Although it is the main town of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness is still only small itself. It has its own castle, and sits prettily on the river Ness, but there is not much else in the town. We did find a couple of decent places to eat out, and on our first night we had a free hearing of the Status Quo gig nearby, but on one day it rained so much that we decided to stick with the log burning stove in the hostel rather than go out and get wet.
I suspect that most visitors here use Inverness as a base for trips out into the Highlands. You can get tours to various peaks, castles, islands, and distilleries, many of which we intend to get around to at some stage. But for now, our primary objective in Inverness was to go and look for Nessie!
The first photograph was taken by Hugh Grey in 1933 and was published in the Daily Mail, which then hired a big game hunter called Marmaduke Wetherell to find Nessie. Unable to do so, he apparently faked some footprints in the sand, which were believed to have been made using a dried hippo foot, more than likely one of those old game hunter's souvenir umbrella stands!
Then in 1934 a surgeon called Colonel Robert Wilson produced probably the most famous Nessie photo, known as the Surgeons photo. It appeared to show a definite head, a bit like that of a diplodocus dinosaur, rising out of the water.
This got everyone quite excited and did a lot to further the legend of Nessie until in 1984, analysis of the photo appeared to show that sadly the 'monster' could only have been very small, so was unlikely to be Nessie.
Even worse for believers, in 1994 a man called Christian Spurling made a dying confession that in fact he had built the creature in the photo from some sculpted wood and a toy submarine. The hoax was apparently the idea of his stepfather - none other than Marmaduke Wetherell.
They have made a number of attempts to either prove or disprove the legend, by trawling the lake with sonar but even then the results have been inconclusive. Some suggest there is nothing, but others have hit some disturbances to the readings that could something entirely innocuous, or they could be a large creature.