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Published: April 2nd 2018
Cairnpapple Hill Cists
These are burial holes.
Not sure whether to fly Royal Brunei again. The planes are fine, the food lovely but the two transfers suck big time. The first stopover in Brunei was uneventful but everyone just sat around for 2 1/2 hours. The biggest farce was the Dubai stop. They advertise this flight as a straight through to London. The reason they stop in Dubai is only for fuel although I did see them loading up cargo. Then came the silly business. We had to go back through security at Dubai. I was 'the chosen one' of course and I had to empty out my bag, electronically frisked and explosives tested for the second time. We walked for about 15 minutes, stood in lines for 10 - 15 and then arrived back at the same gate that we left. Really ticked to say the least and the 40 minutes of circling the airport before we landed did not calm my mood. The plane then broke down (something with the brakes) so we sat for another hour waiting for that to be fixed. I knew that I was going to be jammed into the window seat of a 3 across set so I went and saw
St John Prefectory
Beautiful. Very quiet.
the girls at the counter. They changed my seat to a double. It was right at the back but I had a big gap between the window seat and the wall of the plane. I put my foot rest in the space and spread out across the two seats. I slept for 6-7 hours. I woke up a few times with a sore hip and numb fingers but on the whole, not bad. Anyway we arrived in London, massive queues to get out through customs (at least 500 people in the line). I found my bag that had long been taken off the carousel and then caught the two trains to Terminal 5. I allowed myself 3 hours changeover but the wait at every security station meant that I arrived 5 minutes before they called the flight.
Arrived in Scotland to a beautiful day. Cold, 3-4 degrees but sunny. Picked up my little Hyundai i20 (very nice) and drove the 45 minutes to a place called Cairnpapple Hill. This is an ancient cairn or burial place. They think it's about 5500 years old. There is a ring ditch and the burial mound in the centre. I climbed down this
steep ladder into the tomb. Very interesting. Lots of cists (small burial holes) around the site as well as a sprinkling of snow. I then went and had a look through the Saint John Preceptory. Very cool. These are the order that the St John Ambulance is founded on. The man at the gate then proceeded to chat to me for about half an hour on the history of the Anglican church since 300AD. While interesting, I wanted to get going and in about 20 minutes found myself at the Falkirk Wheel. This is an amazing piece of engineering. Normally locks (not lochs) move the canal boats around the Scottish canals but this drop is massive. They have made this big wheel that takes the boat and the water up to the next level. Its 35 metres from the ground. I'll attach some photos. I took the B roads which are quite scary when cars come around blind corners on very narrow roads. It was only about an hour from there to Perth where I am now ensconced. Turns out the Hotel I booked is the same one Graeme and I stayed in in 2016. There was snow around today.
Built in 2002
Not new but across the mountains coming into Perth there was quite a bit beside the road. I've been to ASDA and bought some water and munchies for the trip to Inverness tomorrow. It is supposed to be snowing so I hope I get over the mountains before that happens.
One side note: I had to make my own cuppa! Where are you Grady?
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