6/15 Highlands Day Three: Woodland Wonders and Stirling Silver

We had a good breakfast in Oban then headed out for the last day of our Highland adventure. Our first stop was in Glencoe, which is a beautiful glen filled with history and folklore.
The thing I liked the most about Glencoe was the fact that throughout this Highland journey we have seen some beautiful scenery, but our only experience with it thus far had been looking at it from inside the bus. Glencoe was a good opportunity to get out and walk around some forested areas. It was cool to walk around the trails through the forest, but what was really cool was walking off the trails into the forest.
Walking into the woods was a surreal experience. This was the kind of forest you imagine when you think of a lush Scotland forest. I love how moss grows everywhere in Scotland, casting a green hue to make for a truly magical sight. There were also several clovers growing all over and a lot of little creeks twisting through the enchanting woodland. My little midge friends made a reappearance as well, as once again I forgot to put on my midge repellant cream.
Glencoe is also the site of a massacre where the Campbell clan attacked the MacDonald clan. This has led to some ghost lore surrounding the area as there have been several ghost sightings around Glencoe that are believed to be connected with this massacre.
After visiting Glencoe we moved on and stopped in Tyndrum for lunch. It was a little stop, which looked like a centralized location for those around the area to make a pit stop. In the shop there I saw some kind of midge net that can be worn around the upper body and head to keep midges from attacking. I have heard that midges are horrible on the Isle of Skye where I will be going next weekend, so I am hoping that I won’t have to buy one of those.
After our lunch stop we headed on to Stirling, the site of the famous battle of Stirling Bridge. Upon entering the city you can see the Wallace Monument up on one hill and then up a little ways on another hill is the massive Stirling Castle. We went into Stirling Castle and explored around. Much like Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle had a touristy feel to it. I know this is better for the masses, but like I said previously I like to see these sites as unaltered as possible. However, Stirling Castle was awesome. It was neat to walk around and imagine daily life in the castle back when it was the capital of Scotland. This is the gate between the lowlands and the Highlands so it is said that whoever held Stirling Castle ruled the whole of Scotland back in the day. Going with my ghost theme for my project, there have also been sightings of a ghostly woman in pink roaming around the castle courtyard where women used to watch men jousting.
After Stirling, we headed back to Edinburgh and everyone was exhausted. When we got back I finally signed up for some much needed Internet access and began to get caught up on my e-mails, news, and journals for this trip (I am going to try and update more often in the future).
While playing around on the Internet in the campus pub, Emily showed up and started talking with Doug and I about her rap for her presentation in the morning. We did some brainstorming and busted out some pretty funny rhymes (many of which won’t be used in class of course for obvious reasons).
The weekend in the Highlands was an amazing experience I will cherish forever. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to hit so many spots in such a short amount of time. However, these were just the lower Highlands, so next weekend I will be going to the upper Highlands to hit up Isle of Skye, Inverness, and Loch Ness, which should be an excellent finale to my Highland excursions in Scotland.

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