We left Edinburgh and headed toward Inverness which is the town next to the famous Loch Ness. On the way we stopped in the highlands at none other than Dewar's World of Whisky, which is a Scotch Whisky distillery. We did a good whisky tour, and they had a little museum of the history of Dewar's which was great. We also had a whisky tasting – had a little dram of their 12 year old single malt. A dram is basically a tot (or shot if you are that way inclined) as far as I can tell. We also had a glass of 25 year old cask whisky. Yes a glass! The old Scot got his hammer out, opened a cask and used a syringe to get a whole lot of the stuff (too much) and it was really smooth until he mentioned that it was about 58% alcohol. I of course was driving so had to decline finishing the glass (much to the old Scot's disappointment), and Brett wasn't able to either since it was of such potent force. Nothing like tasting a liquid that's been in a barrel longer than I've been alive.
We continued our scenic drive to Inverness and around the famous loch, where we went on our Loch Ness Escapade (coming soon).
We saw this great castle which is now mostly in ruins due to not only time, but also because the last king that lived there destroyed it so his enemies couldn't capture it and have such a marvelous stronghold to themselves.
A cool trebuchet.
Loch Ness and the castle.
A couple interesting facts about Loch Ness – it's the biggest loch by volume in the UK and holds more fresh water than all the dams and rivers in the UK combined. It's also the deepest at a maximum depth of 220m!! It's easy to see that a monster wouldn't have a problem hiding in the loch.
We set off the next day for Aberdeen, which turned out to be a bit of a mistake. First of all, the drive there which should have taken a couple hours at most took about 5 hours due to road works most of the way. Brett and I aren't ones that are deterred by a long travel day though! We arrived mid afternoon and as is our normal, looked up places to stay on our internet-enabled phones. We found a couple hostels, and went to them. They both are fully booked. We try a few cheap hotels, fully booked. What's going on? Well it's the annual oil conference or something like that, and people from all over the UK come for it. Just our luck. So we had two choices – drive a few hours to the next town, or bunk down in the car. It was by now getting dark and we really didn't feel like travelling more that day, so we drove around til we found a quiet free car park which happened to be near the beach. Here's the beach.
We went out til late to a few pubs, (Brett took us to a gay bar 'by mistake') and had a not-so-bad sleep in the car. I was up at sunrise and couldn't take Aberdeen anymore so I drove out of town while Brett was still sleeping. We had decided to go back to Edinburgh, but I came up with a better idea. Go to Glasgow!
Glasgow is only an hour or so from Edinburgh, and is close-ish to the west side of Scotland, and from there I had previously researched that you can catch a ferry across to Northern Ireland. So Brett was a little confused when we arrived and was like “This isn't Edinburgh??!”. He was quickly relieved though when we walked around Glasgow and noticed that the girls there were really and truly amazingly good looking. This is probably due to the amazing shopping street they have there, they call it the Glasgow Style Mile because it's literally a mile of shops, something like Queen Street in Brisbane except a mile long.
We only stayed in Glasgow one night because we were keen to get across to Ireland.