Monday, June 19, 2017

The Bonny, Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond

Today was the first of three small group tours with Rabbie's Tours.  We arrived at the pickup point a full hour early, which we will hopefully avoid doing next time.

Our first stop was Stirling Castle, which was built by James the Fifth.  It stands on a volcanic plug over a broad lowland, with the William Wallace monument on a nearby hill.

Here I discovered that Quinn and I share an interest in where random stairs lead and finding stealthy hidey-holes.  Also, every single one of us managed to hit our heads on something.  I was actually ducking when I did it.  I just didn't duck far enough.

The weather has been unusually hot, and I was grateful for the breeze that blew over the hill.  The buildings are impressive as is the artwork inside.  Bright, colorful, and lots of carved wooden faces on the ceiling.

After gathering the rest of the crew, we headed into the Trossachs and Loch Lomond national park.  Lots of nature and lots of twisty roads.  Hooray for Bonine.

We stopped for lunch in a village whose name I can't remember, but it had good food and a wool center where we finally found Quinn a hat.  (He forgot to pack his sunglasses.)

On then to Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Scotland by surface area.  I've long wanted to see Loch Lomond, having grown up with the song referenced in the title of this post.  Tom and I didn't see a lot, though I did touch the water.  Quinn took an optional hike up to a higher vantage point while Tom had some "luxury ice cream."

Our last stop for the day was a whiskey distillery.  Both boys declined to take the tour, but I did it.  This included a tasting of the whiskey, to which, may I just say, "How?  Why?"  It was super strong, even when I cut it with water.

The tour itself was very hot and super stinky.  Basically a sauna that smelled like feet.  Still, it was interesting to learn about the process.

Back to the hotel finally, with take-out sandwiches for dinner, we took the opportunity to cool off before bed, and heading out for another tour tomorrow.

I would be happy if the fabled Scottish weather would kick in.  This heat is blech.

Until tomorrow!

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