I am in love! It has taken me a while to fall completely in love with this beautiful country. The scenery got at my heartstrings straight away. I remember the moment this occurred. I was walking across Rannoch Moor, a desolate, unpopulated area northwest of the Bridge of Orchy. The beautiful colours as I passed through the boggy heathland just took my breath away.
I’ve been based in Stirling for three months now. I am currently working two jobs. I fell into one of them simply through word of mouth. I find the work involved in the two jobs is relatively easy, but I feel constricted by the city’s grasp on my work days. I yearn to be out in the hills exploring. I look wistfully over at the Ochils as I walk to my job. The thing is…I don’t really need to work two jobs. BUT…it makes my days off that much extra special.
Last Sunday, I had a fantastic adventure. I caught the train to Dunblane, then walked upriver along the Allan Water to Ashfield, a 19th century printing mill village. I then returned to Dunblane for a coffee at the cute little Beech Tree Cafe before setting off for the Sherriffmuir Inn. This required slipping and sliding along a muddy path for several kilometres before reaching the Clan MacRae monument, dedicated to those fallen in the Battle of Sherriffmuir in 1715. The Inn stood alone, with a backdrop of the Ochils falling behind it. Even though it was raining, it was fantastic to get out and see this part of Stirlingshire.
Today I am to visit Doune, home of the 14th century castle used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Game of Thrones. I am also looking forward to visiting more of one of my favourite county’s in Scotland – Clackmannanshire.