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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Day 3: Edinburgh - Lochness - Edinburgh

We joined a local travel agent for a day trip to Lochness. I never expected it to be so popular until I saw our bus was completely full. Luckily I had booked it in advance, if not we have to spend a day to search for one or worst, we might not be able to go. We saw another travel agent across the road and they also had a lot of people waiting outside their office.

The tour departed on 8.30 am and after two hours on the road, we had a short stop at one small village. The weather was freezing, some parts of the road was even covered with a thin layer of ice. It was so slippery until we had to hold each other to walk around here.

Hamish - the highlands cow

So peaceful...

Scottish Highlands
The highlands reminded me of the landscape of New Zealand South Island. Our bus passed the mountains and lakes one after another for the entire journey.

Ice, ice, so pretty.. eventhough I was in Europe during winter, this was the first time I saw ice after many trips.

Urquhart Castle and Lochness
After 5 hours on the bus, we finally arrived at our final destination, Lochness and Urquhart Castle. Loch means lake in Scottish, so actually it is Lake Ness in English. Lochness is famous for the monster sightings but as far as we could see, it was so peaceful and quiet here. :)

Nothing much to see in the ruined castle but we could climb up here and had a better view of Lochness.

After this was a three-hour drive back to Edinburgh. If it wasn't for winter, we would be stopping at one more location. Since it was already getting dark at 4 pm, what we could do was just slept through all the way back to Edinburgh.

To tell the truth, I wasn't really impressed with the scenery here. I always heard a lot of my friends raved about Scotland but for me it was just average. The scenery was good but not spectacular, New Zealand also had something similar to offer. As for Lochness, other than I just wanted to go there for the sake I've been there, it was just a lake.

For our transport problem to Glasgow, we decided to leave Edinburgh on 24th evening instead of 25th. We were also prepared to forego one night in Edinburgh and then booked for one more night in Glasgow. After comparing the pros and cons, this was indeed the cheapest solution. So after we arrived in Edinburgh, we quickly booked the hotel online. Ok, solved!!

Next was the transport from Glasgow to Liverpool on 26th. We decided to go to the bus station and tried our luck. Over there, I searched through their website from the online kiosk and found out there was a bus running on 26th. It was not very desirable as it took 5 hours and 3 stops to reach Liverpool but there was no better choice. So finally we bought the bus tickets to get it over with. Ahh... it felt so good. We didn't have to worry anymore. :)

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