Edinburgh - Fort William
Scotland Travel Blog› entry 3 of 6 › view all entries
Got up and had a lovely full Scottish breakfast, Dave had some haggis with his which tasted just like a mince patty with oats in it. Checked out and caught a cab to Avis car hire. Collected our Vauxhall Zafira and our Tom-tom (Satellite Navigation system) and started on our way to Stirling.
The Tom-tom was the best idea ever, I didn’t have to look at any maps and we got everywhere quicker.
Edinburgh to Stirling was very flat fields and we could see hill in the distance.
Arrived in Stirling which was a lot bigger than I had thought and was a very pretty town. Found our way up the hill to the castle where, like Edinburgh, we had a great view of the town and across the valley to the Wallace monument.
We used our Explorer passes to get in and went to watch a guy dressed as a knight playing with some children in the bowling green gardens. Dave had a chat to a guy who had armour on display and got some photos wearing a helmet.
Joined a tour group led by a rather posh Englishman and went around the outside of the castle where he explained about the architecture and some history before going into the great hall and the Chapel
Royal. Dave and I left the group and had a look around the kitchens which had recreations of how they would have looked and been used many years ago on display.
From there we went through town to the Wallace monument which is up on a large mound on the opposite side of town to the castle. Parked the car by the tourist shop and a huge stone sculpture of William Wallace.
Entering the monument the gift shop is on the bottom floor and the entrance to the stairwell. On the first floor a tribute to William’s life and a display about the battle of Stirling bridge as well as his broadsword. The second floor contained a hall of heroes with Robert the Bruce and Robbie Burns. And the third floor was a display about building the monument.
Another stairwell lead us to the very top and a 360 degree view of Stirling and it’s surrounding area.
It was quite weird to think of all the battles and important historical happenings that went on in the area we were looking down on, although now they were covered in a modern town.
On the road again we headed toward Balloch at the foot of Loch Lomond.
Headed up the West side of Loch Lomond. The road was mostly tree lined but we got glimpses of the huge lake every now and then. Stopped for some photos at a picnic stop where we could see up both ends of the loch.
Headed North through small dainty towns and started getting into more mountainous country. Stopped at a waterfall by the side of the road for more photos.
It was just after this stop we got to a sign which said ‘welcome to the highlands’. Had to get a photo of this sign which was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by huge baron valleys and plains dotted with small ponds.
Further on the landscape reminded me of Fiordland, just before you get to Homer Tunnel, looking to the road before you, and all the mountains, you wonder where the road actually goes. This was one of the most spectacular parts of our trip. Passed Glencoe and were soon on the lakeside drive into Fort William.
Fort William was a lot bigger than we expected and reminded me a lot of Queenstown, Dave even said on the drive in, that it reminded him of coming into Queenstown from Frankton! The town is very alpine and has that feel of adventure and outdoors, just like Queenstown.
.Found out hotel, The Nevis Bank hotel almost straight away and checked in. Just had a standard room with bathroom and views of the town. Showered and got changed and headed down to the restaurant for dinner. Had a lovely bottle of Riesling, mushroom risotto and garlic bread before heading out to the bar and settling down to watch the France V England semi final.
Had a few beers and celebrated the win with a few games of pool and a bash of the jukebox.