Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sunshine, sea and sand in holiday-time Scotland

Thursday 12th July to Thursday 19th July 2012

With the boat in good hands we were off northwards to see a bit more of Scotland than just Gretna Green (although we did spend 3 days in Edinburgh). It's holiday time for a week

We had made no plans whatsoever and changed our minds even whilst we were driving - Diane made a booking for a B&B in Dumfries so we were off to there - ended up being a couple of nights

A lot of water flowing along the River Nith.
One of our favourites - the fountain in the middle of the town

The statue of Robert Burns dwarfed by the cathedral
but not overshadoed in Dumfries

We did the town trail which dealt a lot with Robert Burns - the great poet - he lived, worked and died here - alas they couldn't claim his birth - that was for Ayr

The Sweetheart Abbey at New Abbey

We did a fair amount of sightseeing around the area as well as the towns in which we stayed and managed to get a very good look at parts of Scotland that we feel might not be visited as much as they deserve - including down to Carsethorn where the American John Paul Jones was born and from where his seafaring career was launched.

Just a few miles from Stranraer is the lovely little port of Portpatrick
with this harbour.

Right around the south-west the country is magnificent and we certainly enjoyed driving as well as doing the tourist things - the drive from Stranraer to Ayr along the coast is almost as spectacular as the Great Ocean Road back in Victoria.

The citadel in Ayr - built by Oliver Cromwell
and from where he arranged for soldiers to depart
the colony of Virginia for defense against Royalists

Sun, sea and sand - all here in Ayr - yes it is real sand, not any
of this stony stuff. We would have been in for a swim
but the swimmers were back in the car

As we had not been to Glasgow before and there were a number of areas we wanted to see we decided to make a base in Glasgow and reduce the travelling - again Diane was on the web whilst we were travelling and made the necessary booking.

Number one for us was the Falkirk Wheel - we couldn't come this far and not see it

One boat up and one coming down - a total rotation uses
something like 1.5kW in power
Nearing the caisson for the trip down

The tourist trip on the wheel and this view as you come back
ready for the rotation back down

Looking down onto the Forth & Clyde Canal

In the other direction was Loch Lomond and all i got in the car was Diane singing the song - by the end there was some resemblance of the tune and most of the words were in the right order - only joking - her singing was wonderful (can you release my arm now dear)

It was not so sunny this day, but the area was so peaceful

and just the same a bit further around

The small heritage village of Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond

The mountains started to make their presence felt a bit further north
of the loch and the scenery was stunning

down as well as up the hills

One of the steamers out on Loch Fyne

 After not anywhere near tiring of the Scottish landscape it was time to start the return journey and with the slight detour through the Lake District the scenery changed but it was just as beautiful

Looking back down the valley

There has been a lot of rain in the area and it is still
rushing down the mountain-side

We spent one night in the small town of Settle - all of it was very pretty but perhaps best epitomised by the railway station

The station at Settle
 Of course we found out that this is steam-train country and that Wednesdays mean the 5:47pm train through the station - so we joined a group of afficiandos (i.e. train people) at the station to eagerly await it's arrival - I am sure that it will go into the books that on this day the train was indeed late - by some minutes

but it was worth the extra wait for "The Fellsman"

the River Ribble
Also rushing through the town is the River Ribble - the longest river in Britain (or was it just England) to run from right to left ( I mean east to west) - yes it is the same one that exits past Preston to the estuary at Lytham St.Anne's.

We arrived back to the boat - all intact - in time to bid farewell to Richard, Kirsty, Emily and Jacob farewell for their journey back to Australia and we were back home.

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