I got to Stirling around noon, checked into the hostel and went out for the rest of the day. I visited an old jail, an old church, the Stirling Castle, walked out to a hill that had a William Wallace monument on it, walked back to town and crossed the bridge where William Wallace had his major victory over the English. It was kind of weird walking on that bridge and realizing how many people had died in that very spot. After this I climbed back to where the castle was, found a nice comfortable spot in a mossy hill and watched the rabbits all around me. I mean rabbits EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t look somewhere without seeing rabbits. It was crazy. I let the sun go down, then went back to the hostel got some dinner and went to bed.
Day 65- Loch Lomond
I got to Loch Lomond in the morning, rented a bike and biked out to the hostel I was planning on staying at, with my giant pack on my back, keep in mind I have been buying stuff on these trips. A half an hour later there was a sign on the door saying they were closed for the next two days. GREAT. So I bike back down the hill, which was much easier, and find a bed and breakfast to stay at. After that I biked around the west side of the loch and got into the small town of Luss. This town was interesting because it was still owned by nobility and the people living in all of the houses had to pay him rent, even though they had been living there for generations and did all of the house work and such. I talked to an older man in a store for about a half an hour about all of this. We also talked about farming, hunting, anything and everything. Well I take that back he talked about all of this stuff, I could barely get a word in. He reminded me a lot of a Scottish Eldred King, for all of you who know him, just loved to talk. Either way on the way back I saw pheasant feathers everywhere on the bike trail and then a dead cock on the side of the road. This made me miss Jacobi. The older man in the town told me this area was actually loaded with pheasants as the lord of the area releases 3000 every year and they then have massive European style hunts in the hunting season. Makes sense why I saw so many feathers. Anyway after I got back from my bike trip, I was too tired to go hiking on the east side of the loch, which is supposedly the best side. Kind of made me mad that I spent around 2-3 hours trying to find a place to stay since the hostel unexpectedly closed, but whatever. Maybe I will come back someday and do that side. Either way I just relaxed, watched a little TV and went to bed.
Day 66-The drive from Loch Lomond to Ben Nevis
Wow what a drive!!! I don’t know if you have noticed from my previous posts that I haven’t been that impressed by Scotland so far. It hadn’t been what I was expecting, But it seems like right after we got north of Loch Lomond the real highlands started showing themselves. We were driving through deep Valleys with hills on both sides and lochs running next to us. There were quaint little towns on these lochs with little restaurants and bed and breakfasts. The scenery was just amazing. On the way to Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the UK, I stopped at an old castle that lay in ruin now. It was pouring down rain and I was on the opposite side of the loch. So I decided to try to go through a marshy area to get to the castle. I was doing fine until I went right through a patch of grass that looked solid, but wasn’t, and got my feet soaking wet. I eventually made it across and into the ruins. I was the only one there, due to the rain I guess, and this was amazing. I changed into my sandals and explored the castle. After a while I walked around to the town that was on the loch and got some lunch in a little pub. I sat there and chatted with the locals for an hour and then got back on the bus. The scenery on the drive just kept getting better and I started getting mad again that I was on public transport. I just wanted to stop and explore, but I couldn’t. Anyway, I made it to Ben Nevis, walked around to try to find my hostel, froze my feet which were in the sandals and soaking wet from the rain that was still coming down, got in, ate food, got dry, put warm clothes on, and went to bed. Tomorrow I will climb Ben Nevis I CAN”T WAIT!!!