We decided to start this rainy morning with an indoor programme.
First we visited Inveraray Castle, the seat of Clan Campbell. The
current 13th Duke of Argyll Torquhil Ian Campbell served as a page to
Elizabeth II in the early 1980s and holds a long list of titles,
including "Master of the Royal Household of Scotland". He is also
captain of Scotland's national elephant polo team (that's no joke!).
Along the shores of Loch Fyne we drove to the Fyne Ales Brewery.
I had a very nice dark ale in Benderloch and when I found out that the brewery is not far away we decided to go there.
The small company was established in 2001 and has already managed to win numerous awards over the few years of its existence.
We got a tour by the master brewer himself showing his enthusiasm and
expert knowledge. After the tour we tasted three samples of the various
brews made here. Dagmar had to drink most of the stuff, since I had to drive
the car! We also bought 12 bottles, only half of them making their way to
Austria. The others were consumed during our stay in Scotland...
water supply coming down the hill
The town of Inveraray is of classic Georgian design, but the rain did not promote a longer stay.
Since the weather forecast for
the late afternoon was significantly better we decided to continue our
round trip on the A816 and head for Lochgilphead, where we had a light
lunch at the Argyll Hotel.
When we arrived at Dunadd Fort the sun finally broke through the
clouds and so we climbed the seat of the kings of the ancient kingdom
of Dál Riata. Dál Riata was the first Scottish kingdom formed by the
Gaelic Irish Scots between 500 and 900 AD. There is not much left of
the hill fort, however. A footprint shaped basin is thought to have
been part of the coronation rites.
Dagmar Queen of Scots
At the nearby Kilmartin Parish
Church graveyard many medieval gravestones carved with knights, swords
and other motifs can be found.
Kilmartin Glen also has many Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments such as stone circles, cairns and standing stones.
Nether Largie South cairn
Lady Glassary Wood Standing Stones
At Knapdale Forest
beavers had been successfully reintroduced to Scotland. We walked a
short way on the trail but could not see any of the animals. Still, it
was a nice woodland walk.