I caught a bus out of Glasgow to Glencoe, in the Scottish Highlands. It was a beautiful route, taking about 2 hours, along the side of Loch Lomond and through steep winding hills. What immediately struck me about Glencoe is how very like New Zealand it felt. Lush and green and mountainous. Were it not for the Scottish flags adorning a few of the houses along the main road, I could have easily believed I was in the South Island.
Obviously, accommodation in such a tiny place was sparse. I chose the hostel, about a mile from the village centre and enjoyed trundling my bag along the track. Throughout Scotland, hostelling was a mixed bag. I did it mostly because of how much cheaper it was, but also for the experience. In Glencoe, I spent a night sharing a room with a middle aged Welsh couple and the next with a French family of 5 who didn’t speak much English. We communicated with smiles.
The main purpose of my visit to Glencoe was to visit the Glencoe & North Lorn Folk Museum. The museum was set up by two local residents in the 1960s, one being my great grandaunt, Barbara Fairweather. I introduced myself to the museum staff as a relatives of Barbara’s and was informed that the majority of the collection had belonged to her. There were everyday objects, like crockery and some specialist farming equipment in a display out the back. She also wrote many of the souvenir pamphlets available in the gift shop. These are now mostly out of date, as she died over a decade ago, but I bought some to post back to New Zealand. The museum was very small, but it was so special to see.
Aside from the museum, I didn’t find an awful lot to do in Glencoe, which suited me just fine. I ate soup at the local cafe and explored the walking tracks near the hostel. The photo above was taken at Loch Leven, at the end of the main road (by balancing my camera on a picnic table and put it on self timer).Everything was so quiet and peaceful, the air fresh and the hills green. If I wasn’t homesick for New Zealand before, I definitely was now.