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Passez la journée à explorer la magnifique campagne écossaise lors de cette excursion en bord de mer au départ de port de Greenock, en compagnie d'un guide expérimenté. Voyagez confortablement dans un autocar climatisé, contemplez les collines vallonnées, les forêts denses et les lacs scintillants pendant que vous roulez en direction des principaux monuments de la région. Découvrez le château de Stirling, le plus important bastion médiéval de l'Écosse, et prenez des photos de l'historique château de Doune. Ensuite, faites une halte dans le pittoresque village d'Aberfoyle dans le parc national de Trossachs avant de continuer jusqu'au Loch Lomond.
We started the day with our guide, Paul dressed in Scottish clan clothing. He did an excellent job guiding the tour, relating history and keeping interest level high. Our first stop, Stirling Castle was very interesting and educational. We went from there to a drive through, The Trossachs, a national park of sorts... We saw a large variety of plants, floral and fauna on a very winding road. After a lunch stop in the village of Alberfoyle, and some shopping at the Woolen Mills, we then headed on a drive an eventual stop at Loch Lomond. The part seemed unnecessary. At one of our stops, our driver, demonstrated some native Scottish arms, and swords... There was interest in that.
We arrived at the meeting point on time, but were amongst the last out of the tour group to arrive. As every seat on the bus was sold, we ended up squashed on the back seat of the bus. Not only was this uncomfortable, but we couldn't take any pictures on route as we weren't by a window - not a good start.
We first headed for Stirling Castle, which we had pre-ordered tickets for. Although the castle setting was spectacular on top of a hill, and it was almost entirely preserved, the castle interiors were very sparsely furnished, which was a bit of a disappointment. Also, it would have been better if we had a quick photo stop, to get a shot of the castle from a distance - as we left we could see it behind us up on the hill, but we couldn't get a photo.
We then stopped for an hour for lunch in a small village called Aberfoyle, which had the Scottish Wool Centre and a few restaurants.
Next we drove through the spectacular Trossachs, but took no photos as we weren't by a window. We then had a short photo stop for a hotel that looked like a castle - The Trossachs Hotel?.
We then continued on and the drove alongside Loch Lomond, before we arrived at the village of Luss, our only Loch Lomond stop. Here, we had 20 minutes to walk by the lake and explore the scenic village, which was not really enough time to appreciate it.
We then went back to Greenock, arriving late in the afternoon.
Although the excursion gave us a good appreciation of the area, it was disappointing due to our seating on the bus - a window seat would have given us a better experience. I know it's all about the money, but you should keep the back seat of the bus free.
This was our first visit to the area, so we were looking for a guide who was knowledgeable and thorough - and enjoyable. Eric was all of those things and more!! We saw everything we had hoped to see and more, including shaggy cows and Clydesdale horses in the fields. At the castle we learned so much about Scottish history; and we experienced all the beauty of the area on our drive through the national park and at the lake. I cannot rate this trip too highly!!
Guide Eric was ready for us when our cruise ship docked. The itinerary was excellent - good to explore Stirling Castle, sample some single malt at a distillery and see the beauty of the area. Eric provided excellent commentary with a good amount of Scottish humor.