Scottish Ramble #2

This is the second in a series of Scottish Rambles, based on stories and photos from my daughter Alyssa, who is spending a year in the old country. A recent post, “Bridge Over the Atlantic” (Oct. 2012) began the series, thanks to Alyssa’s willingness to contribute to the blog from overseas. Ramble #2 is taken from a recent trip out of Glasgow to the lochs and fells. The seven pictures are an excerpt from a long photographic essay that Alyssa calls “Ye’ll Take the High Road.” They remind me of a “rivertop ramble” in Great Britain, replete with photogenic landscapes and a deep, wide history.saddle

Photo 1 is of a saddle, or pass, called “Rest and Be Thankful.” People used to carry heavy loads up one side of the mountain then would stop and, of course, “be thankful” for a break in action. The location here is between Loch Lomond and Oban.. mountain

Photo 2 is “Rest and Be Thankful” as viewed from a pull off on the high road.9. loch

The scene here is of Inverary, a small town on Loch Fyne. It was a gray day, said Alyssa, but when the sun peeked inward on the scene, the atmosphere became enchanting.27. castle

Looking at the walking route to Kilchurn Castle. This structure was once considered impregnable because of water that surrounded the castle. Only the inhabitants knew of a causeway lying a couple inches below the water’s surface, their connection to the mainland. Today the water level is significantly lower, and visitors are able to keep their feet dry.47. castle with sheep

The backside of Kilchurn, where a wee sheep and a visitor meet.70. glencoe

This is a shot of Glencoe. In the rain and mist. And otherworldliness. Site of the Campbell-MacDonald Massacre of 1692.

The last photo captures a lone cottage in a glen. A stunning waterfall enters the valley from beyond. Wouldn’t ye trout fishermen hope to angle here, perhaps to lay a fly line near the bridge?76. river

About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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12 Responses to Scottish Ramble #2

  1. A Franklin says:

    This is lovely! Thank you,dad!

  2. Keith on Puget Sound says:

    When i grew up my grandad often told all of his grandkids that we were direct decedents of the last king of scotland. Truthfully i never believed it. It was just a silly wise tale. But for this post i will assume that i am. These photos and the ones from the earlier post make me wish i could return to my realm. It is such a lovely country and thanks for your daughter for sharing. There is such a mature rustic quality about scotland. I look forward to more photos.

    • Keith, I hope you’re always in line to the last great king of the land. Seriously. The thought makes a terrific connection to what you refer to as (quite accurately), a mature rustic land. I like those terms. Europe as we used to like to think of it. I, too, would love to see the realm first hand. Maybe someday. Meanwhile, will look forward to more reflections from the young. I appreciate your comments!


  3. Wow, beautiful views over there.

  4. Ken G says:

    Wonderful pictures. I always thought it was funny that my first name has Scottish origins, being Polish and all. But then I recently learned there’s a branch of the Gortowski tree that settled in Scotland long ago. Go figure. They probably went there for the haggis, which is virtually identical to the Polish kiszka. Vile smelling stuff, but once you get past that it tastes wonderful. It’s an acquired taste.

    • Ken, My culinary range has yet to know the kiszka and the haggis, though I may have stumbled into some German equivalents of these dishes. Haggis, wow. Sheep offal sounds awful to me, but I guess with enough nuts and veggies and spices it might be pleasant stuff, especially if there’s a fireplace nearby, a volume of Burns on the table, and some good Scotch whiskey to wash it all down. Thanks!


  5. beautiful – my mother’s family is Scottish and Ive wanted to visit for a long time- the pics refueled that deisre

  6. Anthony,
    It’s a nice dream, especially from the icebox of the year. Glad to be of help.

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