We traveled from Glasgow to Loch Lomond, stopping first in Balloch to catch a boat for a two-hour tour of Loch Lomond and its islands. We lucked out with a beautiful clear day, and had great views of Ben Lomond and the surrounding countryside. We took the boat up through the islands in the middle of the lake and then to a small town called Luss on the western shore before turning around back to Balloch. At Balloch, we also visited the grounds of Balloch castle, which was beautiful and afforded additional views of the lake. Afterwards we drove to the top of the lake and over to Arrochar, which is located at the top of Loch Long, and where we were staying. We had a great view of the loch from our hotel window. Octavia was very smitten with Loch Lomond:
“A feast of reason and a flow of soul.” Down the river Clyde — the first object which strikes the eye with most grandeur is Ben Lomond.…All hail Loch Lomond. As it first burst upon my view I felt an indescribable enthusiasm— so familiar to sound, oft painted in childish fancy — lowering mountains, the beach, islands, Inversnaid — cascades. Head of the Lake, back to Rob Roy’s cave, trail, Inversnaid, there took ponies. Journey over the mountain 6 miles to Loch Katrine which passes by the ruins of a castle built to oppose Rob Roy. House where his [. . .] was born, a lowly thatched cottage.
Loch Arkey [i.e. Arklet], then Loch Katrine.A row boat — late in the afternoon; all was calm. Cannot [. . .] house where Rob Roy was born — where lady of the lake upheld from the foliage in her boat — where R sounded his horn, echo repeated many times — poetry, jokes, romance, notable places and associations, poetry.
Light did the boat row. Sheep, shepherds. Gallic language similar to the Bretagne of France. Hill where 3 counties meet — Perth, Argylshire, and Stirling. A town or hamlet called Ardlui. The mountain, the boatman pronounced the name but I could not understand it. “Spell it.” “It’s nae sae asie to spell — that’s my opinion.” Left the boat; walked a mile and a half over the Trossachs — lakes, islands, cascades — the tree on the side of the [. . .] where R. D.’s “gallant grey fell.” Inn covered with vines, the heart of Romance, overlooking a charming lake; full, deep moonlight on the water, clear. After that, strolled about the aromatic glades, went to the top of the mountain. French boys dancing “Polka.” Statue of Lord Brougham...
Thursday. Retraced our steps. On arriving at Balloch, all the omnibusses filled; much trouble on being refused the privilege of getting into a carriage. What was [. . .] called a little buggy race —and entered Dumbarton triumphant — Hurra! Villages full, full of children. Arrived in good time. Met some Americans; long walk to our hotel, Washington street, very dark; Argyll street, light. Hotel Ruch [?] Head. Two days of bliss. In coming years, I will look back and say — what shall I say!