We woke to a beautiful sunny day, with just a few puffy clouds in the sky. After another hot and hearty Scottish brekkie we jumped in the car and headed for our boat trip on Loch Katrine (lock CAT-rine).
Along the way we drove up into the Trossachs for a bit and it was so beautiful. The heather covered hillsides were full of purple blooms and the beech trees with their white bark stood out brightly against the green of the thick growth of ferns under the trees.
We were heading to Loch Katrine for a boat ride aboard the historic steamship Sir Walter Scott from Trossachs Pier to Stronachlachar and back. The ship was built in 1900 and she still has her original Matthew Paul & Co triple expansion steam engine, though 2007 marked the last year of her use of coal as fuel, and the steamship’s two Cochran Wee Chieftain boilers now run on bio-fuel. Speaking of being environmentally correct I should mention that we’ve seen many solar panels as we drive around, and recycling is standard practice here – yay Scotland!
The trip up the loch was sunny and warm and we sat out on the foredeck chatting with some folks from Scotland, Austrailia and India. Quite a mix! It was great fun though and the scenery was gorgeous. On the way back the clouds rolled in and the wind picked up and it was chilly! We sat inside with all the additional passengers who had boarded in Stronachlachar, and it was so cute to see the white-haired Scottish ladies singing along with the Scottish tunes being played in the cabin.
After our boat trip we headed for the Glengoyne Distillery, which lies on the border of two whiskey regions so their distillery is in the highlands and their ageing is in the lowlands! Scotland is split into five distinctive whisky-producing regions. The same basic process is used to produce whisky across the country but subtle variations mean single malts from each region have unique characteristics and flavors. We really enjoyed the taste of Glengoyne whiskey and that might be because it’s unpeated, meaning they dry the barley by air rather than over a peat fire. We’re still in the research mode though, so I’m sure we’ll have a few more drams before we board the plane to fly home!
After learning about whiskey making and a stop for dinner we decided it was time for a bit of relaxing in our gorgeous room back at the Glendaruel B&B. Time for a hot bath in the 6′ long tub, a cup of tea and a biscuit (aka cookie) and ahhhh…zzzzz…