Scotland part two - Loch Lomond, Callendar, and Pitlochry    

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From Stirling we drove to the Loch Lomond area, north of Glasgow.  Once at the visitor center Doris & Paul took a downhill lakeside trail while I tried the short summit climb on Conic hill.  I found good views of the loch and surrounding topography, but didn't get to the top because the wind became too strong to walk into.  The higher you walked, the worse it became....          

at a Scottish National Park ferns & woods fall fern colors lots of steps on this walk
  famous Loch Lommond the big picture looking towards the top of Conic Hill at 361 meters  
  local landscapes   in a little town somewhere
    late afternoon arrival to the Callendar area      

In Callendar on Wednesday morning we walked to the Rob Roy visitor center in a light rain.  Callendar is a low-key town and a gateway to the Scottish Highlands.   

The B&B owners were personable & the husband used to be an active Highlands ice-climber in the winter, for years before he became a B&B owner, and he is very knowledgeable about local terrain. He runs the B&B, while his wife is a school teacher in a nearby village. 

He said they get the most overnight business in winter, when walkers with crampons and ice picks attempt the summits.  Callendar is an easy two-hour drive or rail trip from Glasgow or Edinburgh.    

Coppice House, another historic & elegant B&B Callendar main street the river Teith (tay)  
  unknown & interesting bird; see note below    
bikers in town at the official Rob Roy visitor center   the drive from Callendar to Pitlochry rail way converted to bike way

note - This bird is a Pied Wagtail. What caught my attention was its sudden acrobatic flights for catching bugs, like the Phoebes we have at home.  This bird is native to the UK and almost nowhere else except a few scarce UK-facing shorelines in France & Spain.   

Taking back roads to Pitlochry, we stopped at the little creekside town of Killin, a fitting name, given the long history of clan warfare in this region. 

An ancient MacNab family burial ground is located here on the creek bank. It is posted 'enter at your own risk' and a sign tells you to get a key at the tourist center.  A sign at the entrance to the graveyard shows a MacNab Clan Coat-of-Arms which depicts the severed head of the local enemy clan leader.   

We enjoyed being the only customers at the small tea room there. From the start of this trip, with our big daily breakfast, we had learned to skip lunch, and instead have a scone mid-afternoon, with tea or coffee, butter & jam.  As you might imagine, this new habit established itself easily!!             

Killin downtown doors cont'd   mill sluice wheel
  downstream look sweethearts on the bridge  
river hydraulic carvings   nice little tea shop  
  scones Paul      

Due to a main back road closure we had to take a secondary back road - barely one lane wide - along the south side of Loch Tay, on the way to Pitlochry. Lucky for us there was no traffic. 

At the east end of the Loch we arrived at Kenmore, a picturesque little town, with no connection to washing machines, and on a whim we walked to a private castle shown on Paul's map.  

drive along Loch Tay Paul walking  what is he doing? Loch Tay
  arriving at Kenmore   Scotland's oldest Inn, established in 1572  
Taymouth property   un-used golf course the castle
    project on hold this area is rented out for weddings  

Some visitors from Edinburgh who we chatted with at the Castle said the golf course/hotel concept, along with 100 custom homes on the course, fell to pieces when the property bubble in Ireland collapsed in 2007-08.  They said the golf course was in operation for maybe two years but then shut down. 

Now just part of the Castle can be rented out for weddings. 

We arrived in Pitlochry at dusk on Wednesday and settled in at a very comfortable B&B for two nights.

Wellwood House B&B monument in town

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