Well the internet hasn’t made the impact on the Highlands of Scotland that is has in say, everywhere in the US, so these posts have been backing up a bit. But we press on giving you all of the details of our Scottish adventure whether you like it our not.
Our last day in Glasgow was uneventful as we used the time to prepare for the road ahead. We said a giddylicious good-by to Glasgow by anxiously alliterating endlessly as we loaded our rented and very American Kia Sedonia for our highland adventure. We took out a home owner’s loan in order to gas up the van and all piled in letting Truly navigate the hulking vehicle through streets deigned for small carts pulled by highland cows (or as they say around here, heilan’ coos).
Our last day in Glasgow was uneventful as we used the time to prepare for the road ahead (and catch the latest Harry Potter movie). We left our Glasgow home base at the Queen Margaret residence at the University of Glasgow (a great cheap way to see Europe is to stay in University dorms during the summer. Not as fancy as a hotel but a step up from a hostel)
Our first stop would be the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, but more specifically a hike up to the top of Ben Lomond. I had envisioned a leisurely stroll up a gentle graduating path, but then I was informed that “ben” means mountain in Scottish. So up we climbed over 3100 feet on a narrow, rocky, coo shite strewn path that gave us a spectacular view of the loch. That is until we started to climb into the clouds when things turned decidedly wet, windy, and steep. At this point we couldn’t see much more then 20 or 30 feet in front of us which made it a guessing game as to how far we needed to climb in order to get to the top.
At one point Julian, who was getting more then a bit disenchanted with the rigor of the adventure, decided to speed up ahead of us. After about 40 minutes the young master appeared out of the fog claiming to have made it to the top. He tried to get us to turn back by telling us that the top was “nothing special”. I demanded to know what the plaque at the peak said. Julian claimed not to have seen any plaque or monument. At this point we were all more then a bit suspicious that the young master had, in fact, reached the top. Not buying his tale and preferring to reach the peak ourselves, we pressed on.
We reached a small bald and figured that we had reached the top but there was no monument. At this point visibility was down to about 15 feet. I was sure there was a monument for the trite and predictable victory photo. After a bit of nosing around the top of the mountain we finally found what we were looking for, a small concrete obelisk about 5 feet tall. We ran into some chaps from London who took the celebratory photo minus Julian who bailed on us a while back.
That night we stayed in a cute B&B which fortified us for the next day’s adventure which was a ferry ride to the Isle of Mull.
Pictures below the fold!
Are we ready to leave Glasgow?
The spacious suite at the Queen Margaret Residence at the U of G.
The start of the ascent to the top of Ben Lomond!
The trail disappeared into the clouds
The bonnie, bonnie banks of … well you know the song…
The trite and predictable victory photo!
Our cute little B&B
Julian does a commercial for Irn Bru, Scotland’s most popular soft drink. A combination of orange, cotton candy and quinine. Yum.
The whole gang … Julian has become an Irn Bru-aholic.