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A Search for Nessie…Rediscovering Dad
I’d always considered myself to be pretty travel savvy, and after my family’s 2007 trip to Glasgow, Scotland, I realized there’s still so much for me to see and learn. On our trip, I enjoyed many touristic pleasures including playing golf in the hills of Dunkeld, taking a bus tour through the Highlands, and taking a cruise of the Loch Ness, hoping to glimpse the legendary Loch Ness Monster. What I wasn’t expecting during my pursuit of a perfect golf round and mythical creatures of the deep, was to rediscover how special it is to learn about new things and new places with the ones I love.
The flight to the Edinburgh Airport in Glasgow from Frankfurt Germany filled me with anticipation for our adventure that lies ahead. Our flight gave me plenty of time to day dream about glimpsing the Loch Ness Monster and to think about all the excitement that waited for my family and me. After flying into Scotland we checked into our hotel, the Dunkeld Hilton Hotel. Dunkeld Hilton was a mansion-like building tucked back into a wooded area encircled by a creek and surrounded by a pasture chock-full of sheep. After our long day of traveling, we turned in early to rejuvenate for the next morning’s bus excursion to the Loch Ness.
Our bus tour began around eight in the morning and promised to be an all day activity. One stop, about 3 hours into the tour, was the Urquhart Castle, which originally belonged to the Moray people fell under British control in the late 13th century, towered over the banks of the storied Loch Ness. During the two hours spent at the Loch Ness, we hopped a boat on the Loch in search of the mysterious Loch Ness Monster, hoping to catch a glimpse of it. After journey-filled day of exploring and our jaunt on the Loch, dad looked forward to a day to unwind and recharge. That night, before heading to bed, he called to make a tee-time for the two of us at a local golf course for the next morning.
Bright and early, dad and I got ready and headed to the local course called Dunkeld/Birnam Golf Course. Although I have played many other American and European courses, this was one of the most visually breath-taking courses I have ever experienced. Like a massive putt-putt golf course, it had rolling contours and a landscape resembling a fairytale dream which was unlike anything I’d ever seen before; the magic of it all didn’t stop at its narrow and twisted fairways but its view of a quaint castle nestled atop a nearby hill. For an inexperienced golfer this beauty could easily distract someone from their game, dad and I dueled skillfully through each fairway and in and out of every pothole bunker and down every sloped green to see who was the better golfer. Even though the scorecard reflected he had won the game, the real goal of this leisure activity was to play a familiar game in an unfamiliar place.
On my travels through the Highlands, riding on the Loch and playing golf I realized that this trip to Scotland meant so much more to me than marking off Scotland from my “must see” list. The opportunity to play golf with my dad in the place it began was the greatest feeling in the world. Given the chance to go back again, I wouldn’t have to think twice and I’d be sure to bring my dad – my favorite golf partner.