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“Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

June 17, 2018

Today was our last full day of sightseeing (and drinking) in Scotland, and it rained and then it poured, but none the less we toured.

“There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter.”

~ Billy Connolly

Our first stop was just a short ride and called Castle Stalker.  It is a is a four-story tower set on a tidal islet of Loch Laich.  It was in the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.  Castle Stalker appears in the final scene as “The Castle of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh”.

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Next we had a “ninja stop” on a roadside to see some sheep.  It kept raining so “baaaaad.”

We were soon off to the town of Oban for some chocolate shopping and a Scotch tasting at the Oban Distillery.  Neither place failed to meet our high standards.

“Whisky experience, is about gathering memories from each whisky, not just collecting sealed bottles.”

~ Single Malt Lodge

Fueled by both chocolate and Scotch we journeyed on in the now torrential rain.  The clutch was challenged in our car as we drove to McCaigs Tower. McCaig’s intention was to provide a lasting monument to his family, and provide work for the local stone masons during the winter months.  I am sure with the sun shining it is lovely and the views are amazing but in the downpour it was not the best sight to be seen.

Another quick rainy stop was made at the Falls of Lora.  It is a tidal race in the mouth of Loch Etive which forms when a particularity high tide runs out from the loch causing rapids.  

We visited St Conan’s Kirk which is located high above the water and surrounded by trees.  It is renowned for the fragment of bone that is rumored to have come from Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland.

 

 

 It was time to be fed again and we had a quick stop at the Ben Cruachan Inn for some hearty food and drink before we were off again as the sun made a quick appearance.
We visited the ruins of Kichurn Castle from across the marsh.  It is a ruined structure on a rocky peninsula. It was a base for the Campbell’s of Scotland and is now open to the public.  I was not going to risk the mosquitoes for a close up view and we still had places to go!
The mountains in Scotland are said to weep after a rain.  Rivers of water flow down after the storm.

“One year I recall it started raining at the end of July and there wasn’t a single period of 24 hours that it didn’t rain for 104 days. I was able to tell when the summer ended and winter began though, because the rain got a lot colder.” 

~The Misery Of Scotland by John Macpherson

The sun briefly came out for our final photo stop in Loch Lomand before we arrived in Glasgow and parted ways with our delightful guide Robert.

 

There is a song  written by a MacGregor of Glen Endrick, who was jailed, along with a friend, in Carlisle England in 1746. The author had been condemned to death for his support of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 1745 uprising, while his friend was going to be set free. The song tells of the old Celtic myth that the soul of a Scot who dies outside his homeland will find it’s way back home by the spiritual road, or the low road.

“Ye’ll tak’ the high road and I’ll tak the low road 
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye 
But me and my true love will never meet again 
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond.”

~The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomand Song by Frank Ticheli

 

 

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