I’ve spent the last couple of days in Killin as part of a PhD retreat but managed to get some private retreat time, too. This (and the next) story is about one of my personal treks on the retreat. You can read about the PhD side of the retreat here.
The first day at the retreat centre began just after lunch, and we were all given opportunities to participate in an activity before a short presentation before dinner. I wasn’t keen on the idea of playing on the water, so opted to take one of the bikes into town to check out the old ruins of Finlarig Castle.
I had company for the first quarter of a mile but was asked to carry on solo after that because the cycling was a bit much for the other person, who’d not cycled in more than 10 years. I felt bad carrying on, but I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity and I knew that she’d find an alternative activity back at the centre. So, I pedalled hard into the driving rain (which stopped after about 10 minutes, thankfully!).
The ride into and through town, then onto the castle, took about 30 minutes because I stopped a couple of times along the way.
Once I got to the castle, I was a little unsure about how much I could explore because there was a private property warning sign. But just as I was deliberating about how much of a rule-breaker I should be, the property’s owner appeared in his Land Rover on his way to town. He stopped and approached me, excited to share the property’s history and highlights with me and provided me with a brief “tour by pointing”. He then encouraged me to explore as much as I wanted (with a plea to be cautious so that I didn’t get hurt) before he continued his journey.
And, oh, I did explore! And it was absolutely wonderful. (I’d love to go back with the right equipment – and permission – to really climb around and explore even further.)
Some of the highlights that were pointed out to me were the beheading stone, the coat of arms, and “Judgement Hill” and I was so grateful to have been guided to them.
After returning to the centre, I had a presentation to attend before dinner, then I took advantage of the lovely evening lighting to take some (in my opinion) great scenic photos.