Connel, Argyll, Scotland

From travel journal written by Mum Jinx:

"Leaving our guesthouse this morning after a surprisingly extensive breakfast (bacon & turkey, eggs, toast, cornflakes, bread, tea), we went first to a local travel agent in Saltcoats to seek answers to a few questions. Learned that we won't be able to find inexpensive air passage to Copenhagen—the superlow rates apply only on round trips. Went on to Ardrossen pier to the Caledonian McBrayne office, and leaned [sic] that the Mallaig-Skye car ferry does not run until after April 29. Thus another change of plans—we will go around & further north, to reach Skye via either Kylerhea or, more likely, the Kyle of Lochalsh.

Then we drove on up the coast… stopped at Larys, where Dinah made the acquaintance of a group of swans (swans live wild, apparently, all up the western coast—we've seen many more since‚. Then we went on to Gourock—arrived with perfect timing for the car ferry to Dunoon. We were the last car put on… drove in and were swiftly maneuvered into our appropriate storage spot by the obviously-experienced ferry men. It was still quite foggy and with a cold wind when we left. Gourock (though all morning we'd heard Scots commenting on what a lovely day)—cold on the ferry & probably a wavery length of [home movie] film taken there since I was shivering… but in Dunoon the sun broke through, and the town was lovely, so we stayed awhile. Sat in the sun on a grass-covered hill & looked back across the Firth of Clyde, watched the ferries traveling back & forth from Gourock. The ferry dock is very spic & span, Victorian… Atop the hill, a library with a fine greenhouse full of flowers, and an imposing stone church. Pretty town of grey stone houses spread out around the little bay. This is a place we'd like to visit again. After lunch, we drove on north through Argyll Forest Park (all man-planted) and along Loch Eck.

Everywhere we go we see lots of daffodils—along Loch Lyn we saw (and took movies of) a house surrounded by fields of gold & white ones.

Stopped at Inverary Castle, but it is closed on Fridays. Found that the Duke & Duchess of Argyll reside there—and that it is rather too new to be considered a real castle (18th century).

Jinx took a turn driving—north around Loch Awe & up toward Oban. Had decided to stay in one of the small villages just north of Oban—but couldn't find a bed & breakfast spot… were very tired by then, so we turned back & spent the night in a guesthouse (a bit more elegant & expensive) in Connel. Beautiful rockery in front—quite a few guests—and a taste of British reserve among the other guests, at evening tea. And a nice view of Ardmucknish Bay."