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Fort Augustus

Adorable Chick

UK & IRELAND diary : Day 8 - 18th April 2017

Lying at a driving distance of less than 50 minutes northward, from Fort William is the alluring village of FORT AUGUSTUS. It lies to the south west of Loch Ness. In early 18th century, this was a perfect military base due to its position. There was a fortress built here as a part of defence strategy, which severely failed later on. The village settlement was re-named from Kiliwhimen to Fort Augustus ( named after Prince William Augustus, who was the then duke of Cumberland). Though most parts of the fortress got demolished, the name of the village continued to be so. The fresh water Loch Ness (lake) stretches for about 40 kilometres, running up to the south of INVERNESS. Today the village is dependant on a large extent on tourism. There is a bus service to this village from Fort William or Inverness. It is small in area and is well worth a walk.

After a visit to the COMMANDO MEMORIAL , on the outskirts of Spean Bridge village, we headed further north, zooming past more of Highlands to reach this Village of FORT AUGUSTUS, with the RABBIE's day tour. Our activity for the day was a ferry ride around the Loch Ness, in pursuit of the famous "Nessie Monster".

The village lies half way between Fort William and Inverness and therefore hosts a part of the 95 km long (approx) Caledonian Canal that stretches between these two places. This canal was completed in the 19th century more for transportation of necessities. It is a standing example of one of the greatest achievements under toughest of conditions by the British waterways. Today it is more of a tourist attraction. The canal boasts of 10 swing bridges (that facilitates horizontal rotation to allow boats/ferries/ships to pass by) during the course of its entire length. The canal views offered in this village is outstanding. It is blessed with befitting scenery all around.

Tidy Desk

We were all set to take the cruise around Loch Ness. Rabbie's had already arranged for our tickets. We had to queue up and board the ferry, as soon as it arrived at the ferry port.

In the early 19th century there was a reporting made by a person, who is said to have spotted something wriggling and swirling under the waters of the Loch Ness.

Thereafter, there have been several such reportings and spotting of a "monster" /"beast" , sometimes referred to as a huge whale or animal. In 1933 there was another reporting wherein the person claimed to have seen the "monster" with a longish neck , moving up and down and vanishing into the water. Few sketches of the "beast" were similar to that of a baby brachiosaurus (a dinosaur variety). Today, people still believe that the monster can be spotted, if only we look high and low for it, on the Loch Ness. With this story, the tour operators, ensure that their participants get aboard this cruise. Who knows what one might find. I managed to capture a 3 second video of this monster, which you can find in the gallery.

Though during the one hour cruise around the Loch, we didn't find any monster, we fell in love with the surrounding sights and the ride itself. Of course, the cruise boat did have a small monster embedded on one of its windows, which when seen together with the water backdrop, seemed more like monster spotting :)). Innovative ways to lure customers.

We got back to the village and shopped for woollen wear in the MILL SHOP. The shop was more like an exhibition of various colours and types of wool wear. The products were more than affordable and were of good quality. We didn't regret any of our purchases made there.

We then got on with our tour. For further story read CRAINGORMS.