t2.bmp (300054 bytes)  Greenock (Glasgow)

Port for Glasgow.

August 18, 2007

We were in our cabin, getting ready for the day, when the faint strains of bagpipe music came to our ears.  Karen said, "Where is THAT coming from?" and opened the balcony sliding glass door.  The lovely sound got louder.  We rushed out onto the balcony (after putting on coats and shoes because of the rain).

There at the door to the cruise terminal stood a lone piper, welcoming us to the port.  Fantastic!  Lots of passengers were hanging over their balcony rails -- and up on deck 15 as well.  When the song ended, we all clapped.  He played for quite awhile.  We felt very much welcomed. 

 

Endless green fields, as seen from the bus...

Zooming through the countryside on the bus...

It was raining.  Not just misty drizzle, but real rain.  Luckily, we both have excellent rain coats with hoods, so we were good to go.  It made Karen very homesick for Seattle!

Here are hardy kayakers on Lock Lomond.

Here we're on the pier in the village of Luss on Loch Lomond.  Karen is always intrigued by interesting signage. See blowup of sign on the right.

The gardens were awfully pretty in Luss.

 This is the beach.

I think this is a trampoline with a protective fence around it.  We see these a lot at home.

Lou always had plenty of rain proof jackets, but not a one with a hood, so he would always get his head wet, while Karen stayed completely dry in her yellow rain coat.  So for Christmas, Karen got Lou an excellent rain coat from Lands End, item 62850, Men's Regular Packable GORE-TEX ® Jacket.  What an awesome raincoat. Now his head is dry.

We rushed through the village to get to the tea house and have a cuppa and a giant scone.  Yum.

We all carried a lot of rain onto the bus with us, and the driver had the heater blasting, so it was like walking into a steam room to get back on board the bus.

Can you tell that our sparse lawn in North Carolina weighs heavy on our consciences?  When we see a nice lawn, we are drawn to it.

Our tour guide did not really want to stop at this scenic overlook, as if the rain were any reason not to enjoy ever bit of the countryside.

I think that this is when the camera got VERY WET because it was raining pretty hard and we had no umbrella to hold over it as Lou took these pictures.  Shortly after this, Mr. Camera refused to work and just displayed an error message.

This is called the "Rest and Be Thankful" stop because it comes after an arduous uphill journey, and you rest here and be thankful that the hard part is over.

Are we lost?! You can see our bus driver seeking enlightenment by consulting the route map.

Since Mr. Camera was on strike, you'll just have to imagine the rest of our day! 

We went to Inveraray Castle, which is  more a "lovely manor house" than a fortress.  It was very nice, especially the armory which contained a ton of weapons all hung on the walls in a decorative manner.

We had a very nice lunch at the Inveraray Hotel and then wandered a bit around Inveraray in the rain.  Lou joined Karen in a small souvenir shop, and we bought a bunch of stuff.  Gotta embrace our Scottish clan identity, even though we don't know how a Scot ever snuck into the family tree.  Karen got a wool scarf with the "hunting tartan" that matches Lou's tie. 

On the way home, we took a ferry across Loch Eck and that REALLY made Karen homesick for Seattle.  Again, most people stayed on the bus, but we jumped off to get a better view and feel the wind and rain (and visit the bathroom and collect another fascinating sample of toilet paper).

 

 

Excursion : Inveraray Castle & Loch Lomond
Experience Scotland’s rugged mountains, its glens and its lochs, on a full-day tour that
includes a visit to Loch Lomond and a romantic castle in the highlands.

WHAT YOU VISIT
Inveraray Castle - One of the earliest examples of Gothic Revival and Scots Baronial
architecture, the castle, which dates from 1770, is the seat of the Dukes of Argyll, head of
the Campbell clan. The highlights of your tour include the collection of family portraits,
tapestries, and the Armory Hall, which alone contains 1,300 pieces of art, and finely
appointed rooms boasting an exquisite collection of French 18th-century furniture,
English china, family artifacts and objects d’art.

Luss - This pretty village sits on the west shore of Loch Lomond. In Gaelic, "lus" means
plant or herb; the village in spring and summer is a riot of color from roses and
wildflowers. Stroll the village and view the stone cottages, or walk out onto the pier for a
closer look at Loch Lomond. The loch’s "bonny banks" are famed in song and legend.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
Rest and Be Thankful - Pause at this great viewpoint overlooking the highland glens and
mountains.

SHOPPING
Browse the small stores of Inveraray after your visit to Inveraray Castle, or shop for
souvenirs at Luss.

LUNCH
Stop for lunch at a country hotel in or around Inveraray.

WHAT YOU SEE ALONG THE WAY
Cross Erskine Bridge with distant views of Glasgow as you travel to Loch Lomond. The
loch’s wide, southern end is dotted with small islands, and its northern end narrows to
resemble a fjord. From Loch Lomond, you will drive through Glen Croe and Glen
Kinglas. The road twists and turns through the highlands, offering both mountain and
glen views. Descend to Loch Fyne and Inveraray. Return to the ship, traveling along
Loch Eck and Holy Loch to Hunters Quay, where you take a ferry across the River Clyde
and then drive to Greenock.

SPECIAL NOTES
The drive to Luss takes approximately one hour. The scenic return route is
approximately two hours.
The tour may be reversed.

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