Blogs from Scotland, United Kingdom, Europe


Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Kirkcudbrightshire » New Galloway September 16th 2021

Gabby the motorhome is parked up on Clatteringshaws Loch . We cannot see much out of her windscreen. It is still too dreek . The drizzle falls and the mist has rolled in over the loch . Not much of a view . We found a spot in a corner almost up to the area where motorhomers could dump their grey waste and toilet contents. There was one other motorhome there and a good number of cars . It cost £1 to park for one hour; £2 for two hours and £3 for all day up to a minute to midnight . The Forestry Commission who owned all the land as far as the eye could see had kindly granted permission for night stops following consultations with CamPra . They asked CamPra what motorhomers needed and ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 16th 2021

Another day, another breakfast. I decided to go for the Vegetarian Full Irish and was happy that I didn't have to wait as long as the day before. The breakfast was really nice and there was a lot of choice on it. There were poached eggs, baked beans, veggie sausages, vegan haggis, vegan black pudding, mushroom, spinach, tomato, potato scone, and soda farl. I'm tired just typing it all out. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the vegan haggis, it was utterly delicious and had a tasted of Worcestershire sauce to it, which couldn't have been used as it contains anchovies, so I would love to know what herbs and spices were used. The soda farl was really dense and filling and I enjoyed the potato scone as it was different to ones I've ... read more
Scottish National Portrait Gallery

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Kirkcudbrightshire » Castle Douglas September 15th 2021

Gabby the motorhome has squeezed herself into a space on the car park at Threave Castle Gardens the home of a school of horticulture for Scotland. We found a spot right up against the hedge . Admittedly it was two spaces but it made sense to park larger vehicles out of the way there . However the car owners thought differently. Although there were plenty of car size spaces they seemed to prefer the side we were on . Frustrating because they seem to have little idea of how to think of motorhomes and park selfishly. The weather was still dreek and the rain fell steadily. Not the best of weathers to see a garden which was laid mostly to grass . Still it had to be done .. We had seen a castle , an ... read more
The yellow Cardoon
Threave House
The waterfall

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 15th 2021

After a good night's sleep I was ready for breakfast. The hotel we were staying in didn't provide breakfast, but had a deal with the adjacent pub, so we headed there. I was rather surprised at how busy the pub was as most of the tables were taken. We were shown to a table and given menus to peruse. I opted for the Eggs Royale. It didn't take long for our drinks to turn up, but we waited about 50 minutes for the food. I know the pub was quite busy, but most people appeared to have already eaten. One poor couple ended up having to cancel their order. I did really enjoy my meal when it did arrive, but I wish there had been some salad or something with it as the Eggs Royale looked ... read more
Entrance Basin
Royal Yacht Britannia

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Kirkcudbrightshire September 14th 2021

Kirk Cud Bright - Kirk Coo Brie - Sion pondered long and hard on the way to pronounce the towns name . Brie he said - thats a cheese . Yes exactly but the Scots pronounce the town Kirk Coo Brie and it has nothing to do with cheese . In fact its name might derive from Kirk Cuthbert . We had read that it was the perfect place to visit . An artists town with a Stewartry museum and a castle. So off we set . Parking was not easy. Google had showed us a good car park in the middle of the town . Full - cars parked up and packed in like sardines . Not a hope of getting Gabby in . The marina next door was totally empty. A missed opportunity to ... read more
MacLellans castle complete with scaffolding

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 14th 2021

After a lovely journey up the coast on the train, we arrived at Edinburgh. It was a short walk from the station to where we were staying. Check-in was smooth and I loved the view from our room across the Grassmarket. I have only really briefly been to the Grassmarket before on previous trips to Edinburgh, so was looking forward to spending more time here. After getting sorted, it was time to head out and reacquaint myself with one of my favourite cities. I have been to Edinburgh numerous times over the years and there is always still more to see and do and revisit. The first place I wanted to visit was The Vennel Steps, which I had just come across online while looking for things to do near where we were staying. When I'd ... read more
View from the Vennel Steps
View from the Vennel Steps
Flodden Wall

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Dumfriesshire September 13th 2021

We spent the rest of the afternoon parked up in the aire /camping area . We left Gabby and set out for a walk up the shoreline which was criss crossed with paths . The signs warned us not to walk on the shoreline . The mud was treacherous and the quicksands would grab you and suck you down. The tide was out a long way but it could come in at short notice and cut you off from the shore . It was a dangerous bit of coastline . We kept to the waymarked paths . The season seemed later here . The blackberries were well out and the leaves beginning to take on autumnal colours . We saw a few people walking along the way. The sea was always on our left and the ... read more
and through what  felt almost like Lord of the Rings territory
and then the sky darkened and night was just around the corner

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Dumfriesshire » Dumfries September 13th 2021

Day 2 - following silly sat nag . We put in Dundrennan . She should have found it . She got one on her and we ended up down a narrow lane with no sign of an abbey of any kind . We switched her off and got out the map. She was not far wrong . Probably if we had continued along the narrow road we would have come out in the village of Dundrennan and found the abbey. Instead we turned round in an old abandoned farmyard , followed a wagon and ended up back on the main road where we dumped the sat nag and followed our noses. Eventually we found the village and the signs for the abbey . So easy when you don't use a sat nag. The abbey was grey ... read more
The abbey at Dundrennan
an ancient bishop lay once beneath the slab
an ornate grave slab

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Dumfriesshire » Dumfries September 12th 2021

Gabby the motorhome is parked up on a free aire near to Caerlaverock Castle . This is a bit of a novelty . As a country we are far behind Europe providing facilities for cheap or free overnight stops for motorhomes. We are still a caravan nation and campsites seem to be the order of the day . Not for us . We dont need the electricity nor do we need the facilities . This site with its hardstanding , drinking water taps, grey waste disposal and a place to get rid of the cassette toilet waste is all we need. It is situated partway between Caerlaverock Castle and Glencaple . A hint of its beginnings there . Caple perhaps a corruption of the welsh word capel - a chapel . Caerlaverock from the welsh word ... read more
One of the triangular towers
The closed doorway to the inner ward
Someones concentrating

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh August 23rd 2021

I started planning this trip to find Linda and my Scottish ancestors in October 2019, but due to the Covid pandemic the trip had to be postponed from June 2020 to June 2021 to August 2021 to August 2022. Many changes were made to my original planning blog as I found out more about our Scottish ancestors. Consequently, I cancelled that planning blog and am now publishing what I hope is the final version. I've been in search of ancestors for quite some time. In May 1995, before returning to the States after living 18 years in Europe, we visited Norway to find my paternal Carlsen ancestors who came from the island of Notteroy on the Oslo fjord (see ). More recently I've resumed my search. In May 2019, I visited Devon, England to visit the ... read more
Scots in full regalia in Glen Coe
Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness
Firth of Forth Bridge

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