The Ochils

This photo of landscape-scale geology tells the story of a ridiculously busy August day, the first day of a week’s holiday in Scotland.  

When I took it, we - three or four people - were looking out at the Ochil Hills from the top of the Wallace Monument (think Braveheart) in Stirling.  The Ochils, by the way, are a 25-mile long range of hills formed of Devonian lavas They are not the biggest/highest peaks in Scotland but they are certainly interesting and worthwhile scenery!  You are looking at their southern edge here, where they are bounded by the geological fault which created the escarpment in this pic.  

We had already travelled up from East Anglia, booked into our B&B, and gone for a brief look around the city.  We had seen the monument from the train, and when we saw a bus heading out that way we decided that we really ought to go and see it that day.  We'd made plans for the rest of the week, you see...  It wasn't just that we were being ambitious here.  There was a gig to go to the next evening, there were trips to Edinburgh to see the dinobirds exhibition and to just mooch around, we were going to Glasgow and to Inverness, and we'd got a trip to Perth lined up on the recommendation of one of my Other Half's colleagues. 

You also need to remember that we live in the Flatlands of the East, where rumour has it that you can’t do a hill start on your driving test because we haven’t got a hill:  For the Wallace Monument, the bus drops you at the foot of the Craig, you walk up it, and then you come to the monument.  You then climb 246 steep steps up a very narrow staircase to the top.  Oh, do you know about it!  We did think we may have tried to cram too much into just one day.

It is well worth the not-exorbitant cost and the [huge-for-us-Flatlanders] effort, in that you get this view and panoramic views across Stirling and the Forth Valley from where I was standing when I took this one and views to the highlands from other sides.

Oh - and I mentioned Braveheart.  There is a statue of Wallace at the foot of the Craig, and it really does look like Mel Gibson.  That's all I'm saying about it.


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