Monday, June 8, 2009

Castles, Bens, Lochs & Wild Rhododendrons - Can Life Get Any Better?

Here we are at the end of another day, our last in Edinburgh. We spent most of the day sitting on a bus, touring the West Highlands of Scotland. We had a very engaging tour guide (Billy) who took every opportunity to point out the ways in which Glasgow and Glaswegians are superior to Edinburgh and Edinburghers.  The tour was very worthwhile and the scenery "dramatic", one of Billy's favourite adjectives.  It was awesome to experience some of the different landscape and to again learn some more history. History was not exactly my strongest subject in high school - if I recall correctly, I just got my credit!! We caught our bus at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle and then headed northwest to Stirling. We learned about the importance of William Wallace and the Stirling Castle as we drove past.  We didn't stop here but got a picture through the window. 

The imposing Stirling Castle perched high on the rock of an extinct volcano.

As we left Stirling, the hills rapidly grew larger. We saw glimpses of other castles along the way including the Doune Castle immortalized in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Eventually we reached the highlands and the road signs were then in Gallic and English. As we drove through the glens (valleys) the bens (mountains) seemed to be straight up on either side of the road.  It was difficult to photograph to get the right perspective.  Some pictures from today...

Look way up!

An old railway viaduct now a bicycle trail. The area is a wonderful place to hike and mountain bike.  Next trip to Scotland!

A "hairy coooo" as they call it.

Inverary Castle, the "spiritual" centre of the Campbell clan, and the home of the Duke of Argyll.

Laurel, Loch Lomond, and Ben Lomond on the distance.

All in all it was a fantastic day and we ended up trying our first Thai food for supper. Now it is time for rest.

1 comment:

  1. funny.... your first Thai food in Scotland!!