When the sun shows up here in Scotland, you better make the best of it, because it doesn't stick around for long. We do get small stretches of nice weather, but nice can be defined as 'not raining too hard' or 'not as cold'. Everything is relative and I've more or less given up on having an actual season called summer. Case in point, last year, the hottest it got was 21 degrees Celsius… in August.
But meanwhile, when I saw that this weekend (a long weekend here as today is a bank holiday), had two days of sunshine-like weather, we jumped at the chance to get out of the city a bit.
A short twenty minute train ride from our nearest rail station took us north-west of Glasgow to a place called Dumbarton. It's a small town and fairly industrial. It sits (as many places do in the area) on the River Clyde and is not too far away from where the the Clyde empties into the Firth of Clyde. The river is fairly noticeably tidal and you can see the kelp on the shores and smell the salt in the air.
I'm a coastal gal. I need my ocean!
So, yesterday we set off with snacks and water and a hope that the mild weather would cooperate with us. Not only did it cooperate, the sun came out and bathed us in warmth long enough to prove it existed, as is now noticeable by my slightly red face this morning.
We explored Dumbarton Castle, which is on Dumbarton Rock, an extinct volcano. The fortress (it has had many incarnations over the centuries), get this, has a recorded history of…
Think about that for a second.
Don't worry, I can't truly wrap my mind around that either.
But it's quite high up and has over 500 steps to reach the different batteries and sections. At the very top you can see for kilometers both ways along the river and also see Ben Lomond, a high peak over at nearby Loch Lomand (about 30 minutes from the station we started at).
I think I needed this trip more than I realized, and also the sun too. I needed a change of pace and scenery to shake me out of the 'blahness' that hit me over the last few days.
£8.80 in return train fare.
172 photos uploaded from one of my 2GB memory cards.
3 hours of fun and sun.
A reminder that every once n a while you have to go out of your way to shake things up.
I have so many photos I can share, but here are a few to start.
View looking west towards the ocean and the Inner Hebrides.
Holding in my top so my clothes don't look nearly so baggy on me!