Yesterday we left Edinburgh early. We checked out the hotel and caught a taxi to the car rental outfit in New Town. They at least gave us something with leg room. This is my first time driving on the opposite side of the road. It didn’t take too long to get used to it, I just had to watch the habits of driving at home.
Our first stop was Linlithgow Palace. Really, not much left of this place, but was quite interesting. It was one of the monarchs residence during the 15th & 16th centuries. One thing to note there, be prepared to climb a lot of stairs. As we have a lot of ground to cover, we didn’t stay here too long.
‘The Kelpies’ is a small stop we made on the way to Stirling Castle. The 2 massive 30-meter high steel/stainless steel sculptures are one heck of a thing to see. We’ve seen pictures, but it’s not the same as seeing them in real life. They are to represent the horse-powered heritage of Scotland.
Stirling Castle was way more than we anticipated. One of the largest Scottish castles, and with the town of Stirling on the hill with it, they together bring you into the time of kings & queens. Along with many other monarchs, Mary Queen of Scots was also crowned here, who is part of Pamela lineage. Again, feeling a little rushed, we made our way though the Castle and a bit of the town before hitting the road.
Campbeltown bound, the plan was to go a little north, over Glasgow, and then down to the Kintyre area. Instead, the GPS brought us right through Glasgow before heading north and around the inlets down to our days’ destination. The narrow, windy, Scottish roads are fantastic. There are several places to stop at on the way back. We arrived in Campbeltown around 8pm. The hotel, more like a B&B, is fantastic and was still serving dinner so we checked in and went downstairs, ordered a bottle of wine and had dinner. The food here is tops. We went back to our room for a good sleep after a very busy day.
Today we got up refreshed and ready to go again. A full Scottish breakfast (less the black pudding) & coffee, and we were on our way. The first place to go was the local cemetery to see if we can find some Stewarts. Unfortunately, the oldest part of the graveyard is only open when the caretaker is around for safety reasons as they don’t want any of the headstones falling on people. We looked around a bit and found a few before I figured ‘We came here from Canada’, so I jumped the wall as Pamela kept guard. SHHHHH….only for a bit though as there are too many to see so back over I went. A bit more looking and we just as we were going to leave, the caretaker showed up. We asked if we could take a look and he was like, “Not a problem, here is where the key is hidden.” (Or something, I honestly couldn’t understand most of what he said). We spent a while browsing the ones you could see, reach, and/or read before locking up and heading back to town.
We had a shared lunch at The Black Sheep Pub before going separate ways for a while. Pamela tried to go to the museum and heritage centre but both were closed. Most everything seems to be Monday to Friday here. Too bad. Other than that, I have no clue what she did as I was doing some distillery tours. Campbeltown used to be the heart of distilleries in Scotland. The Springbank Distillery is the only in left in Scotland that still make Scotch the old way. I met up with two Dutch guys there on a Scotch tour. At the end of the tour Pamela met me back at the store where the sampling took place. She walked in on all these tall guys and had a laugh. See guess they were Dutch right off the bat. I picked up a few bottles for home before leaving. By this time it was close to 5pm.
We drove around a while taking in some scenes and taking picture. Ya…there are a lot of sheep here. After getting back to the hotel, we just relaxed for an hour before heading down to another fantastic dinner. Fish & venison on the menu for us tonight. We met a group of 6 men from Norway who travel around for different beers and scotches. They are a part of a whiskey club. We also happened to see them in the pub earlier in the day too.
On a side note…..this was our first day of rain.
Our short stay here is over. We leave in the morning for more site seeing and our stay in Glasgow. Iron Maiden is calling and I have some more friends to meet up with there.