We have just concluded a wonderful wee week in Scotland. A few days in and around Glasgow, including a great little day trip out to Loch Lomond, a few days in Edinburgh for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a great day in the highlands, including Loch Ness. And yes, of course we saw the Loch Ness Monster.
Scotland is a truly beautiful country! It’s so green, it has countless wonderful old buildings, incredible scenery and a nice feel to it. The weather would be a bit of a turn-off for people staying long term. Even in Summer it gets a bit wintery but this contributes to the stunning scenery. And some of the blokes wear dresses.
Glasgow is a stunning city to wander around. There was obviously a lot of wealth around about a century ago, judging by all the magnificent Victorian architecture. Edinburgh is similar. Quite a few shops seem to have closed down with the retail downturn, but other than that they are great cities to spend time in. Plenty of bargains too if you are in a spending mood.
Our day trip out to Loch Lomond was great fun. It was good to get back to nature after London and Liverpool. This was just the ticket. We caught a train out to Balloch and then went for an enjoyable walk out to Balloch Castle and along the loch. A nice late lunch in a country pub followed. There are just so many amazing pubs throughout Scotland. Wherever you go there seem to be pubs everywhere and they all have a lot of character. They all seem OLD and the publicans take great pride in them and go out of their way to present them in a unique way. I must do a pub crawl some day!
Our day in the highlands out of Edinburgh was a great trip too. We covered some 500 kilometres in the day! We saw a huge chunk of Scotland and got a real feel for the place! Along the way we passed through William Wallace country, Robert the Bruce country, the scene of the Glencoe Massacre, Doune Castle where Monty Python’s Holy Grail was filmed, the West Highland Walkway, Ben Nevis, and of course Loch Ness. Loch Ness has the lion’s share of tourism in Scotland apparently. Everybody knows the monster doesn’t exist, but they still flock there just in case they might see it. We saw it.
Edinburgh has to rank among the most amazing cities in the world, especially during the fringe festival – separate blog to follow. The place is buzzing all day and well into the night. But it has even more appeal because it all occurs in and around a wonderful city. The Edinburgh Castle overlooks it all, but every corner you turn there are lots of other amazing little places to catch your eye. And all the different levels! As one comedian put it, although more crudely, every (insert appropriate adjective here) place is uphill from the previous place.
Tried a bit of haggis during our stay. If you didn’t know what it was it would taste even better. It seems the Scots like their chips as much as the English. You can have fish and chips, haggis and chips, battered sausage and chips, white pudding and chips or black pudding and chips! We were caught out at first by the term ‘supper,’ as in ‘fish supper.’ It means chips. Across the road from our Glasgow hotel I went for the curry, rice and salad, the only meal without chips on the menu. Unfortunately there was no rice, and no salad, because “nobody ever wants those,” but I could have it with chips. So I did.