Friday, May 30, 2014

Balloch Castle Park

Saturday, May, 17 was our first day in Scotland - can't count arriving the night before, 10 hours late, in Glasgow.  It was a cloudy and cool day, with periods of steady rain.  Perfect weather for an afternoon pot of tea, which we all did with a late lunch after a walk and then a boat cruise on Loch Lomand.  This loch is one of the most famous of all in Scotland and is a popular spot for vacations.  We were in the town of Balloch (maybe that means "bottom of the loch," as it is on the southern end of the loch where the river flows out.)

After lunch we took a longer walk around Balloch Castle Park, seeing the wonderful spring flowers, the ruins of the castle, and views of Loch Lomand.  Here are a few photos...

The park had walking trails, many paved, and had been a former estate, so there were lots of managed plantings.
It rained on an off as we walked - see the rain drop on the image?  Welcome to Scotland - the weather was more rainy and cloudy than we expected for May, the driest month, and about 25 degrees F cooler than back home. 
Look at all the skunk cabbage!

"Oh, ye'll tak' the high road, and I'll tak' the low road,
And I'll get to Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond."

Here are the interesting ruins of Balloch Castle, our first (of many) castles that we saw.
We thought that this tower on the castle was really interesting.
One of the great things about May in Scotland is all of the flowers.  In this park, many rhododendrons had been planted.  They were a feast for the eyes.

I really liked this little stone house at the entrance to the park.
There is fabulous hiking and many parks - including a National Park - all over the Loch Lomand area.  I had scoped out many hikes to attempt but never go to any of them here because of the late arrival.  Another time, I hope.

1 comment: