Probably THE highlight of our trip to Scotland was the day we spent with the Hairy Coo. What is the Hairy Coo, I hear you ask?
These are Hairy Coos, aka Highland Cattle:
However we spent our day with a slightly different Hairy Coo – a minibus called Dolly:
We’d selected to go on a Highland Tour – where we’d get to see some of “proper” Scotland with lots of castles and kings and queens thrown in for good measure. We started bright and early and before carrying on with the post I will mention that I’d been rather ill the night before and wasn’t too well on the day – although I was determined to go and not let a bit of what turned out to probably be Norovirus, stop me from my tour!
We started bright and early, met our coach on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and headed out of the city. The first stop we made was here:
The beautiful Forth Rail Bridge. This was built by the Victorians and still going strong after being built to carry TWELVE times the needed weight. 100 years on and it looks as good as ever – although I’m glad I don’t have the job of painting it. The same cannot be said, for the slightly less attractive car equivalent to the left…
This particular bridge is only around 40 years and already carrying more traffic than was ever planned. They’ve already started work on building its replacement! Yay for the Victorians! Booo for modern infrastructure.
Awwww us! Trev had worn his faux-fair-isle sweater for the occasion (had already received multiple compliments at this point… not yet 9am!) and I’m already looking a bit peaky:
So where did we go next? I’ll give you a clue:
“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our FREEDOM!”
As the only English people on the coach, it is not without irony that we approached the Wallace Monument:
Tis very tall:
But with nice views (oooh look, a castle!):
I studiously avoided having my photo taken:
You can either be lazy and get a minibus up the hill, or you can walk. If you walk, you get to see nature!
Upon departing the monument we got a view of the castle that can be seen from the top – Stirling Castle. Scene of victory against the dastardly English!
So after Stirling, off we went into the Highlands – where we passed many a loch,
We passed smaller bodies of water,
Saw some hills and forests,
And even climbed a MASSIVE hill to combine all those things:
We then took a brief break to meet the real stars of the day – a real life herd of Hairy Coos, who, as it turns out, love bread!
And a chance to try and blend in with the herd…
Finally, we ended the day here:
Can you guess where it is yet? You might not know it by its real name, Doune Castle, but you may know the immortal line
Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!
How about a picture of me holding a pair of coconuts?
How about Trev holding a pair of coconuts?
If you guessed that this is the castle used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, well done! It’s an impressive place – although I have to admit that I didn’t have the energy to walk around after I skipped down the path in front of the main gate doing my best coconut-horse impression. That rather knackered me a bit.
But here are some lovely pics!
It really was an awesome day. Despite being ill I had a great time and our tour guide Nic, was lovely and a true pro. On more than one occasion offered the hood of her coat should I have needed to be sick and full of knowledge and great stories!
If you have a few days available in Edinburgh, do put one by to take a day trip with the Hairy Coo. They do other trips, including one that features a whisky distillery (next time!) but this trip is a great way to get to see some of “proper” Scotland without having to venture too far.
That’s pretty much the last post of our time in Scotland, but there are many equally lovely pictures coming up of Yorkshire very soon 🙂