A Travellerspoint blog

London Part 2

overcast 16 °C
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Friday morning was a little slow as we had been to the Medieval Banquet near the Tower of London. All the beer and wine you could drink, a very entertaining show, some so-so food and the opportunity to meet some new friends made an excellent night. Liz as usual was up and dancing as soon as the chance arose, I on the other hands was trying to work out how to be dignified while having the soup – they don’t give you spoons. Overall a raucous night of merriment with call for our ‘wench’ for more wine and much banging on the tables and cheering to show our appreciation of the performances
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Consequently a later start to the day than anticipated but still arrived at Leicester Square by 10.00am in search of half priced theatre tickets for tonight. After missing out by seconds (because of our inability to just say yes) for tickets to Wicked we went to the next agent who offered us basically the same ticket to which we quickly said YES. These tickets are half price and are those only for that night’s performance so they aren’t in any great spots (ours were on the first level about 3 rows from the very back and against the side wall). We were lucky as we contemplated and then decided against getting tickets to Sister Act featuring Whoopi Goldberg at £50 each and later found out Whoopi had gone back to America that morning as her mother was ill – lucky we didn’t splurge on those tickets as we would have been very disappointed.

We took the Tube from Leicester Square to Millennium Bridge (as seen at the beginning of the last Harry Potter movie), which we walked over on our way to the Tate Modern Gallery. The Gallery is a disused power station and really large but they are still adding another section to it. Now this Gallery contains many works for modern art including Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, and Monet. I didn’t get the traditional art stuff and I was scratching head over this modern stuff and the audio commentary was not making things any easier. Some of the stuff was interesting but the meaning of many items didn’t even come remotely near my melon.

With my head still pondering the purpose of some of the artwork we decided to walk along the Thames to Tower Bridge. This walk was really amazing as it mainly follows the river but occasionally ducks around or through building built on the edge of the river. We came across a full-sized replica of Sir Francis Drakes Tudor warship The Golden Hinde and more importantly the Borough Markets. These markets are known as the London Larder as they sell every type of food. There as fruit and veg, meat of all types, cheeses, nuts, confectionary, wines, and fish mongers. The smell wafting from these markets was wonderful as many stall sold cooked produce, aromatic paellas, gourmet burgers, cold beer and wine. Many stall had long queues with the total cross section of London in line from men in suits to workman and tourists – a really amazing place!
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We eventually made it to Tower Bridge and walked across the incredible structure – there were even lights on in the windows of the rooms in the top of the pylons. Like most things in London it’s getting a paint job ready for the Olympics in 2012. We finished our day early to head back to our accommodation for a bit of a rest before leaving for the Theatre. Wicked was playing at the Apollo Victoria Theatre right next to Victoria Train Station so we thought a quick train ride and a little dinner before the curtain at 7.30pm – the peak hour Tube travel really screwed that plan with us arriving just after 7.00pm scoffing a quick sandwich from a shop close by before scrambling into our seats at 7.25pm.

Wicked was sensational! While the story was good and performance by the girl doing the role Elphaba (an Irish actress called Rachel Tucker) was the making of the show. It was a thoroughly excellent way to spend a Friday evening in London. Our Tube trip back was eventful as many of the lines were closing for maintenance over the long weekend and meant our usual circle line train didn’t finish the circle but a quick change of trains got us there eventually.

After two late nights in a row we started Saturday morning a little later with a 9.30am train to Camden for the markets. Again the smells for all of these stall cooking wonderful food was all over the place but as I’d just had breakfast it was a little early to indulge. Liz was very happy as she wove her way along the narrow aisle of the market checking out the wide variety of clothing, jewellery, and other stuff. There are actually a number of inter-connected markets that all sell very similar stuff. I think any woman could quite easily spend a day and a heap of money at these markets. Liz is talking about bring Ashlee to Camden when she meets us on Monday.

After Camden we hit the Tube again to get to Tower Hill Station (Tower of London) so we could make us of our London Passes for a free City Cruise along the Thames. We decided to go to Greenwich to visit the Observatory were the O meridian line runs. The cruise was interesting as we had a young officer on the ferry offering a commentary, Liz reckons he’d had a big night because he forgot stuff. Greenwich also had markets on which again had the food smells wafting over the area and as it was lunchtime we indulged – me a Kaarage plate (ginger chicken & rice) and Liz a vegetaian paella.

