I began Day Five somewhat early, ensuring I’d have plenty of time to get ready and walk to Edinburgh Waverley, choosing to walk around the castle and through Princes Street Gardens instead of up and over the Royal Mile.
Even with my good intentions (probably because I took a wrong turn), I just missed the train I was planning to catch, but it was only a half hour wait until the next one and I was shortly on my way to Glasgow Queen Street where I’d change trains to head to Balloch, a town on the southern shore of Loch Lomond. On my last trip, a Loch Lomond and Stirling tour took me to Luss on the loch’s western shore, but I thought I’d visit Balloch and see the loch again, especially since it was raining last year (not surprising for Scotland) and sunny today. The train to Glasgow wasn’t crowded at all so I was easily able to grab a window seat to take in what was to see along the way, including the ruins of Linlithgow Palace (the birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots).
After arriving at Glasgow Queen Street and making my way down to the lower level platforms, I caught the local to Balloch, which made many stops along the way, but eventually arrived at the end of the line around lunch time. After finding a bench on which to enjoy the breeze, the sunshine, and a salmon sandwich, I wandered the woodland trail along the River Leven up to Loch Lomond, passing lots of people and pups out enjoying the weather. I sat on the beach for awhile, taking in the beautiful scenery of nearby Ben Lomond and watching a sailboat meander its way across the loch.
But soon, it was time to trek back down the woodland trail and I stopped into the information center for some postcards on my way back to the station where I caught the train back to Glasgow and eventually Edinburgh, walking back through Princes Street Gardens and around Edinburgh Castle to Old Town. Tomorrow will be the first day of my trip without a train journey and I’m looking forward to wandering around Edinburgh and seeing things I didn’t get to on my last visit.