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Adventures of a short vet

Last day - one more castle!

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 3 September 2010 | Views [322]

Our last day! With not a moment to waste we staggered to the bus and started the long road back to Edinburgh (sniff sniff!). Our first stop was St. Conan’s Church, a beautiful old church built by some guy for his mother. It was pretty peaceful with a beautiful view over the nearby loch. We then stopped at Kilchuran Castle where we clambered up the narrow steps for yet another view of an amazing loch. I could have stayed there in the sun all day. We also had the obligatory stop to visit Hamish, the 17 year old “hairy coo” or Scottish Highland cow. Somehow he had managed to survive the foot and mouth cull and was living to a ripe old age. Neil told me about how they used to only have one fence so that people could feed Hamish carrots and have their photos taken, but that he’d had to take one tourist to the doctor with a scratched face when Hamish turned his head too quickly in search of more treats and managed to gash her face! Apparently when they arrived the doctor just remarked, “Oh, did you get too close to Hamish?” So it seemed this was a regular occurrence! I told him that I’d been chased by enough hairy coos to know not to try to cuddle up close with one!

Our final stop of the day was the Wallace Monument in Stirling, where some of us did a quick walk along some of the paths to a couple of lookouts over the city, whilst other lazy buggers caught the free van back down the hill. On the bus back Craig regaled us with the Scottish version of Braveheart, as opposed to the Hollywood one, and it was interesting to hear how things were changed to make the movie more watchable, such as moving the big battle from the bridge over the river to a nice wide field where there as more room for hacking and slashing.

All too soon we were back in Edinburgh, and it was funny to see Neil immediately tense up in the city traffic. There seemed to be a lot more swearwords emanating from the driver’s seat. And then we were saying our goodbyes after what seemed no time at all. It always amazes me how quickly you can make friends when traveling with people for only a few days. Fortunately a few of us were staying at the Castle Rock Hostel for one last night, so we were able to end the trip with one last dinner together, followed by a few beers of course. Gradually people said their goodbyes and drifted off, and eventually I had to head back as well. I met up with a couple of the guys the following morning before catching my train, and it turned out they’d only returned to the hostel at 4am. Now that’s commitment to their last night in Edinburgh!

So, although I’m not a fan of being rushed around a country and would have preferred to stay a couple more days (or weeks) in each of the towns we visited, it was definitely a great way to get a feel for the country and see some of its amazing landmarks. But at the end of the day it was the people on the tour and the awesome guides who made the trip, and I am grateful to have met them. And who knows, maybe we will meet again thanks to the miracle that is Facebook!

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