After our lunch we walked through Greenwich Park up the hill to the Observatory. There were some good views of London especially of the area where the 2012 Olympics will be held. We joined the line of people waiting to get their photo taken straddling the meridian (one food in the western hemisphere and the other in the eastern). The 40 minute wait was stressful as the queue was not managed by staff but by manners alone. Some people are incredibly rude and simply tried to jump to the front – this is the stressful bit!
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After the Observatory visit we walked back to the pier to catch the ferry back to London (actually Westminster Pier near Big Ben). This was another enjoyable if cold trip with the ‘guide’ pointing out the interesting points along the way. A Westminster we caught the Tube back to Russell Square, this was not our original desire but a guy on the Tube was drinking and looking for trouble so we decided to change lines at the first convenient station. We finished the day spending a pile of time trying to book cheap accommodation in Paris over the internet. Eventually settled on a hotel that may or may not suit us and which was, in the end, a little costly. "C'est la vie"

Sunday was again a slow starting day – actually only just made breakfast which finishes at 10.00pm. We had some family history stuff to do this morning which involved walking to St Pancras Church. This in itself sounds easy, but there are two churches; New St Pancras and Old St Pancras. The New church is two blocks from our accommodation while the Old Church is about a 20 minute walk away. We visited both. The New Church had a service underway so we only saw the outside of it. We walked onto the Old church and some very nice locals gave us a tour and a chat.

We braved the Tube again and we strolled around Soho, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square and Chinatown before calling it a day. The weather was getting cooler and the rain looked to be on the way so it was time to take the Tube for Russell Square and the short walk through Tavistock Square Gardens back to Passfield Hall.
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We have a great deal of fun with the arms length photos. Liz will probably put together a powerpoint display of them all from the course of our trip!

Posted by lizanddave 10:05 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

London Part 1

rain 15 °C
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Monday morning up early and off to the airport for our 8.40am plane to Heathrow and a train ride to Euston Square Station before booking into Passfield Hall - student accommodation house which was well priced (for London that is) and convenient to the Tube station.

Tuesday was our first day of our rail pass and London Pass so we decided to get an overview of London by jumping on an open top bus tour. We did the T1 tour which had a guide explaining everything this was interesting and amusing. We eventually hopped off the bus at London Tower and entered the Tower and checked out the Crown Jewels – amazing stuff! We moved on and had lunch in a local pub before walking to St Pauls Cathedral and had a good look around, Liz was a little scared as we walked around at the edge of the dome. As the day was getting on we jumped back on the bus and finished the tour before catching a train back to Russell Square.
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Wednesday was a little overcast so we decided to do some walking about early before the inevitable rain arrived. A quick Tube ride to Green Park Station for a walk to Buckingham Palace and a walk along the royal mile, got some good photos and found a Queens Guard with a sense of humour outside Clarence House the residence of Prince Charles (he did talk, scare children and have a laugh – his name was Brendon from Scotland).

Walked to Trafalgar Square and watched Liz scale the statue of Lord Nelson and hang out with one of his pussy cats, before entering the National Gallery. In the Gallery with did a 60 minute audio highlight tour, saw a number of paintings made by the old masters that I knew and many I didn’t. Some paintings I liked whilst others I wondered what all the fuss was about – Monet’s Irises didn’t thrill me up close, looked very childish but when I looked at a postcard version it made more sense, I’m definitely no art critic!

After leaving the Gallery we ate a quick packed lunch out of the rain before heading for Leicester Square to look for the cheap theatre tickets (available only the day of the performance) but we were way too late with the ticket sellers laughing as we asked about availability for Wicked or Sister Act. We now know to be there at 10.00am to have any chance of getting a ticket.

The rain was starting to get heavy so we decided to head for Harrods – indoors and dry but no money for anything therefore a spot of window shopping. The bloody place is huge and very expensive in some departments.
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Still raining heavily so back on the Tube to Leicester Square and a movie theatre (free with our London Card) to see Scott Pilgrim v The World, which I found funny but Liz was only glad she didn’t pay for entry. After walking around in the rain most of the day it was time to head back to Passfield Hall and some creature comfort – however the next few days are supposed to be the same with lots of rain! Shouldn’t expect better as it is London!!

Thursday was another overcast day so we decided to visit the British Museum which was only a couple of blocks away. The place was packed and really difficult to enjoy as the crowds made it impossible to slowly look at the displays - a shove in the back was an indicator to hmove on!! Obviously some countries don't have the manners of the English or Australians.

Tonight we are going to a medieval feast which should be fun - so details and photos in my next post.

