We left Edinburgh after breakfast headed for the Highlands, as recommended by Joshua. With several route options available we drew guidance from our trusted family and friends and settled on the route via Stirling with a stop at the Wallace Monument as suggested by April. Admittedly, we only knew of William Wallace from the Braveheart movie featuring Mel Gibson. The monumental tower was visible for miles and was duly impressive. The historical account of the battle of Stirling where the Scottish defeated the English in this strategical spot in 1297 was equal in impact. It was humbling to stand in the tower and look down upon the battlefield near the river. When an experience or interaction causes additional self reflection you grow as a person and in my opinion are very privileged. I find, I have been mulling over a William Wallace quote the last few days.
Every man dies but not every man lives
What a fantastic motto to live by. After lunch and my first and only taste of steak and haggis pie, we head north of Loch Lomond for the Highlands. As each mile passes, the landscape changes. From lush fall colours in the lake areas to vast rolling hills. Some resembling what we know from the Okanagan Valley in Canada but much larger and more impressive.
We decided to stop for the night in Fort William on the shores of Loch Eil. A Scottish folk singer entertained after dinner. Some of the songs were familiar and others new. A rather large and elderly walking group staying at the hotel provided additional entertainment. They were united in the singing and good natured badgering between the Scottish and English. Everyone knew the words and it was rather enjoyable to observe and sing along when we could. A perfect introduction to the Scottish Highlands.