Scotland 5: Day 25

03.25.16 | Fort Augustus, Scotland | 07:38

I’m sitting in my bed, hoping that the ‘clacking’ of my keyboard doesn’t wake my two hostel roommates. One is a girl from Florida who is currently attending University in Dublin, Ireland. She told me that she has a few days off, so she’s traveling through Scotland with two of her friends. The weird part is that she arrived yesterday and spend the entire afternoon in the bedroom, reading or working on her computer. Maybe she has a class assignment due. There’s not a whole lot to see here, but there are a pretty loch and a few restaurants, at least. I wonder if her two friends are staying at another hostel.

09:26

The weather today is perfect! There is no cloud in the sky- this is the first day on my trip that I don’t have to wear even a light jacket! I just walked down and grabbed some breakfast, and said goodbye to the sweet old ladies who fed me for the last three mornings. They wished me a safe journey.

09:47

I guess the good weather was short-lived. I’m watching as clouds are quickly rolling in. It looks like rain.

Inverness, Scotland | 15:50

I just took a walk around part of Inverness and took some pictures, mostly of old churches. I love love, love churches, especially old ones

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23:56

The Inverness hostel is just as I remember it. The only change I can see is that the piano has been moved to the other side of the common room, and it needs tuning. Oh- and the staff has changed. Andre, the current manager, tells me that they tend to change up staff about every 4 to 6 months. He says in another four months he’ll probably move to another hostel with the company. I think that would be a sweet job! Think of the number of people you’d meet!

I met a guy staying here named Grant. He’s originally from British Columbia but is living here now and working for some restaurant. We decided to see Superman vs. Batman at the cinema last night. I had such a hard time staying awake during the movie. I never actually fell asleep but did catch myself trying to yank my leg hairs out in an attempt to wake myself up. It was brutal! I thought the movie was good, but I will most likely see it again when I have some energy. In my mind, there is a HUGE section of the plotline that is missing.

Scotland 5: Day 24

03.25.16 | Fort Augustus, Scotland | 07:27

Yesterday was a very laid-back kind of day. I had planned on following one of the nearby trails to take some pictures and take in some nature, but when I woke, it was raining hard. I walked into town to find some breakfast and realized that I didn’t want to be out in the weather. I just wasn’t feeling it. After eating, I headed back up to the hostel to wait it out a bit.

The rains stopped by mid-morning, but it stayed just as cloudy, and I didn’t really want to change it and try to make my way down a muddy trail. I decided that I would spend the day indoors. It got boring- thank goodness for movies.

By late afternoon, it was looking good again, so I went out to find some dinner. I had an excellent lamb shank. So here’s my question: Are baby lambs treated the same way as baby calves are- that are used as veal? I have rarely ordered veal because one of my nieces told me that the calf is poorly treated. So, where do you draw the line? What’s acceptable and what isn’t- in your opinion? I know that animals are here for the use of humans, but what’s your stand?

Wow- this post just took a dramatic turn, right? Anyway, last night I took a few pictures of the loch after dinner and headed back to the hostel. I sat and chatted with a girl who is from Oregon. She has quit her job (not sure why) and is trying to travel the world at the moment (this I can totally relate to). I asked her if she was blogging about all this, and she said she had a blog, but she has only posted to it once so far. I’d love to follow her blog- but since she never posts… oh well.

Scotland 5: Day 23

03.23.16 | Fort Augustus, Scotland | 19:08

Today was simply incredible! I left the hostel at about 09:00 and had planned on booking an hour ferry ride on Loch Ness. Years ago, I did this from the Inverness (north) side, and it was a really great experience. When I approached the ticket office, I noticed that there was one ride that offered a 90 minute trip on a speed boat that went all the way from Fort Augustus to Urquhart Castle and back. I thought this would be better.

I told the guy behind the counter that I was interested in the 10:00 90-minute ride and he said that one had to be canceled since there weren’t enough people interested. Instead, I purchased the noon ride.

I found a restaurant and went to get some breakfast. As I approached, I turned back around and saw a bunch of people getting onto the ferry for the 10:00 ferry ride, and the guy who I had just spoken with was the one letting them on. This confused me- he had just told me it was canceled. I thought that maybe this was a private group and they’d chartered the ferry for them self. Still, why would he lie to me and tell me that it was canceled for lack of interest? I was determined to find out the answer. I decided that once I was done with breakfast, I’d go back and ask that same guy what the situation was. I was going to be nice but needed an answer.

After breakfast, I crossed back over the street and approached the guy behind the counter. He informed me that that was the hour tour and that since I requested the 90-minute tour, that’s the reason. Ok, it’s all clear now. All is well!

Let me tell you- I am so glad that I waited for the noon ride! This was no leisure float on Loch Ness- this was stinking awesome! Our guide was a man named Marcus. I think he said he’d been doing this for 22 years or something like that- so he knew his stuff! He was funny and interesting and all that. He told us he was a bit rusty because their season had just started 3 days ago and we were the very first group he’d taken out on the water so far

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Not only did I get some a few pictures, but I shot some video! This afternoon I spliced them all together I have entitled this Loch Ness Tour. Make sure your volume is turned up! Enjoy!

Scotland 5: Day 22

03.22.16 | Aberdeen > Inverness Train | 09:22

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Another steeple, as I am walking to the train station in Aberdeen,

I checked out of the hostel in Aberdeen just after 06:30 to get to an early train. I found breakfast at the train station: The Pumpkin Cafe. A breakfast sandwich that had been sitting in a cooler. I could taste that it hadn’t been made in the last 2 or 3 days. A danish with chocolate chunks and a bottle of Ribena washed it all down. If I recall, Ribena was one of my friend Colee’s favorite parts of the United Kingdom when we visited years ago (this trip was my very first visit, back in 2002).

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09:29

I just passed through the town of Keith. I have dear friends who told me they are coming to Keith sometime soon. My advice to them is to bring your own entertainment- Keith looks like a very small village, at least that’s my perspective from a train passing through.

Fort Augustus Hostel | 18:19

Once I arrived in Inverness, I walked down the street a few blocks to the bus station where I purchased the fare to Fort Augustus, yet another destination I’ve never been to. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous at what it’d be like, the bus driver kept referring to it as “Fort Disgust-us”.

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The road from Inverness to Fort Augustus follows Loch Ness.

Thankfully, Fort Augustus is anything but disgusting. I actually love this small town on the beautiful Loch Ness. Before you ask, yes I have seen Nessie earlier today. We hung out.

Fun fact: The guy who served me my fish n’ chips at lunch looks just like Jared from Subway. That is to say, child-molester Jared from maximum security. It was a bit freaky. Picture Jared but with a Scottish accent.

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The hostel is a pretty big house, and there seems to be a large group of students staying here who are very loud. I may be forced to hurt somebody. I have three other guys in my room, all of them are staying here long term and working in the town. In my mind, they would have much better options if they moved to one of the cities instead. But what do I know?


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