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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Roxburghshire » Kelso September 14th 2019

Today we spent the day at the Food Festival held at the Floors Castle. The displays and food vendors were very interesting and English traditional. We also went through the castle which is the largest inhabited house in Scotland. It was built in 1721 and has been enhanced through the next century. It is owned by the Duke of Roxburghe the eleventh. It has some very outstanding paintings, porcelain, tapestries and furniture. Strong winds but no Scottish rain. After reaching “Home” we picked a few plums that were left off the tree. Cheers... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Stirlingshire » Stirling September 13th 2019

A gentle drive through the English winding roads to the Stirling Castle. On the journey we visited the Kelpies. The Kelpies name reflected the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 10 horses; a quality that is analogous with the transformational change and endurance of Scotland's inland waterways. The Kelpies represent the lineage of the heavy horse of Scottish industry and economy, pulling the wagons, ploughs, barges and coalships that shaped the geographical layout of the Falkirk area. The park is named Helix which is a very beautiful community park. We moved on to the Falkirk Wheel which is a rotating boat lift in central Scotland, connecting the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The lift reconnects the two canals for the first time since the 1930s completed in 2002. We travelled ... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 12th 2019

Today was the last day of my 2019 trip. It was a nice relaxing choice to put Edinburgh at the end. Today I visited a couple of minor museums and took a short guided tour. The tour was through “underground” Edinburgh although technically it was through some old alleyways, houses, and shops that had been built over and forgotten. Seattle has a similar underground tour. Edinburgh‘s tour is called The Real Mary King’s Close and it was part educational and part entertainment with some actual history, some ghost stories, and some humorous anecdotes. I also visited a museum about the history of the city of Edinburgh and found it more interesting than I expected for a free museum. I didn’t take many pictures, but I did take one of a brick that was made in the ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 12th 2019

A good day with only a wee bit of rain. Travelled by train to Edinburgh. We walked the Royal Mike and Princess Street. We viewed the Scottish Parliament and Museum of Edinburgh. Lots to see in Edinburgh and worthy of several more days. Cheers... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland September 11th 2019

Today I completed my walk down the Royal Mile of Edinburgh. The film crew from yesterday was gone. I never did find out what they were filming. I stopped at the new Scottish Parliament building with its modern architecture that is meant to complement the nearby craggy geologic features. Across the street is Holyrood Palace, one of the queen’s official residences. She wasn’t in today, so I was allowed to take a tour. On my way back into the center of town, I passed a Harry Potter store that sold Hogwarts paraphernalia, magic wands, etc. today I also walked through the “new town“. This is a section of Edinburgh that was built around 1800 and contains many fine examples of Georgian architecture. I got to tour one restored house that reminded me of Downton Abbey, especially ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Roxburghshire » Melrose September 11th 2019

Awesome day again. We were picked up perfectly on time by our Scottish Friend Dave in Lindisfarne. We drove across the Causeway on to Bamburgh Castle which is one of the largest inhabited castles in the UK. It was an important strategic placed to protect the island in medieval times. It was the capital of the Northumbria Kingdom. It has an awesome armorer and a grand hall. Rooms filled with artifacts from a variety of eras. We drove back through Jedburgh and revisited the Abbey and Mary Queen of Scots residence before her escape to England and eventual demise by Elizabeth the first. A quick drive back to Melrose for an grand dinner. Relaxing great day Cheers. ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland September 10th 2019

Today I had a full day of sightseeing in Edinburgh. I started at the castle where I had a tour and then explored for a couple of hours on my own. I saw the Scottish crown jewels and the Scottish military museum, among other sights. The views from the castle are impressive including looking down on the cannons. I had lunch there at the Redcoat Café and then walked partway down the Royal Mile. There was a film crew blocking the street, so I had to detour and found myself near the National Museum of Scotland. I decided to postpone the rest of the Royal Mile and spent the remainder of the afternoon at the museum. It is surprising how many famous people and innovations originated in Scotland. James Watt, Adam Smith, David Hume, and Robert ... read more
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Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Midlothian » Edinburgh September 8th 2019

It’s true this time. The location is correct despite the fact we have taxied and trained around both England and Scotland to get here. No more serious walking, guide book referencing and map orientating (at least until the next big walk) as we, and now for a while we are 3, are in the big city and bright lights of Edinburgh. It’s like I never left. There are tourists everywhere, the ubiquitous bagpiper on the corner, lots of bars and microbrewery pubs and heaps of touts drumming up business for the various hop on/hop off type bus tours. There’s a shop here that roasts an entire pig on a spit then pulls the meat apart and serves it in a bun with apple and mustard sauce (there are other sauces but I’ve never gone past apple ... read more
Breakfast in Scotland.
Train from England.
Back to Scotland.

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » Shetland September 8th 2019

Shetland – August 19 I have to be honest with myself and admit that a small percentage of why I have returned is because he is here. We return for people or a person and place. Lerwick After arriving, I did not want him to leave but he is not and will never be any real part of my life although he is a real part that has just buried itself deep inside my rib cage, like a stone, so that when I exhale, after he has gone, the breath will not fully leave me. I cannot quite breathe. Nesbister As I sit on the doorstep of Nesbister Bod (an old fishing bod built in 1844, grandly resting on a pebble peninsular and surrounded by sea on 3 sides) I feel a deep calmness from a ... read more
arriving
peat heat
slippy

Europe » United Kingdom » Scotland » East Lothian » North Berwick September 7th 2019

Kirk Yetholm. The finish of the Pennine Way. We’re in Scotland and pretty close to the border but as to what county, shire, district or whatever I have no idea and the blog site has even less. So simply ignore any location details more explicit than Scotland. And yes we have completed the Pennine Way. That’s 460 plus kilometres of hills, mud, moors, mud, forests, mud, tracks, mud, trails, mud, glens, mud, bothys, mud, tarns, mud, cairns, mud, fields, mud, farms, mud, trig points, mud as well as a few pints, steak and ale pies and stick date puddings. The last 26 km today were delightful. Very little mud and good stretches through moors with good intimidating hills interspersed so as to not make them dominating. The views were as expansive as we have become accustomed ... read more
Still up to Windy Gyle.
You guessed it, up to Windy Gyle.
Oops. That’s yesterday’s lunch.




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