Edinburgh II – The Castle and… Inside

Our last day in Edinburgh we spent a bit more looking inside…windows and alleys at least. On the walk up to the castle, the sun bestowed us with its warming glory – hot!

We walked through Greyfriar’ s beautiful Kirkyard to see Bobby once more. He was a Skye terrier born in the middle of the 19th C. His Master died when Bobby was only two, and legend has it that he stayed by his Master’s grave for 14 years. A Lord payed the city of Edinburgh to build Bobby a little house and to feed him. He was buried close to his master in 1872.

Many people came to see him while we were there. The little ”hut’s” name shows some of the Scottish humour…it’s really inside the gates!

Some ”insides” too on the way…

Colourful clothes and tartans, but also a soft pink and blue tartan made especially to the memory of Princess Diana.

I love signs, and Scotland and Edinburgh has got many of those – my camera was full of them…This one close to Camera Obscura.

And – there my dream came true…to be divided into two and able to do double the things I would like to do, help, visit, create, experience…a.s.o….

Just inside the gates, they were preparing for the Tattoo. This year we didn’t make it, but hopefully next year we will be able to see it!

 

We’ll be back next year – for the Edinburgh Tattoo!

Edinburgh Part I – Old and New

Last time we visited, in the 70’s, the city met us with a gloomy drizzle – this time with it’s most delightful face! A warning – ancient history and the beauty of the old is best found with Seonaid at breathofgreenair. Do enjoy her stories and poetry! Here I will only give you my impressions on this bright summer’s day in August. You are welcome to enjoy it with me too.

Our hostel was not far from Greyfriars, and I guess, being a dog person, the story of Bobby has never left my heart. I will tell you more about him in next part of Edinburgh. We went to see him the first night – and returned our last day too.

The morning after, we started out in glorious weather, walking the Royal Mile. This is the main street between Edinburgh Castle and Palace of Holyrood House – the Queen’s official residence in Scotland.

An endless row of old stone buildings, very well kept. And in the windows – everything from typical kilts to magnificent wedding dresses. If I were to remarry – I would be wearing this! But, I guess this photo is the closest I will ever get …

 

The Parliament building was not here in the 70’s, but was built in 1999 by the Catalan architect Enric Miralles. I read it was both hated and much loved, and won many awards. It is said that he wanted to create a building uniting the Scotish landscape and culture with the Scotish poetry.

I think he succeeded. Colours, materials, structures…I love it. What do you think? Is it that controversial? Maybe it was 15 years ago…

Close by the Parliament is ”Our Dynamic Earth”. On the city map – and in reality – it looks like a cocoon or a monstruous caterpillar. It’s a scientific centre with ”Arthur’s Seat” in the fond.

Here you can for example make a virtual tour inside the Earth, and there is also a visitors’ and conference centre inside. It’s mostly about geology. Very elaborate.

Scotland II 513

This little guy was posing for his mother by the globe with – Our dynamic earth. They work very well together…

Of course we had to stop by here…

…at The Writers’ Museum, and go looking for famous names on the ground. Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.

And at world famous Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling had a table overlooking (underlooking?) Edinburgh Castle.

We had coffee and a muffin – very tasty and delicious. Then I followed my blogging friend’s (Seonaid) advice to have a look at the toilets… More about what I found of Harry Potter here.

While we were having fun, we continued with Museum of Childhood. Not very big, but very charming and conjuring up old memories – at least for people my age. Enjoy!

 

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Going East from Kyleakin to Aberdeen

Having left Isle of Skye and Kyleakin, we headed for Perth via Aberdeen. We also left the fine weather for a day. But first – Plockton. A gem, and often used for TV series. This morning a slight drizzle made it sleepy and delightfully quiet.

Further eastwards, we passed Eileen Donan Castle, which I guess is among the most photographed castles in Scotland. The first castle was built here 1220, and many films have been shot here, among others, a couple of Bond movies, Highlander and the Swedish Mio min Mio (By Astrid Lindgren, who wrote Pippi Longstocking.)

