One of the first things you learn about Scotland is to drop everything and take advantage of great weather. One of the second things is not to wait for great weather. Yesterday, we did both. It was a holiday weekend thanks to the Queen’s Jubilee in honor of her 70-year reign.
We went out to lunch. It took the whole day. I woke a shocked Hub before breakfast and told him the azaleas were in bloom at Achamore Gardens on the tiny island of Gigha. I gave him 30 minutes before we had to leave to make the ferry at Lochranza, on the north end of Arran. It wasn’t pretty, but to my amazement, we made it into the second-to-last slot for the small ferry to Claonaig on the mainland.
Gigha has seen a millennia of fighting over its tiny self. For centuries, two clans—Macdonald and MacNeills—fought bloody wars for possession. Eventually, the island was sold several times before finally being acquired by Sir James Horlick (of the powdered malted milk drink mix) in 1944. He began construction of the incredible specimen gardens of Achamore. Sadly, the island passed through several owners hands, with population dropping from a peak of 624 in 1792 to only 98 by the turn of the 21st century. In the largest community buyout in UK history, the residents managed to pull together the mix of loans and grants needed to purchase their little island. They paid off the loans by selling the manor house, and opened the stunning gardens to the public.
We made it back across in time for a side trip to 12th-century Skipness Castle, where sadly, we again failed to meet the resident ghost, the Green Lady of Skipness Castle.
So what was the worst thing?
Nothing went wrong. Not. One. Thing. What am I supposed to blog about?