Sunday, 24 February 2013

Going in Search of "Nessie"

The next day we sent off from Inverness in search off the Loch Ness monster. It wasn't far out of Inverness when we hit the top of the Loch. It was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining and Loch Ness and the surrounding mountains looked stunning. About half way down the Loch, we decided to stop off at the Exhibition centre to learn a little about the history and the myth of “Nessie”.

“The Surgeon’s Photo”
Myth's of a creature living in Loch Ness have been circulating amongst the locals for hundreds of years. But it was only in 1933 that it was brought to the worlds attention and the term “monster” was first used. There have been thousands of claims and sightings of the creature, that is now affectionately known as “Nessie”. Many photographs have surfaced of what people think is a creature in the water, but there has never been any substantial proof of Nessie’s existence.  Probably the most famous sighting/photograph was (whats now known as) “The Surgeon’s Photo”. This picture shows a small head and long neck of something poking out of the water in Loch Ness. The photo was taken by Dr. Robert Kenneth Wilson. When a London news paper wanted to print the photo, Dr Wilson refused to associate his name with the picture. It was later revealed that Dr. Wilsons picture was a fake.  Over the years, many people have taken hoax photographs of Nessie. The string of pictures of the monster have attracted several believers who truly think that the monster exists.  In 2003, the BBC made a documentary searching for Nessie. Over 600 sonar beams were used trying to find the creature. Nothing was ever found, finally proving that the monster was only a myth. 

Approaching Ben Nevis
We made our way down the Loch and reached the little town of Fort Augustus. It was here we decided to stop and take a short boat ride through parts of Loch Ness. It was on our short cruise that we learnt about the amazing size of Loch Ness. It’s the second largest Loch in Scotland, but due to it’s great depth, It holds the largest volume of water of any lake in the UK. Our tour guide explained that Loch Ness holds more water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined.  

After our boat ride, We continued our journey south, down the west coast. Not far from Loch Ness was another popular scottish tourist attraction, the highest mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis. Ben Nevis is close to 4,500 feet (1344m) above sea level. It’s summit is the top of an ancient volcano. The first person to make it to the top was James Robertson, in 1771. Today, over 100,000 tourists each year climb the famous mountain.

Not far from Ben Nevis is the “Ben Nevis Distillery”. It was established in 1825, making it one of the oldest in Scotland. It is here where they produce the famous “Ben Nevis Single Malt Whisky”. The distillery produces many types of aged malts. The most popular being the 10 year old and a 21 year old. Located at the foot of the mountain, the distillery uses the fresh water around Ben Nevis to help produce it’s whisky. The whiskies flavours start off as being citrusy and fruity but as the malt is aged for longer it takes on a smokey oak flavour and becomes rich and sweeter. Flavours such as vanilla an roasted coffee are often picked up when smelling and tasting the Ben Nevis range. The companies philosophy is simply quality, not quantity, which makes production of each malt very limited. However, the Ben Nevis whisky range did feature heavily throughout souvenir and whisky shops in the Loch Ness and surrounding towns around the mountains peak.

We continued driving past Loch Ness and Ben Nevis and began to make our way toward the small town of Oban.  The drive from Loch Ness to Oban is one of the most amazing drives we've ever done.  The sun shone over the snow capped mountains and glissened off the many Loch's in the area. We arrived into Oban just as the sun was setting. It was the end to another amazing day on the road.

No comments:

Post a Comment