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Today I hopped on a tour bus managed by Timberbush Tours which visited the West Highland Lochs, Mountains & Castles.

I met up with the bus tour at 9am up at Edinburgh Castle, after a 5am Skype call with friends back home (I don’t believe in 5am.  It’s against my religion.)  The bus was completely full, but I ended up sitting to a nice lady visiting with her kids, niece, and mother from Mexico City.  It was a nice clear day at all of our stops, and we only got rained on a little on the drive back in to Edinburgh.  By the time we were getting off the bus, the rain had passed us by.

Our first stop was at Doune Castle, which you may recognize from several scenes in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.  I didn’t decide to spend the 8 pounds to get inside and was satisfied with walking around the outside of the castle, sitting on a grassy hill and just enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

We then stopped for coffee at a roadside stop featuring a small tartan-making shop, and Hamish the “Hailin’ Coo” (Highland Cow).  Guess even cows get to be celebrities in the highlands.  He didn’t seem very interested in socializing with the massive crowd of tourists and just kept to himself in his “office”.

After our rest stop, we did a lot more driving, with a couple of photo opportunity stops, then had lunch and on to Inveraray Castle, home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of Clan Campbell.  Some may recognize this castle from the TV show “Downton Abbey”.  I was disappointed that I didn’t find a single reference to Bruce Campbell there (note that in this picture of Bruce, he is NOT standing in front of Inveraray Castle, actually appears to be Edinburgh Castle).

We then stopped at Loch Lomond and the village of Luss to stretch our legs and enjoy the view and finally made the long trek back to Edinburgh Castle.

I enjoyed the trip, and the tour guide was excellent.  If I closed my eyes, it was easy to imagine that the tour was being narrated by Billy Connoly.  I would like to have stopped in more places for picture taking, but we were on a tight schedule.  I didn’t take any pictures out the windows of the bus for various personal artistic reasons, but think I got some good shots in the places where we stopped.  I’m very glad that I went on the tour, though.  Since I don’t have a car, or a UK driver’s license, it was really my only option for seeing the Highlands.

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