Yesterday on our way south to Glasgow we (unexpectedly) found ourselves driving along the west side of Loch Lomond and I can understand why it’s so well known. A pristine body of water, with trees all around it, some kinda magic going on fer shure. We stopped at a lochside hotel and had one of the best renditions of fish and chips ever plus a bottle of Loch Lomond Silkie Stout. Fortified by the stout, I jumped in the water — about 8 strokes and out. Cold! maybe 48 degrees F. But I follow an MO of getting immersed in its waters wherever I am to connect with the land. It always works! Then on into Glasgow, following the Garmin GPR to a Travelodge hotel in Glasgow central.
Last night we had a fabulous Italian dinner with Lesley’s cousin and husband at Fratelli Sarti on Bath Street, preceded by a couple of shots of Laphroid single malt whisky (Colin and me, that is) at the Butterfly and Pig bar, fine establishment.
I started out with leftside driving pretty shakily, it took several days for my brain to make the switch. And the roundabouts! Jesus, stress-city. Finally, I’m getting into it. Give way to cars on the right. My navigator informs me that leftside driving originated with duels on horseback, where lances were held with the right hand.
I don’t know how I missed Scotland over all these years of European exploration (starting with a 3-month Lambretta motorscooter/youth hostel trip in 1957-58). I’m overwhelmed by both the beauty of this land and the good-naturedness of the Scots. I think it’s possible that people who live in beautiful surroundings are happy and friendly. Hundreds of encounters, totally good vibes. If people see you looking around in the cities, they ask if they can help. And I’m gonna miss the brogue a wee bit when I get home.
Animal shelter and pen in recreated 1700s township at the Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore, Scotland