Saturday, 17th June, 2023

Last night, I had a choice of being bitten by midges and completing my journal or turning the light off, getting into bed, not getting bitten by midges but not getting the journal done either. I chose the latter course of action. Unfortunately, this required me to get up at 6:00am this morning in order to complete yesterday's journal. This was achieved just in time to go down for breakfast. Sadly, it was a vegan breakfast so no bacon, eggs or even proper milk! Nevertheless, the toast and pancakes were tasty.

Breakfast at the Killean Vegan Farmhouse

The lounge was available for guests to enjoy.

We learned that the Killean Vegan Farmhouse has recently changed hands. The "vegan" is to be removed from the title of the establishment and, soon, "proper" continental breakfast will be an option!

The first thing on our list today was to go to Mount Stuart House but we learned yesterday that it was closed today. Luckily, we were able to change our ferry time and location which allowed us to explore Loch Lomond before catching the ferry to Rothesay this evening. Our first visit was to the Sea Life Aquarium. This turned out to be a really good experience because the tanks were curved and clean. This meant we could get some great movies and photos!

The view from the balcony of the aquarium

The "Maid of the Loch", built in 1953, was the last sea-going paddle steamer to be made in the UK. She sailed in Loch Lomond for 29 years until 1981. She was laid up at Balloch Pier and left to deteriorate. Since 1995, a dedicated group of enthusiasts has worked hard to get her back on the loch. Through a grant of £900,000 from the Scottish government and donations from many sources, work is well under way.  It is hoped that, in the next few years, she will once again grace the waters of Loch Lomond. We were able to board the ship, which can carry 1000 passengers, to view the engine room and an exhibition.

The "Maid of the Loch" is currently on a slipway while undergoing restoration.

One of the paddle wheels

The engine room

Another view of the engine room

This steam-driven winch had to be restored in order to pull the "Maid of the Loch" out of the water onto the slipway

We had the opportunity to go on a 90 minute tour of the rest of the ship but were unable to do this as we had booked a cruise on Loch Lomond. This was with "Sweeney's Cruise Company" on their motor boat "Silver Marlin". The cruise took us past the world famous "Loch Lomond Golf Club", to the middle island of Loch Lomond sailing through an area known to locals as "The Narrows" and onwards to the village of Luss.

Watching this seaplane take off was an unexpected bonus.

Ben Lomond, after which the loch is named

The church at Luss

On our return to Balloch, we drove to Wemyss Bay Ferry Terminal for our passage to Rothesay (on the Isle of Bute).

This is the Glenburn Hotel, our rather imposing accommodation!

The view from our room was spectacular!

Dinner in the hotel's restaurant was very good (and not over-priced).

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