High on the Highlands

This past Saturday, I took a trip with my study abroad group to visit the Southern Highlands, specifically the towns of Comrie and Killin. The weather was absolutely perfect (a rare thing here!). For such a short drive (about 1.5 hours), the scenery change was dramatic. Instead of the bustle of Edinburgh and the green rolling hills, we began to see smaller towns, more open expanses and farms, and brownish hills that were apparently covered in heather, a purple flowering plant that is now losing those purple petals. Now, there aren’t the same kinds of mountains that you see in the Sierra Nevadas, say. We didn’t drive by towering, snow-capped peaks that look like that rose from the Earth just yesterday. The mountains in Scotland are older (wiser you might say), a little rounded at the corners, but still so beautiful!

We spent the morning hiking through the wilderness outside of the adorable Comrie. It just pops up out of the surrounding farmland, with it’s little white houses and cute little shops. Tom and Jim took us through some of the little river valleys, up to the top of a hill where a monument has been erected to Melville (I don’t know my history enough to tell you what he did exactly…), and back down through the countryside. So gorgeous! It all seemed the definition of bucolic. And there was still so much green! Walking through puddles of mud, I could kind of see why though haha.They even apparently have wild cats! We looked for some, but alas we didn’t see any. One day….

Returning to Comrie, we had lunch from this wee bakery (I know, I’m really immersing myself in the language) and then continued on to Killin. On the way we passed Loch Earn, which with the lighting and the hills in the background was gorgeous (through the bus window). At Killin, we saw one of the rivers that feeds from Loch Tay. It had some nice rocks, so of course we had a photo shoot extraordinaire!

    

On the way back, we stopped and met some highland cows (or highland coo, as the locals say, i.e. me)! They’re so cute. I think I’ll get one when I get home.

  

And we topped off the day with a visit to the Duone Castle, where Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed! Think of…

1st soldier with a keen interest in birds: Where’d you get the coconuts?
King Arthur: We found them.
1st soldier with a keen interest in birds: Found them? In Mercia? The coconut’s tropical!
King Arthur: What do you mean?
1st soldier with a keen interest in birds: Well, this is a temperate zone
King Arthur: The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?
1st soldier with a keen interest in birds: Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?
King Arthur: Not at all. They could be carried.
1st soldier with a keen interest in birds: What? A swallow carrying a coconut?
King Arthur: It could grip it by the husk!
1st soldier with a keen interest in birds: It’s not a question of where he grips it! It’s a simple question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut.
King Arthur: Well, it doesn’t matter. Will you go and tell your master that Arthur from the Court of Camelot is here?
1st soldier with a keen interest in birds: Listen. In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second, right?
King Arthur: Please!
1st soldier with a keen interest in birds: Am I right?

    

I got home exhausted and ready to sleep for the rest of my life. But it was all worth it for the highland coo! (I mean.. everything else too yeah yeah). So cute!

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