My friend, the one I visited in Florence, came up to Scotland on December 12, before we both flew back to California for Christmas, and we decided to take a trip to Loch Lomond with Yui (the friend I often cook with). None of us had ever been to Loch Lomond before, and so we were all excited for the trip.
It started out well enough - we arrived at the station to catch our train, only to be told we actually needed to catch three trains - Edinburgh to Glasgow, Glasgow to Patrick, Patrick to Balloch. Then, a bus from Balloch to Loch Lomond. Luckily, train travel is very easy and comfortable, and the scenery we passed was beautiful.
Once we arrived in Balloch, we had to wait a couple hours for the bus, so we walked around Balloch for a while. It's a sweet little town, and everyone there is very friendly. We asked a woman behind a tourist information desk if she knew about the bus times, and she suggested that while we wait for it we walk along the path by the water. We tried, but when we got there this is what we saw:
It was FREEZING in Balloch!
Once the bus came, we took it about 30 minutes to Loch Lomond, checking into the B&B we were staying in, the Oak Tree Inn, and then hiked up Conic Hill. The Oak Tree Inn is amazing. The staff are extremely friendly, the food is great, and the rooms are SO nice.
Conic Hill was breathtaking. It's almost between a tiny mountain and a big hill, and we hiked to the top. As we hiked higher, the fog below us crept up as well, remarkably quickly.
We hiked to the top of Conic Hill, and the higher we climbed the colder it got. Gloves and hats were truly a necessity. On the way up, we heard some bellowing and, looking to the left, spotted a teeny herd of highland cows perched on the edge of a plateau jutting out from the hill.
By the time we made it back down Conic Hill, it was dark, so we picked up our room key and warmed up inside before dinner.
Our second, and last, day in Loch Lomond, we walked around the Loch, saw more highland cows and lots of sheep, and had the best mochas ever at St. Mocha's cafe. Good day!