Tourism

Lochranza Castle

Once upon a time Robert the Bruce breathed within those walls. Need I say more?

These posts are making me miss Scotland. Perhaps I should visit again to relieve some of the longing, but in the meantime here’s another post on the Isle of Arran!

Lochranza Castle is a personal favourite of mine. Granted, it was closed for the season when we were visiting but we still made do with our time and explored the area around.

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Ugh, Scotland. Why are you so bloody gorgeous? Please keep in mind that this was in early-mid winter, when Scottish weather is at its very best behaviour.

Right. Castle Lochranza. I promise I’m done getting side-tracked!

It’s actually more of a tower house than a castle. A tower house is built for defensive purposes or temporary habitation, and this one in particular is said to have existed since the 13th century. It’s also said that Robert the Bruce lodged at Lochranza for a while on his journey to claim the Scottish throne. Being the weird fanatic I am, I simply couldn’t pass up this opportunity. After the usual hearty breakfast Bahja and I were on our way.

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Here’s a vegetarian version of the ‘hearty Scottish breakfast’ we keep mentioning.
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Here’s the more traditional meaty version.

We took a bus from Whiting Bay to Lochranza. The trip was roughly 15-20 minutes long. Two funny things happened to us on the way. First, the bus driver recognised us and at that point we’ve only been on the island for two days.

“Let me guess,” he said, eyeing the two of us thoughtfully. He pointed at me then at Bahja. “The American and the Bahraini. Am I right?”

We laughed and told him that he’s half-right. He just got the order wrong. We didn’t say anything afterward, but we both came to the exact same conclusion: this island is really small, and that’s saying something coming from a fellow islander! The thing is, though, Bahrain is small in the sense that the chances of you running into someone you know the moment you step out of the house is fairly high, whereas in Arran we became pretty well known after staying for only two days. On the one hand, ‘the American and the Bahraini’ sounded like the start of a really bad joke. On the other, everyone was being super sweet and funny about it so we may or may not have basked in the glory of being the talk of the island.

Second, we met an angsty teen islander. He was a nice young lad with dreams of getting out of the island and making it to the big cities beyond. His angsty rebellious ways reminded me of my own cursed teenage years spent in a desolate island that can hardly be located on a map, but then he joked about barbecuing sheep over a campfire after I made a comment about them looking like marshmallows and… just… DUDE YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THAT ISLAND.

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I MEAN LOOK AT THIS GRAZING LITTLE FLOOF. MARSHMALLOW WITH LEGS, I SAY!

On a more serious note though I do hope he made it to New York. Like I said, he was a nice lad and we enjoyed his company. Just keep him away from my sheep.

As I mentioned earlier, the castle was closed for the season but that still didn’t stop us from being those weird tourists everyone sort of just puts up with because they do help boost the overall economy, however weird and annoying they can be. We thought it a good idea to have a mini photoshoot instead.

Please don’t ask why. Sometimes I, too, want to punch younger me in the face.

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Here’s more pictures of the castle:

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We were finally done having fun, i.e. embarrassing our future selves, so we packed away our cameras and took the bus home. There’s a lot more to this story than this post, of course, but I must warn you that it only gets darker from this point onwards. Castles are lost, friendships are tested, and the infamous temperamental Scottish weather everyone warned us about had finally made its grand wet appearance. All of this and more, wonderfully covered here by our very own Bahja!

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