Killin' Time - Part 1

(Author's note: there's probably going to be a lot of puns on the fact that the name of the town I eventually visited during this drive was "Killin". Be forewarned.) This whole trip was pretty much a spur of the moment idea. I'd heard the area around Loch Tay was pretty beautiful, so I figured I'd check it out. It was about a two or three hour drive out there, so I figured I'd head out to Loch Tay and, if I couldn't find anyplace else, make it back to Fundee in time to get a beer at the casino (which is a bit of a -joke - there's ALWAYS time to get a beer at the casino, since they're open 24 hours).

 Whisky galore!!

Whisky galore!!

I hopped into the trusty Fritzmobile and made my way out to the open road. The first dilemma you face when leaving Dundee, other than asking why you were in Dundee in the first place, is whether to take the Perth road or not to get to the A9,which is the main highway that runs through the Highlands and up to Inverness. The Dunkeld way is nicer, but the roads aren't as good as going through Perth.

This time, I decided to pursue the Dunkeld option because I wanted to stop and have a beer at the "Best Beer Garden in Scotland" (as determined by yours truly). I'm not going to elaborate on the garden since that will be given a post all of its own.

 Falls of Dochart. 

Falls of Dochart. 

After the Dunkeld stop, the drive was just a few short miles down the A9 to the Aberfeldy turn off. At this point, the A9 is really wide and has two lanes on each side (a "dual carriageway" as they say over there) and was a pleasure to drive. I took the Aberfeldy exit and continued along a winding road next to the silv'ry Tay.

I stopped when I saw the falls in the picture. Little did I know HOW MANY falls I was going to be seeing over the course of the next twenty four hours.

 The Birks of Aberfeldy. 

The Birks of Aberfeldy. 

The falls look beautiful, don't they? Makes you want to grab a cold one and sit right in the middle of a refreshing stream of water straight down from the Highlands, doesn't it? Go right ahead and jump in! And then you'll be dead from pneumonia in about 5 minutes. That water is COOOOOLD. That's the problem with Scotland - so many beautiful lochs, streams and waterfalls, but YOU CAN'T GO IN because you'll freeze your nuts off. Alas.  I stopped for a quick bite to eat in Aberfeldy, home of the famous Birks of Aberfeldy, as immortalized by Scotland's second greatest poet, Robert Burns (Here's the greatest, in case you couldn't figure it out).

As you can see, I took a picture of another waterfall. I was still excited by seeing gentle mountain streams. How naive I was.

Now, here I have to make a confession, because I didn't actually get to the famous spot where Robert Burns sat and wrote "The Birks of Aberfeldy." Come on - it was like a mile hike away! Not that I minded walking a mile, but I didn't want to lose any more daylight by killin' time going to see a bunch of trees!

The other ongoing feature of this trip, other than the waterfalls, was castles. Immediately after I left Aberfeldy, I saw a sign for a castle and pulled over for a photo op.

 Car and castle. 

Car and castle. 

There was a wedding about to take place at the castle, so it was closed. But, just to make sure, I went up and knocked on the comically large doorknobs.

But that's another thing about Scotland, you'll just be driving around and run into a 500 year old castle.

But the biggest surprise was waiting for me just around the bend.

For you see, I was about to discover something that many had heard about but few had experienced, yes, my friends, I stumbled upon a town so lifeless, so boring, and just downright unexciting that it was given the name, "Dull."

The opportunity was too good to pass up, so I steered off the road and went to experience everything that Dull had to offer.

Which, in fact, wasn't that much. I don't know if I ever even drove through Dull, since there wasn't a sign for the village proper.

 Which way to boredom? 

Which way to boredom? 

So, if I drove through Dull, it was a pretty forgettable collection of farmhouses.

In other words, pretty dull.

(The Guardian ran a story about Dull just a few weeks after I was here. I think I might have to sue.)

The trip to Killin will continue with the next post!