Woke early next morning and admired the view from the hotel bedroom. Then at about 10.30 set off towards Loch Ness. Again it proved to be a scenic drive as snow capped mountains once more lined our route. There was no rain or snow but the skies were dark and brooding.
We reached Lock Ness in good time and the drive alongside the Loch was wonderful. Our first stop was the ruined Urquhart Castle. This features in many famous pictures of Loch Ness. I found the ruins to be more complex than I expected. It is now a well kept tourist attraction as the castle ruins and grounds are well maintained. It was an ideal site for any budding photographer.
We drove on to The Loch Ness exhibition centre. This had changed drastically since I first visited it in 1974. Then it was little more than a portacabin that displayed photographs, artefacts and newspaper cuttings about the famous monster. Now it proved to be a very much interactive experience showing short films depicting how research into the monster phenomenon has been done over the years. I very much preferred my memories of the portacabin approach all those years ago. The weather was colder here and access to the car park proved too icy to navigate, but I was able to find a parking space in front of the exhibition building.
Nearby was Nessieland, an attraction aimed at children. I took my children here many years ago. It is now even more of a tourist attraction but appeared closed for the winter. My children had been enchanted by its huge plastic depictions of Nessie . I find it incredible that the Scots have provided a famous attraction of a phenomenon that no one has ever seen. A Scottish colleague, from my days as a working microbiologist, once told me that it only appears once you look away.
View from Fort William hotel window