Friday, March 2, 2012

Scotland in Five Days: Day Two

Loch Lomond

Day Two: After your morning in Edinburgh Old Town, and missing one train but catching another, journey about one hour to Glasgow Queen Street Station. Change trains here (you’re not stopping in Glasgow on this trip) and catch a local train to Balloch. The journey is “all stops” and takes about one hour more. The Glasgow suburbs give way to rainy countryside, and eventually you end up at a very small country train station. However, it does have a waiting taxi, which you take for a five minute drive to Cameron House, on the (bonnie, bonnie) banks of Loch Lomond. By now you have learned to pronounce ‘loch’ with a soft ending (not ‘lock’).

Cameron House

Ah, yes. The banks of Loch Lomond are indeed bonnie, despite the gentle rain. You can’t help humming the well known ditty:

By yon bonnie banks, and by yon bonnie braes, 
Where the sun shines bright, on Loch Lomond 
Where me and my true love, were ever wont to gae, 
On the bonnie bonnie banks, of Loch Lomond

Oh ye'll tak' the high road An’ I'll tak' the low road 
And I'll be in scotland afore ye 
For me and my true love will never meet 
Again on the bonnie bonny banks of Loch Lomond

By now, you are becoming quite proud of your Scottish accent (although you do meet some people who you still cannot understand at all).

The bonnie, bonnie banks...

Cameron House is a lovely old pile of stone, with numerous modern additions, including a massive indoor swimming pool. It has - blessings! - a nice wood fire blazing in the hall. It also has a large bar with floor-length windows looking out over the Loch. You lunch there. More salmon, and Scottish ale. You then take a damp walk along the banks of Loch Lomond, because how could you not? Bonnie as they are.


Your blogger at Loch Lomond
Ben Lomond is across there...somewhere

In the late afternoon, you secure a booking for a massage and set out in the the shuttle to the nearby Carrick Spa. Pre-massage, you discover, on the roof, an outdoor jacuzzi. So you sit in the warm water and the chill evening air, looking out over the Scottish countryside. You are looking towards Ben Lomond. Yes, that’s where the mountain would be, if there wasn’t quite so much cloud. Two hours later, after the massage and the various steam rooms, saunas and water jets of the Carrick Spa, you return to Cameron House for a meal of Scottish beef, and a last single malt before bedtime. Ah, Scotland! be continued.

A whisky by the fire?

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