Monday, September 12, 2016

Sunday 11th September 2016.......a day to remember!!!

About the National 9/11 Memorial

This is the principal memorial commemorating the 9/11 attacks of 2001 and 1993 WTC bombing. It is located at the site of the former Twin Towers that were destroyed. The 9/11 Memorial features two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pools, each about an acre in size, set within the footprints of the original twin towers. Its design conveys a spirit of hope and renewal, and creates a contemplative space separate from the usual sights and sounds of a bustling metropolis.

I had the privilege in 2011 of standing in this spot and it was one of the most thought provoking and somber moments of my life!!!!!!

Another glorious sunny morning and after a light self serve breakfast I was on the road to here...

A beautiful walk and the falls were lovely and yes salmon were jumping but again way too fast for this old man!!!

Back on the road saw this gathering of thoroughbreds!!

and really liked the markings on this beauty!!
This is a wonderful  Urquhart castle on the banks of Loch Ness but hundreds of tourists and 9 pounds to get in so I decided to sneak these photos from the wall!!!

The impressive ruins of Urquhart Castle - located just a few minutes from Drumnadrochit - stand on a tongue of land jutting out into Loch Ness. Set against the backdrop of lake and mountain, the castle - once one of Scotland's largest fortifications - is at the center of many ancient myths. Dating from the 12th century, it was a typical example of a motte and bailey fortification, but in the 14th century stonewalls replaced the original wooden structure. In 1509 James IV gave the castle to John Grant of Freuchie, who commissioned the extension to the keep, and at the end of the 17th century the fortified castle fell victim to a fire. Today, visitors can enjoy onsite facilities including a café, gift shop and stunning views of the loch.

No sign of that monster yet!!!

St Columba, an Irish missionary, is said to have been the first person to encounter the oldest inhabitant of Loch Ness after the monster dragged the (soon-to-be) saint into the impenetrable depths. Then, in the 16th century, Hector Boece mentioned in The History of Scotland that a "terrible being" had suddenly emerged from the water and swallowed three men. The next sighting, in 1933, took place while a couple sitting on the north bank saw a strange, writhing creature cross the road in front of them. A host of snapshots and eyewitness reports followed, not to mention a growing stream of visitors. Most descriptions of the beastie say it resembles a large sea reptile with a long neck, a small head, fins and several humps.
The most famous picture of Nessiteras Rhombopteryx, to give Nessie its full name, came from London gynecologist Robert Wilson. On April 19, 1934, Wilson reported seeing something on the water and took a snap: a long neck of the monster had just emerged from the ice-cold water. It later turned out that Wilson belonged to a team who had set out to play a trick on the media. Shortly before his death in 1993, Christian Spurling, one of the "conspirators", admitted his part in the great deception. According to the Sunday Times, Spurling, an amateur woodworker, had rigged up a dinosaur dummy on a toy submarine. The ruse worked perfectly.

The Caledonian fault has been used for transport since Thomas Telford completed the Caledonian Canal in 1849 (work had begun in 1803). Stretching from Fort William and ending in the east at Inverness, the canal spared ships the hazardous northern route through the Pentland Forth between the Scottish mainland and the Orkneys.
Only a third of the canal's length is man-made, the major part of it consisting of narrow lochs including Loch Linnhe, Loch Lochy, the small Loch Oich and then the longest (and best-known) the 24 mi long Loch Ness. All told, the canal (including lochs) extends 60 mi and passes through 29 locks, the most impressive group of which are the eight locks of Neptune's Staircase. Today, it's the leisure industry that makes most use of the canal with holidaymakers in rental boats and canoes enjoying the magnificent scenery along the waterway.

Standing on the Lock looking down...
More lovely waterfalls through a gorgeous forest of Douglas firs!!!

I would have loved to hike to the bottom of these falls but no path!!

They have constructed a great walk out platform right at the top of the falls...great view and you sense the power of the water!!

OK my last falls of the day!!

These were more impressive than the photo shows just a lovely scenic area!!!
Around 5.00 pm I arrived in the small town of Hopeman, you have to Google to see where it is located....I had booked a separate cottage for two nights and trust me when I tell you it is fantastic and right in the little village center and also a fresh apple cake laid out for me!!!

One of the reasons I booked here was to attend the last night of the military Tattoo in Fort George and that is where I went....I have always loved spectacles like this and even though it was outside I was well dressed and stayed warm...
The event started with a fly past and I was only just quick enough to catch this shot one amazing thing about the planes one veered and did a circle and came back over but the other plane banked and went straight up and I mean straight!!!!  So high you almost lost sight of it....
Just a great fun and foot stomping evening!!!

Ending with a fabulous fireworks display!!
You noticed the TV in the bedroom it has Sky Sports channel so I finished off my evening till 1.30am (the reason for no blog last night) watching a truly great live tennis final from New York....played between two classy guys and a fitting end to a day that will always be remembered!!!!

Yashi Kochi!!!!

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