Day 2: After a delicious breakfast made by Mac and Ania (our wonderful hosts in Callander), we headed for Balquhidder (not even gonna try to explain the pronunciation on that) to see Rob Roy MacGregor's grave site. We're pretty sure I have some descent from the MacGregor clan, although no one has managed to do enough research to say so definitively. Anyway, it was still awesome to see a very historical spot.
We also walked around inside the church and chatted with a couple of guys who were passing through. Scottish folks are seriously the most friendly people ever! (I'm sure I'll be saying this over and over throughout these recaps.) It was extremely rare to come across any Scottish people who weren't eager to help us find our way, get more information or recommendations for things to see, or just chat about life for a bit!
Anyway, after we explored the churchyard, we went for a little hike up in the nearby hills of the Trossachs National Park so we could get a better view of the area.
|Three of my favorite travel companions.|
One of the friendly locals showed us where to go for the best view: Creag an Tuirc, a large stone piece which once served as the "ancient rallying place" for Clan Labhran (aka MacLaren).
We made it here and then looked out over the village and basically were awestruck with the view:
|Ben & Pauli in front of stunning Loch Voil|
Right?! So insanely gorgeous. After we took in the view (and captured tons of photographic evidence), we made our way back down the hill and then decided to drive along the loch so we could see more of it up close.
Along the way, we saw this little guy! Cutest little highland calf EVER.
I tried to get out of the car so I could take more pictures, but when I opened my door he got spooked and ran off to where his momma was grazing. (And thus began my ever-increasing obsession with highland cattle. Seriously, just wait till future posts.)
|Loch Voil up close|
I forget if we took a nap at the B&B after the morning hike/drive, but I'm sure I got a few winks in during the drive. Joe will attest to the fact that I only managed to stay awake for the first 10 minutes of most of our longer drives in Scotland, despite my fervent attempts to not miss any of the sights! Jet lag hit me harder than I was prepared for, I guess!
Anyway, we had dinner at the Lade Inn again because it was Just That Good. This time I had pork and leek sausages over mashed potatoes ("tatties") with a sweet onion gravy. Check out our spread:
Joe had the fish and chips (which he made it a point to try at most places we went so he could determine where in Scotland had the BEST fish and chips); Pauli had soup -- I think it was lentil, maybe? -- and Ben and some kind of fish with the head still attached. I tried not to look at it too closely...yeesh. But he liked it, and that's all that matters!
Day 3: We packed up and said goodbye to Mac and Ania and to a very rainy Callander, then hopped onto a ferry that would take us to the Isle of Mull.
|That's our ferry, and the cars you see in the foreground are all|
lined up to get on the ferry along with all their passengers!
|The ferry ride was super foggy and mysterious-looking.|
We arrived in Tobermory and checked in at our next B&B, Copeland House. And check out the view from our room!
We set out for another hike (ambitious, right?) and were met with more gorgeous views.
|View of the harbor in Tobermory from along our little hike.|
I looooove the colorful buildings!
|The waterfall looks muddy and murky, but the brown color|
is actually peat, which plays a big role in the making Scottish
single malt whiskey.
|Little old dock/pier I spied through the trees.|
|Peekaboo! (PS: I hope you are noticing how the sky changes|
in almost every photo. This hike was only like an hour long!)
That night, we had dinner at the Western Isles Hotel, which is situated up on a hill with an awesome view of the Tobermory Bay and harbor. The food was decent, but the view was really what made this place worth seeing. And I somehow failed to get a picture of said view. But trust me, it was pretty!
To be continued...