Posted by lizanddave 06:42 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

All Ireland 6 day Tour with Paddywagon

0 °C
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We arrived in Dublin on a sunny Sunday afternoon and took a city bus to the central bus station which was conveniently located near the Paddys Palace Hostel. The hostel room was OK but very small (about 2m square) with freshly renovated toilets and bathrooms. The problem was the shower didn’t have a temperature control and were push button (each time you push the button you get about 10 seconds of water). We went for a walk around the local area looking for a place for dinner, we eventually settled on the pub close to the hostel and while the food was good they had little idea of portion size with Liz’s Steak and Guinness Pie being large enough to feed a family of four. It was reasonably priced but the service was poor.

On Monday we embarked on our Paddy Wagon 6 day All Ireland tour with another 40 tourists mostly Australians and New Zealanders with a smattering of Italians, Canadians and Yanks. A very funny and friendly bunch and our driver/guide Yvonne - a little crazy but has an interesting style. On the first day we visited an old monastery, Drogheda where we saw the preserved head of St. Oliver Plunkett (executed 1681) and then on to Belfast where we firstly visited the Titanic Quarter (a graving dock were work was done on the Titanic and her sister ships) before going on a Black Taxi tour that takes you through the history of the Troubles, this was a very sobering but interesting tour.

Most to the tour group visited a local pub for dinner and a few drinks, this was fun and a good introduction to the people in the group (a couple of girls from Merewether and a girl who once lived at Shoal Bay – small world). Liz and I had a Boxty for dinner it’s a unique stuffed potato cake. Liz called it quits relatively early while I kicked on with a couple of Kiwi rugby players, Tom and Hamish, who were drinking Guinness like it was lemonade but were funny fellas. After another couple of hours I called it quits and the boys kept going until the wee hours.

Tuesday morning came around way too early for me and with a bleary head (no the Starbuck Chocolate Cream didn’t help) Liz and I joined the others on the bus from another day on the road. Firstly we visited the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge which Liz crossed despite her fear of heights (I took photos from the view point – for insurance purposes in case she fell). Next was the attraction Liz was keen to see The Giants Causeway, a 2 million year old UNESCO world heritage site and the location of about 60,000 hexagonal columns of Basalt rock formed by cataclysmically violent volcanic eruptions. We didn’t expect it to be like Disneyworld - there were people everywhere!
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After the causeway we visited the ruins of Dunluce Castle - ancestral home of the McDonnell clan, until its kitchen collapsed into the sea during a great feast in 1639 - killing many staff. Feeling very tired we set off for Derry or Londonderry (depending on which side of the fence you’re on!). After arrival in Derry and having checked in to the B&B (were doing the deluxe tour so we stay in private rooms with ensuites and other benefits) we joined with the rest of the group for a walking tour around Derry. Steve the guide took us through why the city is officially known as Londonderry and the story of the long bloody siege here in 1689. He took us down to the Bogside district, scene of the Bloody Sunday massacre in 1972 and inspiration for U2's classic anthem 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday'.
Again interesting and informative but a little confronting. The situation that brought this all home was the damage to the buildings just down the road from our B&B which suffered bomb damage from a car bomb two weeks ago. An early night as this didn’t seem to be a place to walk the streets late at night after the pub.

Next day was onto Galway a lovely coastal city, Liz and I decided to join the group at the Munro Hotel for an Irish stew dinner, a few pints and some Irish music. This sounded great but Munro’s was costly (€13 for stew and €4 pint of cider), so we decided to see what other places were like. A short walk to the main pedestrian strip which had a pub every 20m so we zig-zagged up the street checking out the pubs as we went (had a good chat with an Irish couple visiting Galway for a break) in the end Liz ended up dancing in the street with a old bloke to a Spanish group of buskers – very entertaining!

Left Galway with a new guide/driver called Seaney (a very crazy Irishman who talked non-stop all day and called us all ‘Paddywagoners’ constantly) with the first stop at Corcomroe Abbey a ruin in the country. We drove along the West Coast with the wild Atlantic Ocean by our side, stopping around the lunar landscape of the Burren – the only place on earth where Alpine, Arctic and Mediterranean flowers grow side by side. We have luckily had good weather so haven’t frozen been drown or blown away – the latter has been a real possibility with the gale coming off the Atlantic being extremely strong. Then onto the Irish crown jewel – The Cliffs of Moher! These majestic cliffs are 200m high and cover 7 miles of coastline, they were the cliffs of insanity in the movie ‘The Princess Bride’. It was drizzling and windy as we visited.

