I wake up, the four pillows strew across the bed and the duvet tight around me. I look around. for a moment I thought I’d slept soundly with Lenny Henry, but he was no to be seen. I get a cup of coffee and
I look outside. Erm it looks grim and wet, I must have woken up in Scotland again.
Yesterday I had picked up some water reproofer from Blacks and had sprayed it on before going to bed. I give it another spray and before you know it Alan and Zoe are knocking the door. “I’m still naked I’ll meet you downstairs”, I say.
A couple of minutes later I’m dressed and out of the room and have meet them by the bridge.
We cross the bridge and head up the high street towards the railway station and
onto the bus station. We have only just made it on time. Alan buys the tickets and I ask if there is time for me to go to the toilet. Not a chance Nack, I consider this and go anyway paying 20pence of the 30pence you need to pay.
We are straight on the bus
And ready to go. “so you caught then Nack!” says Alan.
The bus sets off and we see some more suburbs
along with the hill we walked up yesterday.
The bus stops and the driver has a fag break and advising people if they want to get off they have five minutes and five minutes only. Everyone seems to get off wanting to go to the toilet apart from me. And everyone gets back on still wanting to go to the toilet.
The bus continues and we see some lovely if cloudy scenery.
ah we are here, Urquhart Castle. “Alan why have we come here?”, I ask. “To see the Loch Ness monster of course Nack”, he replies.
We get off the bus and there is a sign pointing out the nearest toilets are 2 miles away – unless you pay to go in the castle.
“Boys lets go in the castle” Zoe says. We go down to the entrance. Oh they don’t open for 10 minutes.
We pay go in and use the facilities. We go for breakfast at the cafe but they’re not ready yet so enjoy the initial exhibition followed by
The short film which covers many many many years very quickly.
Once knowledged up about the castle and why it is here, the the screen lifts up, the curtains open and you get a nice view of the castle. Wow – enjoy.
The cafe is open and we get to have some breakfast.
Although I think you would call it brunch. Nice divine and delicious I ask Alan, “In the film there was no mention of the Loch Ness Monster!”
On the walls they have some might fine works of art. I can’t read the prices but I guess the are priced for overseas tourists.
But they are wonderful.
I want I want I want – but then I have nowhere to hang them.
We head into the shops for brief moment. And Alan want, wants, want and he does have a head to hang it on.
Alan get brave and goes outside, without a coat. He then returns puts it on and heads off,
we follow, oh wow, if it was sunny it wouldn’t be so dramatical.
Here is the catapult they constructed from the original designs that bombarded the castle in the last attacks.
We wander down the garden path and towards the draw bridge and main gate.
“Are you excited Nack”
We wander through the ruins, enjoying the views of stones, cloud and other tourists.
Some rooms still existed.
But the glass windows did not.
However they holes gave great views for the boats.
I head to basement.
I look outside again oh the boats got closer.
then I look up at the tower.
I head up and watch the sailing boat bob by.
And spy on two mischievous looking people, whilst I get talking to a lady for Origan California. She is not impressed by are small, narrow roads. Why arn’t they at least four lanes wide? I hope she doesn’t go any further north than this then.
Another boat goes by and Zoe and Alan join me at the top.
And there is a lovely view from here.
We move across to the other side.
I think Alan has relised I have a 10 times zoom now – shuks.
and so they play act for me knowing what it is I’m doing.
So this was once a wonderful place to live and everyone wanted to live here, hence it kept getting attacked. Well what a great place to live then. “are you Cultured up then Nack?”
I head to the water side off the path and across the grass you must not go on.
The Origan Lady follows me saying “We’ll get shot for this surely?”. I presume that's for crossing the grass and thats what happens over there.
I stick my finger in the water to tease Nessie. But she does not show. I lick my finger, yep its tasty, where are you Nessie?
Having shot the lady from Oregan I head back to the warmth of the building hoping nobody saw me push the body into the Loch.
Alan has some soup, I have a banana. I’m not sure which is going to warm us up first.
I’m showing off here what my new camera can do (you would need to see all the photos of Flickr) but I can reassure you that this one is in 3D – hence the finger.
There is bus due back and Zoe disappears to the toilet, whilst me and Alan do some shopping
time passes bye
And Alan wonders where she has got to? The bus is due in ten minutes, she’s nowhere to be seen. I conclude and hope she’s gone without us. I suggest to Alan that I go outside and check while he remains down here. As I do so I realise he has all the tickets. So I leave the entrance gate and there is Zoe running to me, “where have you been? where is Alan? The bus will leave soon”. “Alan is waiting very patiently downstairs for you I will go and get him” and so do getting to the counter and asking if I can come back in, “have you already been in?” “yes” I say hoping she doesn’t want to see my ticket, and she lets me through. At the top of the stairs I yell to Alan as I’m too lazy to climb down all of them just to come back up. He looks up and is delighted his girl has been relocated. And so we are back on the bus to Inverness.
Back at Inverness we head towards Blacks once more.
There is a unicorn outside, if its relevant.
