Today’s Blog from the Concert Choir Members:
Today we left the beautiful Ballachulish and passed through the beautiful countryside on our way to Loch Ness. Although Nessie was not spotted, her cousin second removed, Armando, made an appearance 30 meters from our sailing vessel. The wind over the deep water was refreshing and the smaller boat gave us an intimate view of Scotland’s beauty.
Today was packed full of adventure! This morning we went to Urquhart Castle, or rather, the ruins of what used to be the Urquhart Castle. They blew it up in 1692 so that it wouldn’t fall into Jacobite hands. We got to see where different rooms would have been, like the kitchen, the stable room and even the “lavatory,” which was a square hole that went down to the ground. From the Castle we could see right onto Loch Ness. It was absolutely breathtaking. There were sailboats right beneath the Castle and the sky was really cloudy and the water was so black; it gave off quite an eerie feeling. I was just waiting for Nessie to jump out of the water! The wind was blowing and it was really chilly today. With the past few days being so sunny, today finally truly felt like I was in Scotland. It was wonderful!
Today we got to experience the greatest attraction in Scotland! Ever since I heard we were going to Scotland, I have been waiting in great anticipation for the moment I would come face to face with the mystical “Nessie.” Although she did not make an appearance for our ferry adventure, it would be incorrect to say that our Loch Ness adventure was void of magic. The rolling hills, crisp breeze and breathtaking landscape more than made up for the absent lake myth.
So far, my experience in Scotland has been amazing. The best part has been viewing the countryside. The areas that aren’t densely populated have miles of open fields with lush greenery and mountains that mimic a more beautiful picture of the hills of Tennessee.
Scotland! Now that’s taken care of – let’s do some blogging. Today was filled with many wonderful sights to be seen. Besides the obvious being the breathtaking landscape, I also found myself in awe of the sites in the city. Being a big Harry Potter fan, I was ecstatic to see the crimson red hogwarts express! And, being a fan of all things mythical, I was overjoyed to experience the Loch Ness cruise and hunt for Nessie. I would have loved to high five the glorious sea monster but unfortunately she was probably entertaining guests; at least that is what I’m going to tell myself. I love Nessie! And Scotland! And Choir! Hi – mom and dad.
Let me tell you about the bathroom, or the Lou, if you will. Using the Lou in Scotland is not like using the Lou where you and I are from. I’m not saying I had to re-potty train, but there were some simple adjustments that I was forced to make to a routine that has not changed since age two. Let me explain about the Lou. First I enter the dark bathroom and grope blindly for the light switch. However, there is no switch inside the Lou. The first time I discovered this, I was in a hurry, so I ended up in the dark. I later learned that the light switch is in fact on the outside of the room and must be flipped before entering. Next, I push the flush lever and watch in dismay as the contents swirl weakly but do not disappear. I then grasp the lever and pump vigorously for about 30 seconds until the toilet grudgingly flushes. I breathe a sigh of relief. Each shower in Scotland presents a new challenge because no two are alike. At my first home stay in Stirling, turning the water on required flipping an inconspicuous switch in the hallway. I am grateful that my host mentioned this. If I am at a hotel, I place my wet towel on the electric drying rack. Wet cloth and electricity. I am convinced that this device, if activated, will single handedly cause the building to burn down. And this concludes the use of the Lou. Do not forget to pray that your mischievous roommate does not cruise by and flip out the lights while you are inside. Scotland, although not that different from our own culture, still forces me to consider routines that I scarcely remember learning. Maybe someday I will even come to trust the towel racks.
Tonight we are staying in our second hotel. Like the first, it has a heated towel rack in each of the bathrooms. How posh! The view from our bedroom is not quite as picturesque as the room in Ballachulish but there are certain benefits to staying in a city. There are actually people around here and shops! The countryside has been magnificant to say the least, but it is nice to see some more people and fewer sheep.