Am not equal to writing up this day. It has meant more to me than any day of our tour. We left Edinburgh by tram at 8-31, crossed Firth of Forth bridge, to Stirling, changed cars here for Callendar, arriving at 10-38. Charabancs were waiting which took us to the Trossach’s Hotel situated upon the estate belonging to Drummond Castle. Here we were upon historic ground, indeed, that had to do with our own family history, for the Clan Drummond had their part in the old heroic days of Scotland. Stirling was the birthplace and early home of that remarkable personality - Henry Drummond who, through the influence of Dwight L. Moody, became such a power with young people. He is best remembered by the address he delivered to the students at Northfield, Mass “Love, the Greatest Thing in the World.” We had scarcely time to do justice to the lunch served us so rushed were we to reach the Steamer on schedule time and enjoy the famous trip through the Trossachs.
We found the steamer, Sir Walter Scott, waiting to carry us across Loch Katrine. It was such a beautiful ride. We were the first tourists that had come through this pass in six years and the Captain smiled his hearty welcome, as he pointed out to us the pass of the McGregors, Ellen’s Isle, the Silver Strand and other places mentioned in Scott’s Lady of the Lake. Rob Roy and his wife Helen and many things we have read about this section always seemed so mythical, but now they seem very real.
Reaching Stronachlacher, we coach to Inversnaid and I enjoyed a seat by they liveried driver, who smiled at our accent when the party attempted to sing Scotch airs, but he was a good talker and told us many things of interest.
The ride on the Prince Edward down Loch Lomond to Ballach Pier was equally interesting. The day was beautiful, scenery fine, and the background historical. We visit, promenade, take pictures and sing. We enjoyed the splendid dinner served on boat.
We will always carry with us the memory of the Highlands, the glens, Stately Ben Lomond, and the entire romantic and beautiful region made doubly so by Scott. It is no longer traditional geography, but very, very real, and we call to mind the fierce struggles of old border warfare in which England and Scotland shivered lances for long years.
Our great disappointment was, that it was too early to see the heather in bloom - only now and then could we catch a glimpse of the famous blossoms.
From Ballach Pier we took train for Glasgow. We were interested in seeing the funny black-faced sheep with their long tails, the Highland cows with their furry coats, the hillsides covered with heather, the strange birds, the blooming cowslips and primroses and always the snow-capped mountains in sight. Wild deer and goats live in the mountains and the goats are never killed. There is a story that once Robert Bruce and his men were caught in the mountains in a heavy snow storm and the goats driven down to the valley laid down beside the men and kept them warm. Then the edict went forth that they must never be killed.
We had a fall of 400 ft., in descending from the mountain to the boat landing. We had one hour’s wait in Glasgow, before our train was due to take us back to Edinburgh - Glasgow is a commercial city and unlike Edinburgh, London or other cities. I can hardly describe the difference. The Scots are also a nation of workers and the national energy is in the blood, and they give you the impression that they are terribly in earnest.
We are interested in Glasgow, for families of the Drummonds live there.
“A city dull and somewhat plain of face
Yet some there are, who with a lover’s eye
Are quick to mark an unexpected grace
Where strangers would indifferent, pass by.
May it be yours for a brief spell to share
Old Glasgow’s smiles - to pierce the veil of day
That screens her charms from hurried eyes - to bear
The best of her in memory away!”