The Bluebells of Scotland


They’re here! The soft bluebellian haze melts my heart whenever we are lucky enough to witness it. These enchanting little flowers only cast their magic for a brief season each year, and we keep our fingers crossed every time we head this way.

IMAG1104The warmth and sunshine of the past few days have given way to a soggy downpour – not the ideal way to start a tour, but we operate under the premise that if we are going to be in Scotland for two weeks, we’re bound to have a few days of rain – so the way we see it is that we’re getting our rainy days out of the way right off the bat.

It seems, though, that the Kilmartin valley has had more than its fair share of rain lately. The river has overflowed its banks and the fields are filled with water. We won’t be able to visit some of our favorite places this year, but fortunately the sunny dispositions of our travelling companions balance out the inclement weather.

(Can you see the water at the bottom of the field? That shouldn’t be there. The cows, however, seem to love plodding around up to their knees in water, though. Kids will be kids!)

P1030675Driving over from Glasgow was a sensory delight, despite the steadiness of the rain. The pervasive green was an exquisite backdrop for the flowers — rhododendrons, bluebells, azaleas, primroses, wild garlic, and assorted flowering trees competed for our oohs and aahs. We took the “shortcut” through the backroads, partly for the scenery, partly for the thrill of swooping along the single track road that hugs the shores of Loch Awe.

As always, Kilmartin House gave us a fabulous lunch of hot soup and hearty sandwiches (and perhaps just a few calorific goodies, too) as well as a good introduction to the archaeological wonders of the area. An award-winning museum, it specializes in hands-on exhibits that give a sense of the spiritual and practical nature of neolithic and bronze age life. In short, Kilmartin House simply exudes a sense of character, as evidenced by prominent display of the rare Toilet Pig: