The mood in the afternoon is simply fantastic. After Stirling and the haze of Edinburgh, loneliness suddenly spreads. The streets are deserted and all we see around us is nature. We reach the legendary Highlands and get a sense of Scotland’s wildness.
It’s getting late in the evening and it’s time to find a place to stay. We haven’t booked anything and are relying on our luck and our irresistible Teutonic charm.
In the village, whose name sounds like an annual plan, Uwe, Chris and I swarm out and knock on the door wherever it looks like a bed and breakfast. An old lady opens the door for me and immediately lets me in to show me a room. Everything fits, the accommodation is nice, the lady is way too trusting and the price is right. I call the men and we move into our first accommodation in wild Scotland.
The Highland House in Callander, at the entrance to “Trossachs Nation Park“, is a clear overnight recommendation. Where else does the host greet his guests at breakfast in the morning with the national anthem on a bagpipe?
We can hardly believe our ears when the German anthem suddenly sounds at breakfast, which is of course a “full Scottish breakfast” full of culinary delicacies such as black pudding, liver sausage, ham and beans. The old lady’s son has a huge pool of instruments, the necessary skills and the right name for his performance. With a pure Scottish “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, my name is Tom Jones, pleased to meet you” he greets us with his bagpipes and begins a concert of the national anthems of his guests.
Robert Roy MacGregor is buried in a small graveyard at the head of Loch Voil. Probably not a child of sadness during his lifetime, literature and cinema gradually created an idealized image of him as the prototype of the brave, sword-wielding Highlander.
At least since the blockbuster of the same name starring Liam Neeson, Rob Roy has also been a household name in this country.
If you can believe other historical sources, he was probably more of a crook and sheep thief in real life.
Loch Lomond is Scotland’s largest lake and stretches almost 40 kilometers in length. The West Highland Way meanders along its densely wooded and inaccessible eastern shore.
Incidentally, it is strongly discouraged to enjoy the whiskey named after the lake. What looks pretty doesn’t always have to taste good.
The roads in the Highlands offer their own forms of adrenaline for me. Since these are mostly single tracks, i.e. narrow, single-lane stretches that wind around hidden curves, you sometimes have to step on the brakes quickly when a sheep truck suddenly comes around the corner at high speed. There is no room to avoid, mostly the single tracks are limited by small walls or of course they end at a lake or a slope.
While we’re a little shocked that Robert Roy MacGregor, whose name is inseparable from Liam Neeson’s face, may have been an outright cutthroat, let’s delve into his world. The mountains are already high and do credit to the Highlands.
Large and small lakes spread out between the slopes, the well-known lochs. If you stay in one place for a moment, you hear nothing but the wind. If you linger further, the wind will take your thoughts and carry them deep into the Highlands.
Back on the ground of reality, we take the car and drive on to get from the spirits of Rob Roy and his colleagues to the spirits of the ancient clans that dwelt in their small castles and ruled the Highlands. – Chris & Alex