We drove through beautiful Kintail admiring ”The Five Sisters” watching over us. This is a popular hiking area. Reaching Loch Ness, we found her lying beautifully smooth with silvery ripples – no Nessie. When sailing here in the 1970’s we didn’t see her either. Back then I know they had a special research centre for Nessie, but today we didn’t check this up.

In Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, we paused for a picnic by the river before visiting Highland House of Fraser – The Scottish Kiltmaker. In fact the only kilt museum in Scotland.

We had excellent guiding and a very informative hour here. Seeing this garment being made by hand gives you a genuinly satisfying feeling.

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Aberdeen next, but first – Cawdor Castle in a very romantic setting – and impossible to photograph! My best attempt is featured in the header. Shakespeare made this the home of MacBeth and the scene for the murder of King Duncan. Not that romantic, but the castle became famous because of this.

In front of Marischal College, the Highland hero Robert I Bruce and two young ladies. All of us rather frozen this chilly evening.

We spent the night at Craibstone Estate – a University Campus empty for the summer vacation. The university library is an architectural fantasy – Sir Duncan Rice Library – with its glass façade reflecting ”the ice and light of the North”. Architects are the Danes Schmidt, Hammer and Lassen.

And so…the next day we woke up with the sun shining us to wonderful Duthie Park – follow the link for more flowers from my visit there! Here are some teasers:

 

Going North – the road to Isle of Skye

From Oban we headed north to reach Isle of Skye. Castle Stalker, in the header, was built about 1440 and has figured in many movies – among others: ”Monty Python and the Holy Grail”

Från Oban åkte vi vidare norrut – målet var Isle of Skye. Castle Stalker, i headern, byggdes runt 1440 och har figurerat i flera filmer, bland annat i Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

The road taking us to Isle of Skye is very beautiful – even when foggy and rainy. A short stop at Fort William only – and we noticed how many shops that had been closed down here. Empty windows glaring at us. This is not what we remembered from 35 years ago – but things change over the years…

Vägen dit är mycket vacker – även i dimma och regn. Vi gjorde ett kort provianteringsstopp i Fort William, och förskräcktes över hur många affärer som gapade tomma här. Det såg inte ut så när vi var här för 35 år sedan. Allting förändras…

 

On reaching Mallaig for the ferry, we realised we had to wait for some hours. A nice opportunity to return to Morar’s white beaches. Passing the Hogwart’s Express…

När vi kom fram till Mallaig för att ta färjan över till Isle of Skye var vi flera timmar för tidiga – eller rättare sagt färjorna var fullbokade. Detta blev ett fint tillfälle att återvända till Morar – berömt för sina vita stränder. På vägen mötte vi Hogwartsexpressen! Scener från Harry Potter spelades in här.

Morar is famous for its white beaches, and it was here some scenes were shot for Lars von Triers’ ”Breaking the Waves”. The colours were amazing.

Här spelades scener från Lars von Triers Breaking the Waves in. Färgerna var fantastiska.

A thin drizzle made the light very special and we longed to walk on those dreamy beaches…but then the raining increased in intensity and we had to drop that intention.

Ett tunt dimregn gjorde ljuset mycket speciellt och vi förberedde oss för att vandra på de vita stränderna här…men så ökade regnandet och vi fick överge den drömmen.

Back to Mallaig and the ferry. We could barely see the islands out there, but kept looking  eagerly for our dream destiny…Isle of Skye.

Tillbaka i Mallaig och färjan. Vi kunde inte se mycket av öarna därute, men spanade ändå ivrigt efter drömmen – Isle of Skye.

Somewhere out there …it is…

Någonstans därute finns den…

For more of Isle of Skye – just click the last picture above!

Going West – Dunoon, Inveraray and Oban

Leaving Borders and going westward on roads of beauty. We took the ferry from Greenock to Dunoon, then the road to  Inveraray and Oban.

