We really only had a day to explore Balloch, which felt both very new and very familiar. New, because we haven’t visited for 30 years (mea culpa), and I have forgotten much. Familiar, because things haven’t changed a great deal (Brigadoon?).
We started the day with a taxi ride to the quaint village of Luss. From there we took the water taxi to Balmaha. On the way over we learned that Vikings had, at one time, hauled their long-ships overland into Loch Lomond, to pillage the local villages. Images of Wildlings danced in my head.
From Balmaha, we took the bus back to Balloch. It was a hoot. The driver barrelled along the country roads at tops speed, knew each of the passengers by name and chatted with them along the route. And one point the driver, who was my age, confessed that he had been out late the night before to see AC/DC in Glasgow and that it was “fan-tas-tick”.
The bus returned us to Balloch, at the same spot where I remember catching the bus to school in Alexandria, oh, 50 years ago.
We then crossed the street to Balloch Castle Park, and wandered the grounds in a typical Scots mist. Back in Balloch, we took a tea-break on board the “Maid of the Loch”, a partially restored paddle steamer that I had taken as a boy for family trips to the beach at Balmaha.
Finally, we met up with my relative Jim Brannan, for another very nice family visit.