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Travel Diary Category: Classic Destinations
Travel Diary Title:
"Loch Ness and Inverness, Scotland. I Last Visited in 1991"

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

This posting in my Classic Destinations comes from my years of living in Scotland. While in the Navy I was stationed in Holy Loch, Scotland (near Dunoon, Argyleshire) from 1979 to 1981 and again from 1989 to 1991. During each of those stays I visited the Loch Ness and nearby Inverness, Scotland.

Loch Ness is a very scenic 3 or so hour drive North of Dunoon which is where I lived while stationed at the Submarine Refit Site 1 in Holy Loch. The drive north alone makes the trip worth while. But when you arrive at the Loch you travel along the western shore on A82 the entire 23 mile length of the Loch. Then a further 10 miles, or so, from the northern tip of the Loch is Inverness.

Inverness is The Gateway to the Highlands of Scotland, including the famous Loch Ness and Nessie, its fabled monster. During each of my two periods of living in Scotland I made a point to go up to Inverness, and of course driving by Loch Ness, for a weekend. Especially, during my second visit I went up there 4 or 5 times.  Usually got a B & B to stay in but I remember staying at a hotel once.

They had a Visitor Center somewhere along the A82 about one half the way up the side of Loch Ness. A recent search on the Internet shows The Loch Ness Exhibition Centre located in Drumnadrochit. That is not the one I remember visiting. The one I remember in 1990 or 1991 was a blueish gray wooden structure. At least that is the best my memory can recall.

If ever you go to Scotland you must consider taking a driving tour from either Edinburgh (on the east coast) or using the A82 from Glasgow or from Clydebank, Greenock or Dumbarton and Dunoon which were my old stomping grounds.

By the way taking the A82 from Glasgow will take you along the world famous Loch Lomond. Made famous by the poem/song "Bonnie Banks O' Loch Lomond (You Take the High Road)" by Anonymous.  Excerpt below:

Oh! ye'll take the high road and
I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love
Will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

My favorite route to take is to drive from Dunoon north to Strachur then to Inverary. From Inverary continue north on the A819 to A85 then on until you link up with the A82. That is one of the most beautiful drives in the World, and I have some qualification in making that statement.

Oh, I'll bet your wondering if I saw Nessie during my several visits. Well no. Not even a possible sighting.

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013,466 miles are the actual travel miles with the trailer since 1 November 2003 when I left Emmett, Idaho until today (Apr 20, 2014) where I am located in Meridian, Idaho.

They do not include daily trip miles for morning coffee or trips to scenic/tourist locations etc.