On our way to our next stay at Loch Lomond we drove through some stunning scenery full of mountains, tree green moss filled fields and fast flowing water falls. It was easy for us to see why many of these natural wild Scottish landscapes are used as movies. We were so surprised at how many places there were to stop and admire and also hike along.
We really enjoyed our stop at a quaint village called Luss. It is said to be one of Scotland’s prettiest villages. We admired the cute cottages houses, historical church, the stunning views over the Lake as the sun came out creating wonderful hues over the surroundings mountains. A favourite was the Luss gift store which had lots of unique gifts and great coffee.
Another favourite was a great farm store called Auchentullich Farm Store. They had a great range of farm fresh produce. We discovered flat Scottish scones which were fabulous and then came the farm fresh mocca orange ice cream to top off our days delights. We enjoyed our ice cream in the cold wind whilst watching the highland coos grazing in the fields. This was a true Scottish experience.
At the end of a day exploring we arrived at our quaint cabin. This was definitely our smallest Airbnb accommodation we had stayed in on our trip. Not much bigger than a shipping container but it was really well designed with a cozy lounge room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. It had a nice veranda which overlooked the canal in a rainforest setting. Our host lived on the same property in a beautiful estate style home.
Our back gate gave us direct access to a beautiful canal walk. We took advantage of this a few times. Leaves littered the pathway clearly stating Autumn was alive.
On our walks we discovered half sunken boats due to the rainy windy weather. We walked along the canal park forest to The Balloch Pier shopping complex which had great views over the lake. This area had a lot to offer for holiday makers. It had a Bird of Prey Park, Sea Life Aquarium and Tree Top Adventure Park.
On a really rainy walk we trudged out to Drumkinnon Bay to view, The Maid of the Loch, an old paddle steamer. She was the largest inland passenger water steamer built in Britain. She was also the last paddle steam to be built and the last largest paddle steamer to be decommissioned in Europe in 1981 after 30 years service. Volunteer staff now run a cafe on deck to raise money to restore her to her former glory. Once onboard it felt like we were on the set of King Kong.
We also got rather wet on an adventurous walk along the canal and through Balloch Country Park. Here we walked to Balloch Castle which was built in 1818. It now lays dormant which gives it an eerie feel on a gloomy day.
On our wet wander back through the park we stopped at numerous mounds of wild mushrooms and very clever tree stump carvings. By the time we returned to our cozy cabin every feather inside our plush warm winter coats was wet. Even a duck can only take so much rain.
On the morning we were heading out to visit Glasgow we encountered an early morning visitor who enjoyed a cuddle and a pat. I am not sure who enjoyed the cuddle and pats more. I think it might have been us.
We were thankful for great weather on our day out in Glasgow. Glasgow was truly alive for a sunny Saturday with a sea of talented buskers who all had great voices. Without warning we found ourselves amongst a street parade. Well that’s what we hoped it was …as army tankers and armed military with weapons confidently on show flowed through the streets.
We visited the cathedral and we walked to the top of the Glasgow Necropolis where around 50 000 people Rest In Peace.
Our favourite things in Glasgow were:
1. We loved searching for the great mural street art. This took us all over the city. These murals were outstanding. We found about 20 of them. Not all but a good percentage of them.
2. A favourite was having lunch at the Drygate Brewery. This was really a hidden gem. A really hip space with amazing burgers and a great brewery. We had a chicken burger with homemade smoked tomato relish with winning triple deep fried chunky homemade chips and a freshly brewed beer.
3. Our last favourite was when Rob navigated us to the Glasgow Trades House, which displays 14 trade family crests. One of which is the Cordiner’s being the leather trade for making shoes. To Rob’s disappointment the Trade House was closed due to being used for a private wedding venue. After we got chatting to the gracious doorman he snuck us in for a peek just as the wedding party departed the hall way. Rob really enjoyed chatting with our new Scottish friend as he told us so much. We were extremely lucky to see the main hall and staircase beautifully decorated for the wedding along with the Cordiner family crest. It was like a private sneaky tour whilst the wedding was underway.