Saturday, May 10, 2008

Take a Tour...Without Leaving Your Computer Chair

This week my husband and I watched a movie called "Water Horse", a sweet film about the legend of Loch Ness and the infamous Nessie. I learned two legendary things. The first is there's only one "Nessie" at a time, a creature who's both male and female which lays an egg before dying. At least in the film's legend. The second thing was how beautiful the Scottish countryside is to someone sitting in the middle of pollen season with a box of Kleenex.

Since I am on vacation, I was playing with the computer and came upon a site of Web cams in Scotland. Of course, the first one I visited was the one at Loch Ness. Not to see if Nessie was there, but to take a vicarious vacation from the cheap comfort of my computer chair. Web cams, it appears, can almost be addictive. The Loch Ness cam features two lovely sheep named Mavis and Sheba, who graze overlooking the loch where supposedly Nessie has been sited in the past. The owner has quite the sense of humor. There a side box labeled, "Nessie spotted on our camera!". It's a picture of Godzilla coming out of the loch. Want to visit? Go to http://www.lochness.co.uk/livecam/

I once read an article on the Isle of Skye, so that was my next destination. It doesn't update but once an hour and today's weather was overcast. That led me to the most interesting of sociology experiments: the live web cam. There's one at the intersection at The Cross, Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire. I've hit it a varying times, from crowded with pedestrians to a couple of happy-go-lucky guys walking in a serpentine manner from door to door, possibly looking for more libations. At the Gretna Green site I caught the tail end of a lovely wedding. But the most interesting experiment can be found at Belushi's Bar in Edinburgh. There you can not only see what's happening, but hear conversations as well...that is if the music isn't up too loud. Early today there were two chaps discussing a football game, one becoming irate when the bartender turned the channel momentarily to apparently check the news. They calmed down when he switched it back. A few moments ago the bar sounds were so loud my dog stuck his head around the corner to see how the heck I'd gotten so many people past him. You can visit the bar at http://www.camvista.com/scotland/edinburgh/belushisbar_streaming

Bored? Wonder how the rest of the world lives or at least looks this time of year? Start here with the Scottish web cam site and it can send you off to various other parts of the world. I watched sharks swim in a London exhibit and laughed at a man who groused he'd visited a certain site over a 100 times and never once saw a trout on the under water cam. Here, take a look for yourself. http://www.scottishwebcamslive.com/webcams.htm

And if you don't find Nessie, please say hello to Mavis and Sheba for me.

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