually made it to the bus and at first we were really into our driver. He seemed funny and hospitable and told us not to worry about the weather, that was his job. Apparently his job was also repeating how horrible the weather was and how what we were seeing was not as beautiful as it would be on a sunny day. Worst tour guiding ever! Convince me it is even more beautiful in the snow, man, don’t bring me down! He did gain some brownie points when we stopped to feed a wild deer and then a couple of beautiful Highland cows. Yet he ruined it again by almost turning the bus around before we made it Fort William and Loch Ness. That would have been unacceptable! I paid good money!

On the way up to Loch Ness, we stopped in Glencoe, Loch Lomond, Loch Leven, Fort William- where we were supposed to see Ben Nevis but it was sadly too cloudy- and then finally we made it to Loch Ness! By the time we got there, there was no snow, and the sun was even peaking through the clouds. Stephen, the tour guide, was just being a debby downer pansy man! The Urquhart castle on the coast of Loch Ness was beautiful and we got a lot of great pictures. We then took a short boat tour on the Loch (sadly no sight of Nessie) to reach the other side before departing to Inverness. On the way back home it started snowing again but we weren’t making any major stops so it wasn’t too upsetting.

We noticed that the bus was driving through but not stopping in Stirling and we decided to ask the tour guide if he could drop us off, opposed to going all the way back to Glasgow and paying 8 more pounds to get back to where we already were. At first he said no and then said he could drop us off at the side of a street we didn’t know (but we didn’t tell him that). When he dropped us off, it was literally on the side of a highway and they drove off into the night while we waited inside  some fancy shmancy restaurant called the River house, waiting for Jim, our favorite taxi driver to come to our rescue.

Even though it was a 14 hour day, full of all sorts of weather conundrums, and we ended it on the side of a foreign highway, it was a great day and definitely full of ridiculous memories:) Now that all my work is done, I will be spending the next day and a half preparing for spring break by doing laundry and packing my day away, awaiting for the much anticipated arrival of my dear mother and Aunt Kelly! Then it’s off to London for a night, Venice and then finally Paris! I feel like the luckiest girl in all the world and I truly wish EVERYONE back home could be here to experience it with me.

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