scenery

Scotland Mop-up Post

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As always at the end of a trip, there’s a few things I saw in Scotland that don’t fit neatly into any of my other posts.  Usually, I’d just throw the excess pictures up on Facebook or Google and be done with it, but the scenery in Scotland was pretty amazing, and my boyfriend has taken some nice photos, so just consider this a mop-up/photography post.  The photo above, and the ones below are from our drive between Inverness and Loch Lomond, maybe around Glencoe?  The weather was extremely terrible that day, so we didn’t much fancy walking around, but we did get out of the car and freeze our asses off long enough to snap a few pictures.

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Speaking of Inverness, although I wasn’t too impressed with some of the inhabitants of the city (I was scared to leave the hotel because there was a gang of thuggish youths congregated out the front), there is a lovely used bookshop called Leakey’s that I only had time to briefly visit because we arrived late in the afternoon and they were closed the next day.  The travel section was particularly enticing, but I didn’t have enough time to make a decision, so I left empty-handed (am I the only one who gets stressed out in bookshops if I don’t have a good hour or two to browse?).  There was also a rather attractive churchyard that we cut through on our way back to the hotel, as immortalised in photographic form below.  I spent the rest of the evening back in my hotel room eating an Indian takeaway (they did a much better dosa than my local Indian), so I can’t comment too much more on Inverness.

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We spent a night at Loch Lomond, in what was by far the swankiest hotel of the trip (which isn’t saying much, since we stayed in some run-down, smelly places, but this was actually a pretty nice hotel, bar the shower and sink being located at the back of the bedroom, out in the open, and the overwhelming smell of feet from the sauna), and strolled down to the village of Luss in a futile attempt to find a shop open past 5 o’clock on a Sunday.  Quaint little village, despite the proliferation of “Yes” banners, and the loch wasn’t half bad either.

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Finally, on the drive back to Edinburgh, we stopped in Falkirk to see the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel (I wanted to see the William Wallace monument in Stirling, but thanks to our train arriving late the first day, we never had time).  Kelpies are some kind of mythological Scottish horse-beast, and someone made giant horse head sculptures rising out of a pool to commemorate this; there was a sign outside a hut saying there was an admission charge, but I’m not sure what it was for, as anyone can walk over and see them for free.  Maybe to go inside?

The Falkirk Wheel is some kind of crazy rotating boat lift, and acts as a link between two canals.  They have a small visitor’s centre, but it was literally one of the most crowded places I’ve been in my life, so I only had a quick look around.  They seem to do a roaring trade in boat tours, but we just grabbed a few pics of the Wheel and headed off.  That’s it for the Scottish trip; although the weather wasn’t great, I think we still managed to have a pretty decent time.  I’d go back!

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