Loch Lomond and Beyond

 

Woke up to a thick drizzle and grey skies that looked set in for the day.  Ah well…. we strengthened ourselves with a hearty breakfast in the Waverley restaurant.  Came with just about everything including haggis and Scottish potato pancakes.  More than enough to face the day with….

We headed off towards Loch Lomond.  There are a lot of ferry/boat trips on the Loch and had it cleared we would have taken at least one of them.  It didn’t.  No matter, we drove almost the entire perimeter of the Loch.  You can’t drive the North East quarter.  It’s massive and pretty unspoiled, surrounded by green woodland and very little building or settlements of any size.

There were a lot of campsites and walkers.  Poor dispirited souls trekking along the paths in soaking wet gear.  Some of them were dressed for it in waterproofs but a surprising number were clad only in trousers and t shirts, laden with massive backpacks.  They looked particularly depressed.  As well they might….  I couldn’t help be glad we were in our cosy inn rather than in a tent (OMG) or even a caravan.  Just not the weather for it.  Is there ever the weather for it, I ask?  Isn’t it always too hot or more often, too cold and damp, the rain hammering down on the metal roof.  Or maybe its just that I wasn’t brought up to appreciate the joys of camping in any form.  Anyway, they all looked utterly miserable…. poor unfortunate souls…..

Loch Lomond itself is huge and on a better day must be stunning and a great place to take one of the many boat trips.  Just lovely.

We wended our way back towards Callander and called in at the McQueen Gin Distillery.  Quite a low key place for prize winning gins.  Interesting.  Stopped off and interacted with some highland cows.  Magnificent beasts.  Some weird cows up here.  Not like the commonly seen Jersey or Fresian cows of the south.  Some of these ones are black with a big wide white band across the middle of them.  Must look up what they are.  They look more like big pigs.

Came back to Callander and walked around the Main Street shops.  Had a bit of a rest and then decided to eat early in the Mhor Fish restaurant which is across the road from our hotel.  Listed by Michelin.  We had a bit of a job getting in because we arrived just after a troop of scouts, who must be camping locally.  The scout master looked like he ate there far too regularly.  They could all have slept in his shirt let’s put it that way.

Anyway, we shared a bowl of salt and pepper squid with garlic mayo to start.  Very nice although not a patch on Cypriot calamari.  Well… perhaps a bit unfair.  Then I had a piece of cod and I stole a few of Bob’s chips and a spoonful of mushy peas.  Bob had the full works including chips, bread and butter and tea.  The fish was fantastic and so was the batter.  The peas were great.  The chips were disappointing as there were all sorts of signs around advertising that they were cooked twice in Beef Lard.  But they were not the apex… maybe been hanging around???

Came back to the Waverley and explored their gin menu.  Bob had a ginger, rhubarb mix with Fever Tree , ginger and lemon.  Definitely nutmegy.  I had a citrus gin with botanicals, lemon and regular Fever Tree.  Just delicious both of them.  The bar was buzzing.  Lots of people.  Quite a few in kilts (men).  All very friendly.  It was a very nice atmosphere.  Tomorrow is a similar forecast.  We’re going in search of some Roman forts…..

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