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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 23rd 2019

Orkney Kirkwall and Hoy 51 miles 639m ascent. The ferry from Lerwick to Kirkwall on Orkney was delayed slightly last night as we were half an hour away from the port and someone apparently fell with the swell of the sea and needed to be taken off. Sailing back to port delayed us 1 1/2 hours and 11.30 departure became 0100. Miraculously we arrived in Kirkwall at 11.45 and found the hostel and made bed by 1 o’clock. Away at 8am for a good breakfast at the Pomona cafe. First class food and service. Whilst the day started bright it deteriorated with occasional rain and became very cold when the 20mph wind hit us head on. By the time we were at the Ring of Brogdar with 2 million German tourists it was quite bitter and ... read more
Unstans Tomb
Ring of Brogdar
Emilys cafe

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland August 22nd 2019

Shetland. Walls. Tuesday morning started off much colder at 10 degrees and very overcast with a little drizzle in the air and a 20 mph westerly wind. Luckily we were heading south off the island and down through Yell to the mainland. The first ferry was just about to set off as we arrived and we rode straight on for the 10 minute journey. Once on Yell we got onto the main road and fell into a peloton with me at the back (mostly) being protected by the younger and fitter riders. The ferry at Alsta came in 10 minutes after we arrived and then sat in the harbour for 45 minutes. Luckily we could get into the passenger lounge to get warm with a coffee bought at the shop which was open today (Closed Sundays). ... read more
Great Skua
Replica Viking Longboat.
Burrastow House.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 19th 2019

We leave sunny and warm Niagara on the Lake today for a 3 week trip to Scotland. It will be a touring trip without golf, although we will stop in St. Andrews. The current plan is a week stay in and around Edinburgh and a self driving tour through Spey, Inverness, Western Highlands, Isle of Sky, and Glasgow. This is our first time in Scotland and we’re looking forward to the experience A friend and neighbour, Doug Gibson, who immigrated from Scotland a few years ago and still has the accent, has been giving us some language training and other advice. He loaned us a book, “How the Scots Invented the Modern World” by Arthur Herman. It is highly recommended for those interested in Scottish history. It’s amazing how influential tiny Scotland has been over the ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland Islands August 17th 2019

Shetland. Hillswick 45 miles. After waking up to rain these past two days, for a surprise we woke up to rain again today although it was only very gentle and there was very light wind from the south. This was great news as we are heading north today firstly up the east side and the tail wind is every cyclists dream. Breakfast, for the more domesticated of us, was home made porridge with banana and jam. The molly coddled crew of three went to the Peerie cafe in Lerwick again and then to the supermarket to find some food for Unst. Five of us then headed off under a heavy sky and low cloud. The scenery going around the lochs and coastline was very good and would have been stunning on a sunny day, but alas ... read more
Coffee break. .
View from hotel

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 16th 2019

Shetland and Orkney. August 2019 The Clitheroe Bike Club head off to the far north. The eight of us start by taking two cars to Aberdeen Airport for parking before taking the overnight ferry to Lerwick. Landed to meet rain and dark skies at we disembarked and headed to the Isleburgh hostel. Luckily our room was available so we made up our beds hoping the rain would abate. No such luck, so off we went on our way to Burra and then back to the Scalloway Museum and Castle. The museum was well worth a visit with great staff and interesting exhibits. The castle was built by an Earl who was given the job of looking after Shetland and Norway but ended up being greedy and making the locals poverty stricken so ended up being executed. ... read more
Scalloway Castle.
Scalloway in the wet.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 14th 2019

It was raining as we left Glasgow Queen Street station, so we headed towards the city centre looking for shelter. The rain stopped for a while, then restarted. This proved to be the weather for the rest of the day. "I want one!" shouted Madam as we passed a shop window, “look!, look!, it's a print signed by Billy Connolly, it can be my anniversary present!" Since our anniversary was some months away in either direction I was a little confused. I looked at the price tag. "It's £895" I told her, thinking that would end the discussion. "But I want one!" she snapped, "you have a MacBook." I thought for a while but couldn't see any connection between my laptop computer purchased last year in a fit of uncharacteristic extravagance and a £895 print. "It's ... read more
Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 13th 2019

I knew we were in Scotland when I looked at the breakfast menu in the local Wetherspoons the following morning. In place of the normal English Breakfast was a Scottish Breakfast with two black puddings, eggs and a potato scone. You could add haggis for another pound. On the vegan breakfast you could add black pudding as an extra. Maybe blood counts as vegan in Scotland. After breakfast we walked through Princes park, the castle towering above us. We climbed steep hills with numerous stops to admire the views. We strolled down the Royal Mile which was noisy and crowded with tourists. Almost every store was a gift shop of some sort. Bagpipe players were busking on every corner. There’s nothing finer than Amazing Grace played by a competent bagpiper but these buskers all seem to ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 11th 2019

Two for the Road Notes for the Self-Sufficient Traveler My wife and I conceived of a plan to travel for several months while not straining our bank accounts excessively. Our ability to be away for so long was predicated on stays in residences that afforded us self-sufficiency, autonomy and affordable prices. We had no intention of taking every meal for months on end in a restaurant or hotel. The advent of Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com and other resources allowed us to plan months in advance to secure acceptable facilities on our arrival. We’ve learned a lot, made mistakes, had successes and have been generally satisfied with our decisions. Over the course of a year, Susan has consulted five sources for accommodations: Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor/Homeaway, Expedia and VRBO. Here is what we’ve found and o... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 8th 2019

August 8, 2019 At Sea Today, we woke to the gentle rocking of the ship. Nothing out of the ordinary. Nothing to worry about. A one meter swell. Just enough to get the ship swaying like the hips of a lazy hula dancer lost in thought. Not much at all. When one wakes up full, is that a bad thing? The thought of breakfast holds no interest for me, at the moment. Dinner last night is a fond memory. A fabulous meal, and I didn’t finish anything – I still heard faint strains of “those starving children in _________” as I left portions of my meal untouched. I think they need to follow the lead of the “Fine Chefs” at a multi course meal….SMALLER PORTIONS. You KNOW some damned fool will complain – at least there’d ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland August 7th 2019

August 7, 2019 Invergordon, Scotland Well, clearly Invergordon is an oil town. There are ENORMOUS oil derricks dotting the Firth. We came up alongside several of them as we made our way into port. My day started with an 80-minute massage…I was Savo’d!! Strong hands and hot stones made for a very relaxing stress-free way to start my day. Blissful. After my early morning massage (8am), I thought about grabbing a bite to eat. We don’t dock until 11 (actually docked at 10) so…it’s going to be a nightmare in the Terrace for breakfast. As I thought – lines everywhere and no tables. Waves, much the same. Too late for the Grand Dining room, so I grabbed a smoothie (now have smoothie bar in waves) a pastry – undoes the smoothie – right?? And 2 double ... read more




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