Thursday, July 24, 2008
Glasgow, Stirling, Loch Lomond and More
Alright, I'm back and here to give you the full account of my second Scotland bus tour adventure. Trip number two, suffice to say did not go quite as smoothly as the first, mostly because we had a new tour guide, Tom. Tom, unlike Grass, did not wear a kilt (so sad), and had this nervous laugh that he let out about every other minute. It wasn't too irritating after a little while, but it was nerve wracking, especially since he would tell us everytime he had to make a difficult turn, or would start yelling at other drivers and then laughing nervously. When we made our second trip through the Highlands, he told us that buses shouldn't be allowed in the Highlands because of how small and windy the roads are, but no one has banned them yet. Top that off with a nervous laugh and I was feeling the way Laura had last week, despite being in Grass's totally capable hands. But anyway, beyond Tom, we had a fabulous day of adventures begining with a quick trip to Edinburgh's rival city, Glasgow, where we stopped for some pictures and coffee. That morning was astoundingly beautiful, probably the most beautiful day I've seen in Scotland. And here are some shots from Glasgow. Hermes/Mercury from behind, hehe. Glasgow was pretty neat, but it was far more industrialized than Edinburgh which I prefer to all of the other cities in Scotland anyday. But from Glasgow, Tom (laughing nervously) took us onward to Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Scotland. The ride from Glasgow to Loch Lomond. And here is the lovely Loch Lomond where I got to take a cruise of the lake. The scenery was gorgeous, although it was incredibly windy!
Beautiful isn't it? Wish you were there? I can partially grant your wish for you for just a few seconds with the following video:-)
After the cruise we headed to Aberfoyle, a small village at the base of the Highlands for lunch. I found the yummiest vegan tomato soup:-) The town was really pretty too.
This is an owl from the birds of prey show outside of the wool mill where we ate lunch.
Then Tom nervously laughing took us back up into the Highlands going first through Queen Elizabeth's Royal Forest.
Though it was a bit touch and go for awhile there, Tom led us safely out of the Highlands and back to Calander to see Hamish again. I never thought I'd see so much of this hairy cow (they call the highland cows, hairy cooos). And then we were off to make our last stop for the day in Stirling, to see the castle, and once again, learn everything there is to know about Braveheart, William Wallace, Mel Gibson and the fallacies in the film.
We got to see the Wallace Monument, a statue of Robert the Bruce, an tour the castle. It was much cooler than Edinburgh Castle, but Holyrood Palace is still my fave!
This part of the castle was refinished with the recipe used in Medieval times to give it this white gold color.
Inside the largest mead hall ever (or maybe in the UK) where Mary Queen of Scots used to throw parties.
After a long day, we headed safely back home. Hope you enjoyed coming along with me for this advenure:-)