Vi lämnade Borders och drog västerut. Vi tog färjan från Greenock till Dunoon och sedan landsvägen till Inveraray och Oban.

Following the rolling green hills west, we tried to imagine what Ayr would look like. Knowing we had a long way to go, we soon ruled out Burn’s Cottage and another castle.

Vi siktade på Ayr, och vägen dit var grön och vacker. Eftersom vi visste att den här dagen var den längsta kördagen, blev vi tvungna att räkna bort Burns stuga och ytterligare ett slott.

On reaching the west coast, we made a short stop and wandered along the beach to stretch our legs. Only the gulls kept us company.

När vi nått västkusten stannade vi vid stranden och sträckte på benen. Här var tomt. Bara måsarna höll oss sällskap.

Ferry to Dunoon – delightful weather and many beautiful views. The harbour too, where the houses reminded me of something Dickensian…

Vi tog färjan till Dunoon – en fin tur i vackert väder. Hamnens byggnader kändes som tagna direkt ur en Dickensfilm.

Inveraray Castle, owned by the Campbell Clan,  is very beautiful – inside as well – but we had to drive on. This was our longest driving day. A photo of the exterior was the option, but we found out that the best shot was to be had from the little narrow bridge we had to pass together with numerous cars and other heavy traffic. Impossible to stop there. In fact the photo beneath finally exists because we passed that bridge four times with me hanging out of the window…

Det här fotot har sin egen historia. Exteriörfoto av Inveraray Castle var allt vi skulle hinna med…och bästa platsen att fotografera ifrån var den smala, hårt trafikerade bron. Vi körde fram och tillbaka fyra gånger över bron med mig hängande utanför fönstret med tre kameror…

Driving on to Oban, we passed one of the longest lakes in Scotland, Loch Awe.  We made a short stop admiring the ruins of Kilchurn Castle. The castle was abandoned in the 18th century after being hit by lightning.

På väg mot Oban passerade vi Kilchurn Castles ruiner. Slottet övergavs på 1700-talet efter ett kraftigt åsknedslag.

Just before Oban there were some magnificent Highland Cattle grazing . I sat watching them for rather a long time…they are my real favourites! I was rewarded by many lovely glares and tails, and of course MANY shots. Some of them here:

Strax före Oban mötte vi de här fina exemplaren av Highland Cattle. Jag stannade en god stund och njöt av mina favoriter. Många foton blev det – några här:

Finally – Oban. Oban is gaelic, meaning ”the little bay”. 10% of the inhabitants here are gaelic speaking. Oban is also called the ”Gateway to the Isles” so the harbour is important.

Slutligen målet – Oban. Namnet Oban är gaeliska och betyder ”den lilla viken”. 10% av befolkningen här talar gaeliska. Staden kallas också för ”Gateway to the Isles” – porten till öarna.

McCaigs Tower is an unfinished attempt to copy the Colosseum of Rome. It towers above the harbour and  I later discovered that on almost all of my photos from here I can see a glimpse of it…

McCaigs Tower är en ofullbordad kopia av Roms Colosseum.  Den har smugit sig in i de flesta av mina bilder härifrån.

Of course we had to visit the Oban Whiskey Distillery before leaving. Whiskey is a gigantic industry in Scotland and this distillery is one of the oldest. Very interesting and a lovely guide. When waiting outside there were gorgeous begonias in the little square in front. Gently showered with glittering droplets…

Naturligtvis måste vi besöka ett destilleri – whiskey är en jätteindustri i Skottland. Just detta destilleri är ganska litet, men ett av de äldsta i landet. Det blev en mycket trevlig och lärorik tur. På torget utanför hade man otroligt stora begonior som just duschats fint av regnet.

…of a totally different kind from those inside the building.

Glittrande sköna droppar – av ett helt annat slag än de vi fick smaka inomhus…