Glasgow City Chambers
Took another daytrip out of Edinburgh
to Loch Lomond and the Stirling Castle. The tour took us through Glasgow
, driving round the city, passing the Glasgow University (and other sites which I now forget) before stopping at the St. George Square for a 20 minute photo op. Pretty typical town square, and from what I saw, the operators could've arranged for a better site for the stop. After a few snaps here and there, we were summoned back on the bus where we would resume our journey, crossing the River Clyde and proceeding to the village of Balloch
for the Loch Lomond cruise.
Loch Lomond is the largest expanse of fresh water in the UK, covering 44sq km, 37km long, 8km wide and is Scotland's 3rd deepest loch with a depth in excess of 200meters.
Maid of the Loch
It has been in use as a reservoir since the 70s. Known as the Gateway to the Highlands,
it is Scotland's first National Park and dubbed as the Queen of Scottish Lochs
. Oohwaah. The first point of interest is Cameron House on the left - built in the 18th century, it has been converted into a 5-star hotel, playing host to many a celebrity -- Pavarotti, Sean Connery, Cher, etc. etc. etc. Next is the Auchenhaglish House, built in 1890 as the Lomond Castle Hotel. Destroyed by fire in 1990, it was restored in 2001 as the Loch Side Apartments. The next semi interesting site is the Ben Lomond - standing 1,000meters is the highest landfall from this point all the way down south to a place called Lands End (or so the leaflet says, har har).
There were other lovely estates in between, a lot of which I failed to capture or capture properly as
The Loch Lomond cruise starts here
as usual, the sky started to piss so we decided to protect ourselves from the cold and rain on the lower deck inside. Took a lunch stop at the quaint town of Aberfoyle
on the outskirts of the Trossachs National Park where we later drove through its glens towards the Stirling Castle.
The Stirling Castle is perched on a high rocky crag and has played major roles in Scottish history since the 11th century. It has served as a strategic military fort during its struggle for independence in the 13th century with William Wallace defeating the English and in the 14th with Robert the Bruce's victory. It was also here where Mary Queen of Scots spent her childhood and was later crowned in 1543.
Unfortunately, the castle was undergoing archaeological and historical research investigating how it would've have originally looked and functioned. In short, the interiors had been emptied out so nothing too exciting so see inside. Great time for a visit, really. Ah, but it was still enjoyable, as we wandered about the massive estate and almost missed the bus. Good thing I checked our ticket for its time of purchase and realized we had exactly 5 minutes to run and get the hell out of there. Thankfully and uncharaceteristically, the bus was late (it picked up a bunch of tourists whose bus had broken down near the castle) which gave us time for a pee break and catch our breaths before heading back to Edinburgh.