After leaving the Orkney Isles, we made our way to Duchally Country Estate, where we had booked a lodge. This place belongs to a company called CLC (Club la Costa). There is a hotel as well as the self-catering lodges.
(This was taken on another visit, as you can see!)
My daughter, son-in-law and grandson flew up to Edinburgh and joined us for a long weekend, which was nice.
On Saturday, we went to Loch Leven, not far away from Duchally. There is a castle on an island in the lake where Mary Queen of Scots had been imprisoned when some of her lords revolted against her rule. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, that was closed.
We had a walk around part of the loch, which is very picturesque. We had a bit of trouble getting there because our satnav was completely thrown by a road closure for a market in the centre of Kinross. There were lots of people going down roads, then turning round and going back.
It was a lovely sunny day, but there had been a hatching of gnats as you can see in this picture. I was not deliberately taking photos of insects, but only saw them when I looked at the photo, later.
We went on to St Andrews, but the town was very busy and we couldn’t find anywhere to park, so we returned to Duchally.
The following day, we decided to climb a mountain. There was one called Ben Cleuch not far away, on the edge of the Trossachs. When we got there, it looked very steep, but we set off. I got about half-way up, but then the path became very rocky with a drop on one side. As my balance isn’t as good as it was, I opted to return to base camp. My husband came with me, of course, but daughter, son-in-law and grandson contiued onward and upward!
We had some fun watching a murder of crows (yes, that’s the collective noun) mobbing a pair of buzzards whenever they reached a certain point.
The gorse was magnificent, putting on a wonderful show on the hillsides.
Monday we went to the Falkirk Wheel. This is a means of lifting (or lowering) boats from one canal to another at a much higher level. It is the only one of its kind in the world, apparently.
Daughter and family were catching a flight from Edinburgh later that day, so we said goodbye to them and they set off towards home.
We had a walk around the grounds of Duchally Country Estate when we got back.
We visited Glamis (pronounced Glams) Castle. We’d pre-booked it as we had to with the Pandemic. It was an interesting visit. It was the place where Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was born and lived all her early life. There is supposed to be a secret room. It is said that if you count all the windows from outside, and all the doors from inside, there is a discrepancy. More windows than rooms!
A school friend of mine lives near to here, and we went to pick her up. She had agreed to come and spend a night with us at Duchally. On the way back from her home, we called at Dundee. I bought a Dundee cake, of course, but couldn’t find any Dundee Marmalade.
Dundee is the home of the Beano, a famous comic in the UK. The comic first appeared on 30 July 1938. I read it as a child, and so did my son. There are statues of some of the more famous characters in Dundee. There is another one, Dennis the Menace, whose statue we did not find, but I can’t believe he wasn’t somewhere.
The next day we visited the only lake in Scotland. The Lake of Monteith. We found out it’s called a lake because a Dutch cartographer mistranslated the word Laich, meaning a low place, as Lake, and it’s been a lake ever since.
One thing that impressed us was how light it stayed at night. This photograph was taken at 11pm and you can see how light the sky is still. This was at the end of May with still weeks to go until the Solstice.
Then, the following day, we sadly had to leave for home.