Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lovely eating options in The Highlands Club in Fort Augustus

What a place to have food. You are in the mood of some nice food and drinks, and a good environment along with friends would be great. What could be better than the surroundings of Loch Ness, one of the largest lakes in Scotland (it may not be the largest in terms of surface area, but due to it being the lake that has the maximum average depth, it has the maximum volume of water); of course, if 'Nessie', the reputed Loch Ness monster emerges from the lake, then probably its dinner would be us. A simple wooden table and chairs on a small strip of land that seems to project into the lake, at evening, what could be better. Enjoy the beer ! This is the Boathouse restaurant, located right on the shore of the lake, and almost at the point where the Caledonian Canal meets the Loch Ness.


Ashish Agarwal: Scotland &emdash; Wooden table and chairs at the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland
Table and chairs at the shore of Loch Ness in Fort Augusts (More photos and prints)
This is a more descriptive photo of the tables and chairs at the Boathouse Restaurant in Fort Augustus. In addition to the places to eat, the facility for boating on the Loch is also visible, with the Boathouse. In the Boathouse, there are boats and rubber dinghies that are available to use, and can be launched from here.


Ashish Agarwal: Scotland &emdash; Boat yard and tables on the shore of Loch Ness in Scotland
Tables, Chairs and the Boathouse at the restaurant in the Highland Club (More photos and prints)

Another view of the chairs and umbrella covered tables at the Boathouse Restaurant in the Highland Club in Fort Augustus, with the projection of land on which these tables are placed being visible in this image. This is a lovely place to sit, with the water of the lake being on both sides of the projection, and the boathouse for launching boats, dinghies and kayaks into the lake.


Chairs and tables at the Boathouse Restaurant in For Augustus
Chairs and tables at the Boathouse Restaurant in For Augustus (More photos and prints)

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Monday, June 29, 2015

A Benedictine Abbey in Fort Augustus in the Scottish Highlands

If you were to go to the quaint Fort Augustus in the Scottish Highlands on the shore of Loch Ness, you would come across this beautiful building, a Benedictine Abbey. Imagine being able to live in this place, and yes, you can. This is a former Benedictine Abbey, which was an Abbey for more than a century but was finally shut down for lack of funds. The project for building such an Abbey was started in 1874, but it took some time for collecting the necessary funds, and the Abbey was finally completed in 1880. In 1882, it was removed from English control and was made independent, reporting directly to the Pope. The school here for older boys was the chief source of funds for the Abbey, but modernity brought problems. In 1993, due to modern standards, the school had to be shut down, and the immediate impact of lack of funds started to be felt. Over a period of time, the Abbey tried multiple ways to generate funds, but was never successful to generate the require funds. Finally, after some ventures, the abbey was sold and converted into The Highland Club, self-catering apartments. And these are truly lovely.


Repair work on one wing of the Benedictine Abbey in Fort Augustus
Repair work on one wing of the Abbey (More images and Prints)

View of one of the sections of the Abbey, and one of the entrances. The place looks incredible, with all the traditional architecture in place. Look at these windows, the exterior finish, and you might be taken back to the architecture shown in period shows and movies. It was a pleasure staying at this place.


Front view of one section of the Benedictine Abbey in Fort Augustus
Front view of one section of the Benedictine Abbey in Fort Augustus (Prints and more photos)

A more expanded view of this section of the former Benedictine Abbey in Fort Augustus. At the extreme bottom right, one can see a lady who is one of the guests here. The expanse of windows to the left of the photos actually shows a corridor in the place.


Expanded view of front section of Benedictine Abbey in Fort Augustus
Expanded view of front section of Benedictine Abbey in Fort Augustus (More photos and prints here)

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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Beauty of a Loch (one among many) in the Scottish Highlands

The terrain of the Scottish Highlands is wonderful when you are driving on the highway that runs through different sections of it. The presence of Lochs, of hills, of taller sections of hills that have rock (but not much of ice) and abundant greenery makes for an interesting drive through the region. When driving in the region, suddenly you will come across a Loch where there is no real mark of civilization;  where you can see the natural beauty of the area. Our journey started by driving out from Edinburgh, and within a few hours, we came across the first Loch. The road had a side parking area, atleast one where you could stop, there was little traffic on the highway, and just trees everywhere with the water of the Loch visible through the trees (or one could go through the trees and get closer to the water). As we moved along, came across different types of lakes, some bigger than the others, some which had a shore where one could go easily to the Loch, and others which were located at a lower level than the road and it was not possible to go down.


Irregular shoreline of a Loch in the Scottish Highlands
Irregular shoreline of a Loch in the Scottish Highlands (More photos | Get prints)

Just like the above photo, there are more photos that show the beauty of the Scottish Highlands. For example, the next photos shows an expanse of a nameless Loch that is much wider and apparently the water would be much deeper. In this place, there was no way to get to the shore, since the water level was much below the road, almost like a cliff kind of feel. The Loch looked beautiful, and almost unspoiled (if you ignore the fact that there is a highway through which we got there).

Rugged outdoors and waters of a Loch in the Scottish Highlands
Rugged outdoors and waters of a Loch in the Scottish Highlands (More photos / Prints)

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Friday, October 03, 2014

Photos of a Loch in the Scottish Highlands along with an island

Scotland is famous for its Lochs, the lakes that are present all over the area of the Scottish Highlands. If you are wondering why a lake is called a Loch, it is the Scottish (and Irish) name for a Loch. These water bodies are pretty famous for the beauty they impart to the region, and for attracting visitors to the Scottish Highlands. A large number of these lakes are right next to hills, and are long and narrow. Some of them can be pretty deep, with depths of upto 200 meter or more. One of the most famous such Loch is Loch Ness, which has been supposed to have a large monster in it, affectionately known as Nessie. In the photos below, this is a depiction of a small section of a Loch which is less well settled, with no traces of civilization being shown next to the Loch. The scene is as nature would have liked to be, with no buildings on the lake, no people boating or sailing on the lake, and with the shore of the loch forming an irregular pattern. There was a highway right next to the Loch, and one could quickly reach this spot, and admire the beauty of the location. We spent close to an hour here, just watching the movement of the water, the slightly cold temperature, and almost had to force each other to leave.


Irregular shore line of a Loch in the Scottish Highlands
Irregular shore line of a Loch in the Scottish Highlands (More photos / Prints of this photo)
This kind of shoreline looks so beautiful. The Loch is pretty narrow over here, and there is this small and narrow strip of land that projects into the Loch. Standing on this narrow strip of land, there would be a great view of the Loch all around you.



Island on the other side of the narrow section of the Loch
Island on the other side of the narrow section of the Loch (More photos)
A small island on the other side of a narrow section of the Loch. The whole place looked totally natural, no presence of civilization and people nearby (although I am sure there might be houses or other facilities somewhere close by). This Loch was pretty long, since it went on for long stretches on both sides, but the width of the Loch was very narrow at this point.




Zoomed view of the island seen in the previous photo
Zoomed view of the island seen in the previous photo (More photos)
A view with more zoom of the island seen in the previous photo. The island has a rocky shore, and does look totally uninhabited, adding to the charm of the location. 

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