Revisited the Highlands

Revisited the Highlands

[Oct. 2023] The day after we returned to Glasgow from Barra Island in the Hebrides of Scotland, we went on a one-day tour of the Highlands.

Buchanan Bus Station in Glasgow, Scotland
Buchanan Bus Station where we all met

This is a tour run by a travel company called Rabbie’s, which we have participated in several times before, and is a repeat of some parts of the tour we went on in 2010 for 4 nights and 5 days.

There were many other tours, but this route was the most attractive.

The last time was in 2010, which was a long time ago, so we thought it would be a good idea to revisit it.

This time we departed from Buchanan Bus Station in Glasgow.

It was about a 20 minute walk from the hotel.

Although we thought we arrived early, we ended up being the second to last and our seats were at the very back of the minibus.

a house on the Loch Lomond seen during the Highlands tour in Scotland
the peaceful scene of Loch Lomond

It has a capacity of 16 people and is fully booked.

Our guide is Al, who is originally from Glasgow but lives in Edinburgh.

The participants were Americans, Canadians, Indonesians, Israelis, Belgians, and us.

They were quiet people considering most of them were from North America.

Unfortunately, Al’s explanation was difficult to hear.

We were at the back, the speakers were not working properly, and he spoke soft and fast.

The first place we went was Loch Lomond.

the scene of Glen Croe seen during the Highlands tour in Scotland
magnificent view of Glen Croe

Last time we went there, I remember the weather was so gloomy, and I felt sad after learning that the well-known song “Bonnie Banks O Loch Lomond” was an elegy.

But this time it was bright and sunny, and under the light, the scene was peace itself.

The village of Luss on the lakeshore is also so bright that it looks too much like a tourist spot, which makes it look like not real.

It was picturesque, though.

Then on to Glen Croe.

Inveraray Castle we visited during the Highlands tour in Scotland
the exterior of Inveraray Castle

Glen means “valley”.

Scotland is full of glens that offer spectacular scenery.

This place was too majestic to capture in photos.

Then on to Inveraray.

We also went to see the exterior of the castle, which we didn’t go to last time.

Apparently you could go inside, but we didn’t go on this tour.

It is said that the Duke of Argyll, the castle’s lord, in exchange for taking care of his subordinates, asked them to sacrifice themselves 100% once the war started,

Kilchurn Castle seen during the Highlands tour in Scotland
Kilchurn Castle seen from the roadside

Is it something like Japanese companies?

After seeing the castle, we strolled around the town, which was still neatly painted in black and white.

Next we went to Kilchurn Castle.

Last time, we walked across the meadow to the castle and walked around the ruins (we probably had time since it was a 4-night tour), but this time we only looked at it from a distance.

It was also a peaceful landscape under good weather.

A Highland Cow was nearby.

a Highland Cow and sheep we met during the Highlands tour in Scotland
grazing side by side

This was the only time this type of cow was seen in this tour.

Al also pronounced cow as “coo”, as the previous guide.

It grazed together with the sheep.

There are 11 million sheep in Scotland apparently, twice as many as there are people.

Originally Scottish sheep were black or brown, but white sheep, which are easier to dye, was introduced and these are now the most common sheep.