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Pictures from Doug and Pat Ross on their trip to Scotland 2007
Oban to Loch Lomond


Today's schedule (May 24) called for an early breakfast as our luggage was being loaded on the bus. The weather forecast was not promising for the afternoon, but the ferry departed on time under partly cloudy conditions. There was some construction at the Oban ferry terminal as we arrived. There was barely a second or two to take a photo of McCaig's Tower, a prominent folly on the hillside overlooking Oban in Argyll, Scotland. [John Stuart McCaig was  wealthy, philanthropic banker, who admired Roman and Greek architecture, and his intention was to construct a structure based on the Colloseum as a lasting monument to his family, but his death in 1902 brought an end to construction with only the outer walls completed.]

Before reaching Inverary, Gordon Tait commented on some houses which had "fake windows" to avoid the taxes on them during WWII. This practice became quite common in Scotland. 

The merged district of Argyll and Bute extends roughly from Oban to the northwest corner of Loch Lomond, so Inverary made a convenient stopover for lunch. After visiting the Inverary Woolen Mill Shop, both Joan Claringbould of Brisbane, AU, and Pat exclaimed, "Tourist Trap!" A ship at the pier advertised "Seafood Lunches", but was charging an additional boarding fee . . . another tourist trap! I managed to find a quiet restaurant for a light soup-and-sandwich lunch and found John Watson alone at a table; when I went to pay the elderly manageress, she smilingly remarked, "I don't have any change" . . . another tourist trap! Needless to say, we found very little to impress us at the wee town of Inverary.

Follies have been added by successive generations creating majestic views and extraordinary scenes for the enjoyment of visitors. In architecture, a folly is an extravagant, frivolous or fanciful building, designed more for artistic expression than for practicality. 

Inverary Castle is the home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell.


Loch Lomond

By yon bonnie banks,
And by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond,
Where me and my true love
Were ever want to gae,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Oh! ye'll take the high road and
I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
But me and my true love
Will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

    We have heard this song sung cheerily with smiling faces. The dreary weather matched the explanation imparted back at Carlisle Castle near the beginning of our tour. We took the high road back to our hotel in Glasgow.
 
No sooner than we had settled down to unpack in our room at the Radisson SAS in Glasgow than the fire alarm went off. Everyone evacuated to the sidewalk across the street until a hotel representative apologized and declared that it was a false alarm caused by a sensitive detector.


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