Exploring The Beauty Of Loch Ness
The following is an article “Exploring The Beauty Of Loch Ness” by Marc Pulisci.
Scotland is one country that gets less recognition in the U.S. than it deserves as an idyllic travel destination. Other than being home to arguably the world’s finest scotch distilleries, Scotland offers a diverse experience for tourists in pursuit of good single malt, photo ops by grand castles, or simply taking in the beauty of its lush landscapes.
First things first
Contrary to popular belief and at the risk of being a killjoy, the odds that a prehistoric plesiosaur famously known as the Loch Ness Monster, or “Nessie”, swimming the depths of this vast freshwater lake are, like the “monster”, non-existent. So if that has been the only thing stopping you from exploring the beautiful Scottish Highlands where Loch Ness is located, just look in the mirror and ask yourself, with a straight face, if you honestly believe that a dinosaur is still roaming this earth in the 21st century.
Getting to know Loch Ness
Folklore and legend aside, the loch itself is a spectacular sight to behold. The gateway to Loch Ness is the city of Inverness, from where it stretches over 20 miles southwest. With a surface approximately 50 feet above sea level, a unique characteristic of navigating Loch Ness and the neighboring lochs by boat is the varying altitudes of the Highlands’ bodies of water.
This challenge is solved by a clever device known as a “lock”, which is essentially a series of chambers that vessels must enter prior to each lock’s gate shutting behind them and the water level then lowered or raised accordingly.
Cruising Loch Ness by boat is undoubtedly the best way to experience and appreciate all that is on offer. The Loch Ness Center and Exhibition at the local town of Drumnadrochit allows visitors to learn about the locale’s natural history, as well as the loch’s most famous “resident”, Nessie, complete with boat tours that playfully invite guests to search for the monster who first came to the public’s attention in 1933.
Other notable landmarks include Urquhart Castle whose ruins date back to the 13th century. Its location right beside Loch Ness makes for the perfect fairytale-like holiday photo.
Making arrangements and getting around
For Americans interested in exploring Loch Ness, a transatlantic flight from the U.S. to the Scottish capital of Edinburgh is the first leg of the journey. Once you touchdown, you could opt to spend a night or two to explore the city, or head straight to Inverness via road or rail.
A quick online search will hook you up with various operators of modern motor cruiser rentals, all fully equipped and available for weekly or short-term self charter cruises on Loch Ness. And just like renting a car, the most exciting part about renting a cruiser is that you are the skipper, the loch is your highway, and the “monster” is your companion; in spirit, or otherwise…
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