Scotland put on a brisk, but beautiful day for our first proper day there. We drove up past Loch Leven, to Drummond Castle. I’ve always wanted to go there, having grown up knowing we were Drummonds, and that somewhere out there was a castle wearing our name (I’m sure we were the only Drummonds in the world with that thought). Sadly we were there slightly off-season, and so weren’t able to go into the castle regardless of how many years I had claimed that name. We did, however, have the chance to drive through the huge gardens and sneak a pic from the impressive driveway.
We were warned countless times that the roads were not ‘the best’, Fellow tourists, if anything, this is an understatement! The main roads are fine, as soon as you decide to wander off onto the smaller streets- something you have to do if you truly want to enjoy Scotlands beauty- you are hit with single lane roads that are more pothole than blacktop. I think we spent more time pulling over on the little pockets specifically put in for overtaking than we did driving. Luckily we were travelling before peak visitor season, so the traffic was not as bad as it could have been.. or so we were told by a local. Also, I may have gone up on the curb a couple of times trying to avoid a ditch, but at least I didn’t stall the car 6 times *gives the side eye to hubby*.
I remember before we left, I pulled up a photo of the devils cauldron, and even knowing
that the startlingly red sinkhole was photoshopped, I found myself a little disappointed at how non-devlish it looked in real life. It is still beautiful, and well worth the small walk to get there. The pools churn in such a manner that you would easily relate them to the aforementioned cauldron. It is definitely worth wandering down any rabbit hole you find if you have the time. There are so many beautiful walks that lead to hidden gems. That’s not just for locals either. I am the worst culprit of ignoring the beauty in my own backyard. I lived in Geelong for years and still haven’t done the great ocean road.
Dunkeld Cathedral was a peaceful place to take a break, the cathedral itself was once a monastery and has seen its share of violence over the years. The walls outside still show the scars. Dunkeld was also where we stopped for lunch, in a pub
that looked like it kept the tartan manufacturers in business. I looked, the Drummond shield wasn’t on the lintel. I had planned to try the local fare whenever I had the chance, but even though it was on every menu I picked up, I was never brave enough to try the Haggis.
**Just a mention here, We had already driven through Crieff when Nana, who was keeping up with our travel wrote me to say my something-th grandfather actually grew up in Crieff. Note to self, if you’re interested in history, especially family history, Maybe show nanna your itinerary BEFORE you go.**
We drove up to Loch Tummel. I was thoroughly enjoying all the water by the way, I didn’t realise how dry Australia was until I saw all this! We took a break from driving and hiked through the hermitage trails. Did I mention how green Scotland is? I would move there given half the chance. The Hermitage has a stunning viewpoint that looks completely unassuming from the outside. We spent a good ten minutes just enjoying the waterfalls and the view from the outlook. There is nothing like a thundering waterfall to quiet one’s brain. Travel tip: make sure you have good hiking shoes if you plan to clamber over the rocks. You might get wet feet if you fall otherwise. I for one was glad to have mine! Queens view was our next stop. Not to far to walk this time, but if you’re a queen, I don’t think you want to be walking long distances.
The mountains still had snow on the peaks wherever we went, and the temperatures reflected this well. I’m so glad we went when we did, with all the hiking we were going to end up doing, I would have hated to be doing that under the sun.
We ended the day with dinner at the Shandwick inn, and (after a bit of a directional challenge), bed at Largo house BnB. I was so overwhelmed by the luxury of the room that I forgot to take a photo! *facepalm*