July 14, 2011

Roth and Ramberg shoot a trio of legends


July 14 - posted by Terri Roberts

Today was a good shooten’ day. 

Even though we had our sneaking suspicions that 16 degrees was more of a rule than an average, we were proved wrong when it hit 24, and the bright sunny sky followed us around the Loch for the second day in a row.

We started out early in the morning with a quick drive from Fort Augustus back to Drumnadrochit. Thanks to our man on the ground at Fiddler’s, we connected with local man about town, author and naturalist Adrian for a quick photo in a very busy parking lot. (For the record, ‘safety third’ isn’t just a Roth &Ramberg motto.)

Adrian is the designer of the Exhibition at the Loch Ness Centre, and lead man on research organization, the Loch Ness Project. Basically, if you have a question about Loch Ness, Adrian probably has an answer, or at least a scientific explanation of some sort.

When it comes to his own personal theory on Nessie, he says he has a ‘soft spot’ for sturgeon (despite the fact that there isn’t a fresh water variety).

Though locals are quick to dismiss Adrian as a Nessie naysayer, it’s obvious Adrian is a big proponent of all things Loch Ness. Including tourism. Roughly 200,000 Nessie-hungry tourists pass through his doors each year. Some say most leave the exhibition as non-believers. Ironically, the adjoining gift store featuring a giant wall of stuffed Nessies seems to be making a swift buck.

After our time with Adrian, we headed to Dores for a quick bite and a chat with Nessie Hunter Steve and the friendliest man in Dores, Ronnie (thanks for the Turkish Delights).

Our next stop of the day is becoming a familiar one – Fiddler’s in Drum. But this time, instead of drinking the whisky, we were shooting it, as well as owner and resident single malt enthusiast, Jon.

When Jon talks about whisky, his enthusiasm spills over to all within earshot. A big fan of Port Ellen (a mothball distillery I’m told) and most of the northern highland single malts, Jon seems to be on some sort of mission from above to spread the single malt word. And we’ve certainly heard the good news.

When we asked Jon about Nessie, he cunningly turned the conversation back to whisky. He’s never seen the monster, nor have any of his staff (it says as much on the menu). But the official Fiddler’s logo does feature a cartooned version of the beast. Anything to draw the world in for a dram.

We finished our day back at the Clansman Hotel, in the fine company of Willie the Rat (which I feel strange referring to him as such, since he’s been anything but). Smartly dressed in a ‘McLeod of Skye’ kilt and dark socks, our Willie was ready to go. Lucky for us, the sunny sky had made way for a moody cover of cloud over the Loch by early evening. The lighting was made to order. And Willie looked as if he owned the place – proud as could be. 

We’re finishing up the day back at Willie’s bar, downloading photos, writing our blog, and listening to some of the best stories to be heard around the Loch.