Today the landscape changed for me. I left from George square in Glasgow at 8. My guide’s name was George. He was funny and entertaining all day. He had a song to go with every battle and every situation he talked about. He even played some Proclaimers, a Scottish group, known for the song “I’m gonna be (500 miles)” popular in the U.S. in the 90s. We climbed through the Monroe mountains first, stopping at Loch Lomon, named for the nearest peak, Ben Lomond (ben means mountain). This is really beautiful lake just north of Glasgow. Then we headed up to Glencoe, where the English, led by a Scottish Campbell, killed 300 villagers when there clan chief was two days late to sign a treaty. The English killed the men, women, and children while they were sleeping in their beds; most came from the clan MacDonald. The mountains in this area are also known for a less gruesome thing; they were used as the backdrop for many of the Harry Potter movies, including the location of Hagrid’s house in The Prisoner of Azkaban. After Glencoe we stopped in Ft. Williams which has a commandos memorial from after WWI. It has since been dedicated to all Scottish soldiers who have lost their lives in conflict, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Then we went monster hunting on Loch Ness. The loch is 22 miles long, 1/2 mile wide and at its deepest, 800 feet. We took a one hour cruise. And while I didn’t see Nessie, I did even the gorgeous views. All along the way we learned about clan struggles, the Scottish skirmishes against the English for independence, and even the faeries. I think I am going to have to watch Rob Roy some time. I will be out of internet range for the next few days, while I make an excursion to the Isle of Skye in the north. Then that will be my last post when I get back, because then I will be headed home.
canoeing on Loch Ness