The West Highland Way – Inverarnan to Tyndrum

August 6 – I miss Loch Lomond. Now I’ll have to come up with a new song to hum as we walk along.

Tired of mountains and trees? Today we have some history! Also, mountains and trees…

Mountains, trees, and sheep!

King Robert the First of Scotland (Robert the Bruce) fought the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. On the night before the battle, he prayed to St. Fillan, a monk from the early 700s. When Robert won the battle, he dedicated a new priory to St. Fillan, the ruins of which can be seen below.

The ruins of St. Fillan’s Priory from the 14th century

The Fillan River was known for healing the mentally ill when monks dunked them in this deep pool. Men were dunked in this section, and women were dunked a little further upstream. St. Fillan is the patron saint of the mentally ill.

The Holy Pool
Old bridge crossing over the River Fillan

A little further on is an old cemetery, containing some memorial stones from the 8th century. One of the stones bears the image of a forearm – a very unusual thing to carve on a memorial stone. Except…. St. Fillan was known to have a luminous forearm, that he used as a lantern so that he could continue reading scripture in the dark! Coincidence? You decide!

Kirkton family graveyard containing some 8th century memorial stones

Skipping forward to Robert the Bruce again, when his army lost the battle at Dalrigh right here in 1306, he disgustedly threw all his army’s swords into this small lake, known as the Lochen of the Lost Sword.

Lochen of the Lost Sword
Field of the Battle of Dalrigh

Wow! That’s a lot of history for one day’s walk. So, here are some more sheep and goats.

And flowers:

We approach the town of Tyndrum, where they used to mine lead.

There is a sign here inviting people to pan for gold, and we stood and watched for a while as some fellows panned away.

So now we are cozy in our B and B, after another hearty meal of haddock and chips (what we would call steak fries). I’m beginning to weary of the chips, which are served with every meal, but the fish is very good.

The places we’ve eaten in Scotland are all very solicitous of dietary restrictions / food allergies, and offer lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free choices. On our menu tonight was ‘tofush’ for those who desire a plant based alternative to fish.

Out the window of the restaurant were a row of bird feeders, set up for the entertainment of those eating within.

What a nice place.

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