Zoe is inside trying to return the new waterproofs she brought yesterday but didn’t use as she found her old ones. As it happens I buy those off her and she buys other items instead with the cash. If only I’d had these yesterday. Perhaps i should have returned the waterproofer as it doesn’t seem to be working. I like the T-shirts they have in Black and can recall them in the Manchester Store. In Wolvo though nobody camps and so the store closed down after Fred past away, Wolverhampton's only camper in the Ring Road and one of famous celebrities.
“I’m not involved in any of this” says Alan, as I check out one of the chairs I’m sitting on.
We go across our favourte footbridge again and Zoe and Alan ask “Nack do you want to go to the Titanic museum this afternoon then as we have time”
“Sure its the only reason I came to Inverness” I say.
and so we start the long walk to where it is based. For a while we stop and watch the locks open, close, go down.
But then the skies reopen again and we are getting wet.
We are here, although at first I would have walked straight passed it.
Have they really fitted the Titanic in here?
We enter a weird world of a mad man, that I’m sure of. I can see R3D2 but no titanic. this however makes Alan's day.
Its got to be here somewhere.
Alan dares not to climb the steps.
Where is the health and safety inspector when you need him?
We enter the indoors bit, and are greeted by somebody. We make our way inside and look through the collection of Titanic memorabilia.
“Zoe what you think of this?” Alan says without moving his lips.
Way cool – and puts it in his jacket inside pocket.
and here we meet the man himself. no mention of madness but then there is no need to I can see it, I can feel it, I am scared.
However there is a passion and deserve to look, learn and listen to the collection they have so lovingly put together.
there is even a cinema and I sit down and enjoy the feature that was on.
Oh how this made me want to watch the film again. And reminded me on how long ago it was made. They talk about rescuing the robot subs they had down there, and how they eventually got them back and to the surface after a very long operation down in the depths of the water only to surface to find the twin towers had been flown into!
Further inside the depths of the place is a racing boat game. Alan shows his stuff.
what he doesn’t know is this is one of the games I got from cash Converters in Stockport.
So I’m utterly brilliant at it! I’m guessing there is a youtube video of this looking at his phone.
Out the back the search goes on, where is the titanic hidding?
Ohh my here it is!
And inside we stop for a cup of tea and chocolate biscuit in the Parisian Cafe. It is self service mind.
We climb a wooden, slippery and ultimately designed staircase to get a full view of the Titanic. “It’s smaller then I imagined” I say to Alan.
And look they have even put in the gash the iceberg caused in the side of it!
After so much excitement it was time to leave. we headed back and part way Alan headed into a chip shop. I avoided going in as I would have wanted some. I did want some but I really shouldn’t so I didn’t. Alan however thoughtfully did and gave me a bag I didn’t want or start to eat. I helped Zoe with hers leaving Alan with two bags. A seabird had worked this fact out and eagerly followed us hoeing to eat the spare bag. However I believe Alan eat them all in his room.
As I enter my own room, it is obvious the cleaning staff have been in and given it a good tidy up. they have even left me a message.
Perhaps they are wondering why one person is enjoying 4 pillows, 2 soft and 2 not so soft.
Good knows what Alan and Zoe are doing with all those chips but I’m heading down stairs to the bar and
to write some post cards. I got some limited edition stamps when at Urquhart castle and will be using those.
Aren't they nice and no doubt cost me extra.
Eventually they come down and out comes a game, Love Letters. I’d have rather played Noah but they want to play this as I was so bad at it last night when I was tired. If one thing I did learn
it was to be the clown.
And I win Alan I am the clown yet again. “huh thats just not possible” he huffs. after winnign several rounds that is the end of that game and we move on for dinner.
We enter Bar 72 and have a table by the window. We are warmly welcomed and the drinks are served to our table. Out comes Flux yay let the mad cards play.
“This can’t be happening” says Alan
“I think I’m going to win” says Zoe and goes to the toilet.
“Alan we will wait until she returns from the toilet before I play my hand I think” I announce.
I’m not sure what she is thinking here but that is the end of Flux and I finish that game smiling. Now there maybe a youtube moment of this but you’d have to search that out.
So the game changes again and now we are playing Coup and we are back to being the Duke.
I am the Duke, I am the Duke, I am the Duke, I am the Duke – hold on there's not that many dukes. After many wins the food is served and all is forgotten just how good things have been for Nack tonight!
Oh wow a non vegetarian burger for Alan.
Nack has a dish that doesn’t appear to be meaty but is very very delicious and is meaty.
and Zoe has Haggis and heaps.
A few nice Ales in and they want to walk Nack to death. Am I a dog I ponder?
Off go the feet once more.
We check out the view across the town.
and it does make Wolvo look impressive from the roof tops anyway.
this being the council building, we watch the rabbits running around the garden in the dark and head for a pub in the distance.
A pub with a different atmosphere and beer.
Although by now I’m very full and tired.
Soon enough I encourage them that it is bed time and head toward the gayest bridge I’ve ever seen.
the colours twinkle and reflect on the waters surface, whilst we breath the chilled damp air of Scotland.
what a day it has been and now for some deep sleep.