Sunday, July 5, 2015

Day 39: A Slice of Scottish Life

I woke up this morning with the clouds grey and threatening, but since it's my last full day in Scotland, my friend, Laura took me out to the farmers market that takes place on the banks of Loch Lomond every Sunday. For the time I've spent here in Scotland, I've had the song repeating in my head, the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond!”

They have slowly been building up a presence to renovated aspects of Loch Lomond to create a more inviting tourist experience. The biggest work is on the steam paddle boat “The Maid of the Loch” it was built in 1952 on the Firth of Clyde and sits anchored in the very place it was first christened, Balloch Pier.It plied the 26miles length of Loch Lomond as transportation to the very many islands that exist in the lake.

It is being restored now, while volunteers work with loving passion to restore the ship back to ply Loch Lomond once more, it is open to the public to see the restored engine room, and coffee, tea and cake can be bought and eaten then on …the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond!

 Lomond Shores is what the call the new complex that is a place to shop, eat and play. There was child dancers putting on an exhibition as we arrived. 

There were also the farmers selling their Aberdeen Angus beef(did you know that it's a different type of cow thus a different type of beef?), steak pies, meringue, Scottish tablets(best tooth decay candy ever). There were produce, meats, there was even a woman who sold hand made doggie treats.
These are Scottish eggs, basically eggs wrapped in sausage, how awesome! They had samples and I tried them out.

There were also standing cafes and retail shops that aligned with with Loch. My friend, Laura and her mom(who came along for the day) and I went to get some coffee at the Maid of the Loch. Margaret told Laura and I stories of how the ship used to be, her memories of the ship when she was a child and the adventures she had when my friend was younger when they went for excursions out to the islands in the loch.

It's a much stories Loch, which escaping bears from zoos and escaping wallabies who swam across the loch and took up residence on one of the islands. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park in Scotland and covers 1,

At the Loch Lomond Shores, you can rent segways to take you up the twisting trails along the edge of the shore. You can rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boats and there is a service that will take you out and show you how to water ski. There were also several boats that would take for a tour around the Loch.

 But as with all summer afternoons by Loch Lomond, clouds can suddenly climb over the mountains and the rain becomes a slight drizzle into a full on shower. We stood underneath a tree knowing the rain wasn't going to stay. Sure enough, the rains subsided and I got the best, most succinct strawberries I've ever had. Laura and her mom bought some meat from the butchers wife. I had to control myself since they were selling so many other sweets! Coconut fudge!!!

We left to take Laura’s dog, Jessie, for a walk. Balloch Castle once had actual people living in the castle as it was their historical home. But it's empty now an in the process of being renovated and thus not accessible to the public. But the grounds was turned over to the public as free space. The graceful hills, the green grass, and the stately tree explained why Scotland was always known a beautiful country, it's the rain that turns this into an Emerald Isle.

We strolled through the park, wandered down to to the loch’s edge so the dog could jump in and enjoy herself. After her romp in the surf and her catching and fetching, she was worn out.

I also find that I like the weather here, it cold and rainy, but I like the rain, I sleep better with the window opening.

So far I've eating tradition Scottish culinary dishes. I had eaten proper fish  and chips! Last night I ate haggis, mashed potato and mashed turnip with IrnBru a proper Scottish fizzy drink.

If you don't a so, it tastes like a dried meatloaf, that turnips were lovely and also the size if a meatloaf.

Then today for dinner I ate steak pie, potatoes and  turnips. I've turned into a right proper Scott's I have I really got to tell you. I should dye my hair red.

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