Normally I plan my trips around Scotland very carefully. Because since I am out there on my own, and no expert in hill walking or anything, I want to know what to expect.
This weekend, all I had planned was staying the night in Inveraray. Everything else was spontaneous. And it was a great weekend! And I needed it…
As much as like hanging out with friends, doing trips with friends, I need time for myself now and then. Like proper alone time. I don’t want to talk to anyone and just go and do what I want. I don’t mean to be antisocial but in my job I have to interact with people every day, I have to talk to all kinds of people every day – and it is tiring for me.It does not come naturally to me. When I was a kid I was the shiest person ever. I got bad marks in school for not interacting enough because I was too shy to put my hand up to say the answer to a question even though I knew the answer. God knows how I ended up in recruitment :D. But for some reason it turned out I am doing pretty well in this job. I have been told many times now that I have a nice voice over the phone – so that probably helps too ;). But I can honestly say it is not my dream job (sorry to any managers reading this ;)). What drives me in this job is not talking to all those people I have never met but when I can help someone through their interview process successfully and get them the job they want. When they come back to me and say thank you or when I see them being really successful in their new role. Especially in my last job that was the most rewarding for me. I have a few people I placed at my former employer who went through the roof with their career and I am so proud of them.
But yes… I am not someone who easily approaches foreign people and gets talking to them. I read of a lot of travellers who stay in hostels and make instant friends. I would not be like that. Someone would need to approach me or nothing would happen :D.
However, back to my weekend trip to Inveraray and beyond.
I left Edinburgh at 6am in the morning. I love that the sun rises later then so I would not need to get up at 4 to see a sunrise ;). I headed down the M8 towards Glasgow with the sun rising behind me. It was amazing! Passing Glasgow in the rising sun looked unreal. I wish I could have stopped to take a picture and enjoy the views a bit more but I wanted to be at Loch Lomond before the sun was up too high already.
Leaving Glasgow Airport behind me the light was stunning and there was mist on the fields next to the roads. I love that – and this is why I cannot wait for autumn. I love this mystic atmosphere with mist and pale sunshine.
My first destination was Luss to sit down at the Loch and have breakfast. The car park was basically empty and I was rewarded with the most beautiful view across the water with a golden sun just above the water. One diving duck with a panicking fish in its beak looked like Nessie was up and swimming in the Loch. The water was super calm and it was just peaceful. But when I quickly went to the Lady’s room, one of the big coaches arrived at the car park spitting out a crowd of people… I decided I look for another place to have my breakfast…
I found one further up the A82. There was only one person camping in a tent. But he/she was still either still asleep or out. But at least I had some calm and peace while eating my sandwich overlooking Loch Lomond in the golden morning sun.
I then drove further on with a very quick stop at Arrochar for a picture of the Loch and then up to the Rest and be Thankful Memorial car park. I walked down the road for a bit which leads through the Glen but did not go too far. The view was awesome tho. I love that place for a stop.
After getting back to the car I actually planned to go to Inveraray and spend some time there but instead I headed up to Kilchurn. Never seen the place on such a braw day. Clear blue skies and temperature at 20 degrees. I first went to the castle itself because there were too many cars parking at the lay-by from where you can see the castle from the opposite site of Loch Awe.
When I arrived I was surprised it was not super busy. When I went into the castle I even had it to myself for almost the whole time. I especially love the surroundings with the high hills and the view across the Loch. It is just a very special place. I cannot wait to visit the place when there is snow on the hills.
On my way back to stop at the lay-by for a view on the Castle then I could not believe my eyes. Just when I turned onto the A819, there was a car stopping in the middle of the road on the opposite side and a woman was out with her camera to take pictures of coos in the field. A lorry was coming up with full speed behind them and all I heard was his beeping horn. I guess he was able to stop in time but this was just so dangerous and just cannot believe people risking their life’s and others for a picture. Just find a stop at the side of the road and walk back to the place!
Well, I arrived at the lay-by and walked down to the shore of Loch Awe. There were like 2 families camping with loads of kids running about. They looked a bit rough tbh. And did not look very happy with me coming down there for some pictures. So I did not really stay very long.
As it was still very early in the day I drove back passed Inverary and ended up visiting the township museum in Auchindrain. It was really cute. Just really hard to believe people actually lived like that back in the days – in the middle of nowhere.
I checked into my B&B which was a lovely old building with amazing views across Loch Fyne. Had a little stroll around Inveraray and then chilled until dinner time. Unfortunately dinner was not great. I had seafood linguine but it didn’t taste nice and service was a disaster. But I was awake long enough now that day and only wanted to go to sleep anyways.
Plan was to get up for sunrise at Loch Fyne. But gosh it was hard. I felt like I had hardly slept because of too much caffeine during the day and something personal that had happened that was on my mind. But I made it. Went down to the harbour of Invereray for 6.30 and watched the sun rising behind the Arrochar Alps. Was not too bad to get up for 😉
After I finished breakfast I drove up passing Kilchurn again and then took the road through Glen Orchy. I had only decided I want to do this the night before. I have passed the turnoff many times and had always wondered how it may be. It is a really nice valley but there were so many campers everywhere! I got a few nice shots from the river Orchy but in total I did not spend much time stopping in general. When I arrived up in Bridge of Orchy I thought of maybe go for some hiking around Tyndrum but the it was pouring down then and I changed my plans.
I ended up taking the road towards Killin. I wanted to stop there but it was SO busy. Like people all over bridge on the Falls of Dochart. So I kept on driving thinking of having some lunch in Kenmore. The road from Killin to Kenmore is great. You get great views across Loch Tay! When I stopped at one of the lay-by’s along the road to take a picture I looked up walking routes around Loch Tay. Walkhighlands.co.uk is a great website for walking routes. I picked the Ben Lawers nature trial as it was the closest. I did not know what to expect but driving up the road to the car park was already giving me excitements. Stunning views across Loch Tay!
When I arrived at the car park it already got really foggy but it did not rain yet so I made up my way on the track. But the further I went the foggier it got and to be honest, all alone up there I did not feel very comfortable in that kind of weather and headed back to the car. Just in time when it poured down heavily again. I decided to drive the road further up which actually leads to Bridge of Balgie. The surroundings were breathtaking and just when I approached Lochan na Lairige a rainbow appeared across the Loch. Unfortunately not that strong in colours so hard to see on my picture. The clouds lifted now and the light was amazing. I drove passed the Loch and had the most stunning view across it from the other side.
However I did not want to go all the way up to Bridge of Balgie as I was not sure how long it may take and had to head back to Edinburgh as well at some point. I want to go back up there again soon though!
So I drove back and to Kenmore to have lunch at the Mains of Taymouth. The food there is really good. I can especially recommend the fish and chips and the full Scottish breakfast. But they always seem to be short of staff. It is always a disaster and you have to wait a bit.
On my way to the A9 back to Edinburgh I spontaneously stopped at a car park next to the Old Military Road. I had no idea where I was actually but wanted to go for a walk after that heavy lunch. I figured out the way led through the woods and along river Braan to the Hermitage. I just walked there and back then. It was a beautiful walk in the forest. And the river is really special with all these big rocks and small and big waterfalls all the way. Loved that you can really see and smell that it is autumn now.
It was a stunning weekend and already making plans where to go the next one even though I will be heading to Glencoe for 3 days on the 4th of October. Cannot wait to experience some proper autum colours up there then.