Glasgow Part 2 and the Highlands of Scotland Part 1

I love Glasgow. I spent 2 nights on the first part of my trip there and another 3 in the same place. (1883 Guesthouse)

Glasgow is very much a real city. Especially if one ventures out from the city center, people work, take the bus, go to the pub, etc. Even in the city center, it doesn’t have the touristy vibe that other cities have.

Basically this is how my transportation works between major cities: if can be done with a single train (or bus) from the city where I am staying, I do it.  For example: to get to Stirling from Glasgow, I take the inner city train to the central station, then walk to Queen St Station (5 minute walk) where I catch a direct train to Stirling. Otherwise I could take a 20 minute walk directly to Queen’s St Station and catch the train.

If I have to transfer multiple times than I just tend to take a tour.  Though they often have a bad rap with some, as a solo traveler on a long holiday–it’s a chance to meet people generally with similar interests and I normally find someone to eat dinner with or have a cup of coffee. Minimally, I can talk to the tour guide.

So ok, as I was saying I hopped on a train and took a solo trip to Stirling. I went to Stirling Castle. Though there is a shuttle bus, I hiked up to the castle, (a little under a mile from the train station.) The inside has been restored and it’s audio guide which surrounds Mary Queen of Scots and her son, James the VI is very interesting.

Then I took a bus across town and climbed to the top of the Wallace Monument. And no I didn’t take the shuttle bus from the bottom of the hill to the monument, I hiked up. They said give yourself 15 to 20 minutes, I did it in about ten. It is steep, but short. The grounds around the monument are very lovely and even the longest circuit can be done in an hour.

One reasons I love doing things solo is I get time to investigate the grounds And both the garden of Stirling Castle and the land surrounding the Wallace Monument were worth exploration.

The next day I did go on a tour. We went to Glencoe, Loch Lomond and Oban and a few castles. Most of the castle stops are just photographing stops which are in my opinion generally not worth stopping. (Three times now tour guides have said, oh that castle is nothing but ruins and mud. Well every time I have gone into a ruined castle–I always find it worthwhile.  Just a difference in interests.) However the scenic stops which were actually part of the tour and we had time to wander around were excellent.

This is Glencoe

 Here is another picture this time of me in the highlands of Scotland.

 

And as you can see, I did see a whole pod of loch monsters. Not in Loch Ness (more on Loch Ness in my next post) but in Loch Lomond. Now I realize to the uneducated eye they seem to be mallard ducks–but  just trust me, they are Loch Monsters.

 

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