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From Stirling to Beauly

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 29 May 2007

Tuesday 29 May, from Stirling to Beauly

Statue David StirlingIt is chilly and very windy when we leave the hotel and start touring between Stirling and Callander. The landscape here is hilly and slightly sloping and is probably pretty nice with nice weather. When we come to the statue of David Stirling, the founder of the SAS (Special Air Service, started as desert commandos in the 2nd World War) we walk there for a photograph and then quickly back to the warm car.
Doune Castle, at Deanston House at InvertrossachsA little later we see our next castle. There are so many castles in Scotland that you can not escape them. We have seen lots of them now, but continue to find it fascinating to see a castle and to read about its history. Doune castle stands on a spot where the Romans already had a settlement, so far north of the wall of Hadrian.
We are now in the Trossachs, a beautiful area with lots of lakes and known from, among others, Rob Roy, the Scottish Robin Hood who was in fact a common cattle thief. Besides the beautiful nature we also see a number of nice houses. We are only just one day in Scotland and we are feeling jealous already!
Loch VenacharFrom Callander we drive the dead end road ('returning roads' we call the deadends nowadays, that sounds a bit more positive) along Loch Venachar and back again. As in most other lakes, fishers are also active here and there is a sailing club. Despite the chilly weather, there are also plenty of people on the road today to go fishing because we often have to stop for oncoming traffic on this short stretch.
HighlanderTeije always says that he would like to cycle through Scotland, but how should that be with all those cows, I ask! As a child he was once chased by a cow (around the haystack!) And since then he has a light cow phobia. Is such a Scottish Highlander a gentle sweet beast or is it a wild maniac when he sees Teije passing by? Fortunately for him, this is behind a fence, but often that is not the case.
Callander Castle gate at DeanstonFrom Callander we drive back to Stirling (on a road that we have never driven before, more about that later) and at Deanston along the B8032 we encounter this nice gatehouse. We do not find a castle, but perhaps this belongs to Doune castle, the lands at such a castle are often very extensive. And to be honest, I often find this kind of castle houses much more fun than the castles themselves: this can be easily maintained and cleaned, a big castle not!
House at Kinbuck Cromlix HouseOur jealousy is now growing; we see more and more typical Scottish houses that we both love. First this house (left) at Kinbuck in the neighborhood and a few minutes later Cromlix House. And again this is just the 'reception house'. If they ever try to find managers, we will make ourselves available ...
Near Langside, B827 Glen ArtneyGradually we now go to the north and after Langside we take the umpteenth returning route through Glen Artney. But often it is that kind of roads where you encounter unexpected things. No castles this time, but a nice waterfall and an Arcadian landscape. There are no shepherds and shepherdesses around, but they could be there! Although ... at the very end of the glen is a car at the last house and behind it lie a man and woman making love. So it is Arcadia!
Glen ArtneyMany Scottish landscapes simply invite you to step out of the car, look around and sit quietly. But today it is very fresh, so no break at this idyllic spot, we are not as weatherproof as the Scots we meet at the end of the glen. We enjoy the scenery from the car and get out now and then to take a picture.
The Famous Grouse distilleryWhile we're driving around like this, we arrive unexpectedly at the distillery of one of the best-known brands of Scotch whiskey: The Famous Grouse, near Grieff. After all those holidays in Scotland we still have to visit a whiskey distillery from the inside, but it is not on our list of priorities even though Teije enjoys a glass of whiskey from time to time. In Edinburgh we once saw a whiskymuseum and that was enough at first. We do have a list of distilleries that we would like to see, but this is not one of them. They claim on their website that they are the most visited distillery in Scotland.
River at CrieffNorth of Crieff we enter Glen Turret, again a returning road. Like so many glens, it is a valley through which a single-lane road runs along a river that ends at a lake, loch Turret. It is a little less cold so we are looking for a nice spot along the river for a picnic.
Gate lodge between Crieff and MonzieWhen we return to the road between Crieff and Monzie we see a gatehouse and large signs with 'strictly private road'. In such a case, we know for sure that there is another rich owner (jealous, jealous ...). Don't they need someone to watch the gate and just offer us the gate lodge? From a higher road we later see a piece of the top of the castle and we find it much less interesting than this gatehouse.
The castle seems to be open to visitors from time to time, but not now.
Near Glen Almond we drive further north and because it starts to drizzle and then really rain, we now drive without delay to our friends Iain and Cathy in Beauly where we arrive afternoon. But when we arrive at 5 o'clock the door of their hotel is still closed. But apparently they are waiting for us because after we have knocked at the door, they quickly come running out and we are welcomed with big hugs. Nice to be back here again. If you have read our previous travel reports from Scotland, you know what we mean. This is a bit like our home in Scotland.
Soon we decide to stay here tonight, fortunately 'our own' room is available and Iain and Cathy like it when we decide to stay a few more nights. We have not yet arranged anything for this trip and Teije has to do some work for Iain (websites / computer repairs etc), so we are fine. And of course we have a lot to talk about so it is quote late before we finally go to bed, tired and satisfied.


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