The Bonnie Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond, The Kelpies and Stirling Castle

WOW! Scotland is one of the most beautiful places I have been! Another busy day, this time on a day tour to Loch Lomond, The Kelpies and Stirling Castle. Even though it was a bus tour, I still walked over 10 miles today.  The day started off sunny but as the day wore on, it became more cloudy and developed some light rain....no big deal, you have to be ready for anything in Scotland!  

I met my tour at the Rabbie’s Cafe on Waterloo Place. There were many tours starting so you had to pay attention! Our kilted driver and guide, Charles greeted us with a smile and quickly showed his wit and humor! 

 

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Plotting our route with military precision.

 

We set out from central Edinburgh and were soon on our way to view the famous Firth of Forth Bridge.

 

 

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The Firth of Forth Bridge

 

That was a quick photo stop and we were soon on our way to Falkirk to see the Kelpies, large scale metal sculptures of horse heads. The horses represent the work horses used for heavy labor before the construction of a nearby canal.  The are impressive!

 

 

 The Kelpies

The Kelpies

After the half hour visit, we then set off for Loch Lomond National Park.  The landscape quickly changes from flat and pastoral to hilly, rocky and wooded.  Loch Lomond lies at the southern end of the Highlands, and the mountains rise up along the Loch (lake).  We stopped so that we could see the lakeshore views.  I did the optional shoreline trail(30minutes) back to our meeting point.  Stunning views of Loch Lomond and the forest made for a great walk, glad I did it.

 

 Loch Lomond       

Loch Lomond 

 

 

Great wildflowers in the woods

We then continued to Aberfoyle for a one hour lunch stop. I chose to eat at a Fish & Chip shop  (Chippie). The fish was delicious!

 Yum! Yes there is salt and vinegar on them chips!

Yum! Yes there is salt and vinegar on them chips!

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 After lunch, the driver took up the “Duke’s Pass” to get a great view of The Highlands!

The journey continued and we left the Highlands to make our way to Stirling.  Stirling was a strategic spot, as this was the first place along the Forth river where armies could cross. Stirling Castle sits high up on a volcanic ridge rising up dramatically from the surrounding landscape.  The city of Stirling spills down from the Castle, very impressive. Stirling Castle was a main Palace for the Kings and Queens of Scotland for several centuries.  It is always fun to explore the nooks and crannies in old castles.  You also get great views of the area, including the Wallace Monument, overlooking the Battle of Stirling Bridge(watch Bravehart)

 

 Stirling Castle 

Stirling Castle 

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The view from the top

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The Inner Courtyard 

 

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The Wallace Monument 

Our driver and guide got us back to Edinburgh safely and on time! It was a great day with other Americans plus three ladies from Wales! Now onto new adventures: tomorrow I conquer Edinburgh Castle and explore more of Edinburgh! 

 

 Roaming Rich at The Kelpies  

Roaming Rich at The Kelpies  

Richard Fletcher