Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday 19 June 2009 – Drumnadrochit, Scotland

Josie and I both had riding lessons at 9:30am. My lesson was with Becky and Josie was with Pauline. Josie was jumping and I had a flat lesson in the indoor school. they have mirrors on the walls so you can watch yourself. Becky said to not worry, it's not being vain to look at yourself. It was a great lesson. We worked on being one with the horse and suppling the horse...getting him to bend his neck, spiralling in and out, and then shallow loops. Becky's dog Piglet knocked at the door and came to visit toward the end. She's a adorable little short hair jack russell...Tinker's daughter.

Josie had a lot of fun with her jumping lesson. She's doing more complicated patterns and road Mungo again. I rode Rufus, the same white horse I rode yesterday on the ride out.

After our lessons we went back to the cottage for showers, tea and lunch (or elevensies). We walked down to Urqhart castle for the official tour. A flotilla of boats was stopped in as part of the Caledonian Crossing. There was a band playing also. The castle is impressive....surprisingly large and really gives you an idea of what a medieval castle would've been like. The introductory movie that tells you the history of the castle was well done, and at the end the screen rises into the ceiling and the curtains open so that you have a view out of the widows onto the castle...just like Mt. St. Helens. Part of the castle was blown up in the late 1600s to keep the Jacobites from getting it.

We walked back to our cottage and had lunch, the drove down the loch to catch the boat ride. I popped into Abriachan gardens and really wish I had more time. They have four acres of gardens and the little bit I saw looked spectacular. Little winding walkways through flowers and green mossy paths. I hoped to go back later, but didn't get to.

The boat ride was quite a disappointment, but we did meet a family from Wisconsin who've been living in Scotland for 6 weeks so far. The dad is a pastor who's on sabbatical. Their oldest child was a boy josie's age. It was great to talk to them about where to go in Scotland. They recommended the Carbisdale Castle.

After the cruise we went to the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, but they were closed. So we drove up to Fort Augustus where we saw the locks of the Caledonian Canal, which allows boats to pass from one coast of Scotland to another. It was built in 1822.