If you haven’t much time to tour Scotland, there are three areas I recommend that give you a pretty good taste of what Scotland is like. One area is the Cowal peninsula, on the west of the country, the second is The Isle of Arran, and the other is the Trossachs to the east of Loch Lomond!
Linda phoned me last weekend and asked if I fancied a drive up to Callander, and round the Trossachs . The weather was wonderful so of course I was more than happy to have a run out and to such a glorious area too. Lochs - those are lakes to non Scots. Loch is a Gaelic word and it’s what we call pretty much all of our lakes in Scotland, – hills – not that high but the views are amazing - trees……. oak, beech, birch, to name but three, and at this time of year they would be in spectacular autumn colours!
So, last Sunday, after a foggy start from Peebles - you just know the sun will get out when the day starts like this- we drove up to Callander, turned left just past the woollen mill shop where you can find Hamish the big shaggy coated Highland Cow in his field outside, and along
The trees along the lochside were stunning and the reflections pure mirror images!
Lunch for me was my favourite soup - Cullen Skink – a meal in itself, with all that smoked fish and chopped potato, not to mention the two pieces of wholemeal bread! Decidedly filling, and delicious!
Onward then, to turn off eventually to Loch Katrine (Katrin) where it was the last day of the “season”. Everything would be closing that afternoon till next spring. However, last Sunday being such a beautiful day, the visitors were out in their hoards, some for a trip in the “Sir Walter Scott” up the loch and back, others to walk or cycle along the road that hugs the side of the loch, and for this tour guide in his fancy kilt complete with Saltire on the back – left -there was a coach to be washed down, in readiness for his passengers’ return, probably from the boat trip. Linda and I took to our feet along the road for a short distance, just as far as the first bridge where, upstream, a little series of waterfalls tumbles over the rocks . On the way we passed beneath some steep rocks – right - where, in days of yore, before the road was built, anyone wanting to go further had to swing round them with ropes. That wasn’t recently, as you can imagine.
The clocks having changed the night before, and daylight saving no longer applicable, we decided to continue our journey before the light gave out.
Soon stopping again on a hillside looking over Loch Achray towards Ben A’an – left - we admired the turreted Tigh Mòr – the Big House - standing amidst the stunning autumn scenery. Once the beautiful Trossachs Hotel and now a rather exclusive timeshare – sorry, property bond - in its hotel days, not only Queen Victoria stayed there as one of the early Scottish tourists, but the Liverpool pop group, the Beatles, also accounted for another four of its famous guests!
By the time we reached the village of Aberfoyle and had had a cup of tea and piece of cake - an essential part of our days out – the sun was disappearing, and by nearly 5.00p.m. it was dark. So much for British Summer time! It’s over! We drove home in the pitch black, but what a great day it had been.
Talk again soon.