West Highland Way: Milngavie to Drymen

8-29-2015:  Our long awaited start to the West Highland Way has finally arrived.
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We stroll down to a cute little dining area with flags at the tables to identify our country. Kind of glad this part of the world isn’t upset with the U.S.A. right now as our flag towers over the table. 

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Living large at Best Foot Forward Bed & Breakfast this morning as we fuel up for our first day of hiking with granola cereal, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs, toast, juice and most importantly… coffee.

The air is peppered with light conversation as we visit with neighboring tables with flags from Scotland, Germany and Holland. All are here for the same purpose ~ to hike the West Highland Way.

WWW_Day1_E-1090153eWe thank and bid farewell to our hosts and they seem to especially giggle when Randy tells them his name:  I’m Randy! 

WWW_Day1_E-1090167eReady or not… here we go!!

Destination:  Twelve miles down the trail to Drymen, Scotland.

A Map of the West Highland Way

 

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12 miles later… Ahhhh, home sweet home as we receive a Scottish welcome at Glenalva Bed & Breakfast. We discover that we may be able to eat our evening meal at the oldest pub in Scotland, but we’d better get our names in as soon as we can.

Can’t miss an opportunity like that, so we drop our backpacks and walk into town. Our list of B & B rules says we must be in by 10 p.m.

Not a problem.

Click on the link below and you’ll view a short slide show/video of the scenery on this day. Locals say the views the first couple of days of the West Highland Way are boring, but I’m quite enjoying the sights.

 

 

 

 

Scotland… here we come!

Hiking destination:  West Highland Way. 96 miles of Scotland’s rugged beauty.

August 27, 2015: My sister, Joan (the accountant/flight attendant, travel guru extraordinaire), has the spreadsheet analyzed and revised multiple times. Following months of research, the departure date has finally arrived as Joan pulls up to park her vehicle, saddle up her backpack and hands me a copy of the FINAL spreadsheet for our three-week adventure. As for my husband, Randy, and I?  Well, we did show up on time so give us credit for that. Thank goodness for Joan!!

Public transportation is how we roll…

First bus – Chanhassen, MN/downtown Minneapolis/transfer to the airport. Bonus for Joan since she can ride the whole way for 75 cents.  What a deal.

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After landing in Glasgow mid-afternoon August 28th, we take a convenient bus from the airport to Buchanan Station where we hop on a transfer bus to Milngavie, Scotland, the starting point for the West Highland Way.
E1_webScot-1090056eAre you sure this is our bus?

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Really?  We get a double-decker bus?

Wide eyed, even with lack of sleep, I gaze at the views of Glasgow from the top level, as we sit in the front seats of the bus.

My apologies to the young students that didn’t get the front seats on this day. You can sit in the front tomorrow.E1_webScot-1090083e Hair extensions while waiting for computer repair.  Interesting combination.E1_webScot-1090092e E1_webScot-1090101eE1_webScot-1090102e E1_webScot-1090112e

School has now dismissed, so our bus quickly fills with chatty students releasing their pent-up energy. Just like home, except our students ride on school buses instead of city buses. Unsure as to our stop, we ask a 12-year-old in the next seat who, luckily for us, ignored any previous stranger danger lessons and informed us that he gets off at our stop.

E1_webScot-1090119e Not a great day for this truck driver. Our B & B for the night is on the other side so we now must figure out a way to get around it.E1_webScot-1090128e Have no fear, a friendly, born & bred Scottish trail angel has already arrived to show us the way and we cut through the park. E1_webScot-1090132eSafe and sound, we arrive at Best Foot Forward Bed & Breakfast to rest up for our first day of hiking the West Highland Way!

Well… maybe find a pub first and then we’ll rest up…