Liz was feeling unwell so at our overnight stop, Killarney, I decided to head out with the group to the Loch Inn. A good night with the NZ boys and the band was excellent (17-19 year olds) and the girl singer didn’t stop for the full 2 hours – much singing and drinking. Only problem was the mile long walk home was very wet.

Up and a little bleary eyed and Liz feeling better from an early night today we took a short drive to Dingle, a charming Gaelic speaking fishing village. We had a couple of hours free time in Dingle to shop and lunch and then a scenic tour around Slea Head. Loads of time off the bus to take some photos at places like Inch Beach, Sleeping Giant Island and the famous 3 sisters mountain range. We stayed in a little village called Annascaul where we were accommodated in a bizarre B&B which had a very narrow spiral staircase to the bedrooms, hot water that was only available at specific times and an owner that spoke barely understandable English. Had a good night at the Randy Leprechaun and Liz particularly liked the mini Guinness drink and set the trend which resulted in the bar running out of Tia Maria after only an hour.

The last day and I woke up with Liz’s cold (which actually originated with Ashlee earlier in the week). We crossed the Cork & Kerry Mountains on the way to kiss the Blarney Stone, on top of Blarney Castle in the rebel county of Cork. Kissing the stone by dangling off the 300 feet battlements being held by a middle-aged Irishman was surely too good an offer to turn down.

After lunch we visited the beautiful Rock of Castle Dunamase in the Golden Vale. We made our way up through the battle fields of "Braveheart" to Dublin. Our final activity of the tour was a visit to the Guinness Storehouse which was massive and a completely commercialised enterprise with a massive building shaped like a point glass with the Gravity Bar on top where we had a free pint of the black stuff, a big creamy pint of Guinness!
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A taxi ride to the hotel and some sleep were in order. The next day was spent looking around Dublin city and while I was feeling like crap I still enjoyed the day as it was sunny and the city was very busy considering it was a Sunday. The semi-final of the All Ireland Gaelic Football was on in Dublin between Dublin and Cork so there were plenty of supporters from both teams in many pubs with fantastic behaviour between the two groups – no problems at all! We had a good walk to the city centre (about an hour) passing many of the Embassies and Consulates of major countries. Liz had a good day picking out a new ring for her collection – a lovely Celtic design. As I was still feeling a little unwell we took the train back to the hotel and had an early evening as we needed to be on the airport bus at 5.50am.

Monday morning up early and off to the airport for our 8.40am plane to Heathrow and a train ride to Euston Square Station before booking into Passfield Hall - student accommodation house which was well priced (for London that is) and convenient to the Tube station.

Posted by lizanddave 06:31 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Dumfries to Heathrow

semi-overcast 19 °C
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Friday we left Dumfries to travel to for a long day’s drive to Chester in England. We had a good journey but travelling on the motorways was pretty boring by comparison to the back-roads. On arriving at Chester our room wasn’t ready so we decided to visit Beeston Castle that was close. We didn’t ready want to visit the castle but our British Heritage Pass was almost finished to we thought why not?

On the way to the castle we saw a great number of canal boats moored so we decided to stop and check them out. Beetson castle was a ruin about 15 miles from Chester. It was set on a cliff face above some very pretty countryside. Of course as soon as we entered the gates it started to rain so we trekked the ¼ mile to the summit in the wet. The entry bridge was steep and curved as well as wet – Liz didn’t enjoy this part. While the castle was a ruin, the views were spectacular especially after the rain stopped and moved away.
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We returned to the Dene Hotel in Chester and checked in. We still had plenty of daylight so off we went again and walked into the town centre (about 20minutes). Chester was very like York with an ancient wall surrounding the city centre – it even had a walk way along the top of the walls which we followed for about a quarter of the length. Even though it was Friday evening the centre of town was still pretty packed (see photo below). Liz loved the Tudor buildings along the narrow streets and the wide variety of shops (especially jewellery). We also had our usual visit to the Tourist Information Centre for information on local walks.

Saturday we travelled to Portcysyllte in Wales to see the amazing aqueduct that carries canal boats 39m above the river below and crosses a 305m span between the sides of the valley. This was a real engineering feat for 1805 – well worth the drive even through Llangollen was a traffic pain. We walked the path beside the canal over the aqueduct and along canal.

Saturday was the last day for our Heritage Pass so why not one last castle! Off we go to Chirk Castle which was in the process of being renovated but still many of the rooms were accessible. It was OK but nothing special. Our greatest disappointment was that the Cadbury factory we passed on the way to the castle was not open to the public.
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We still had the afternoon to fill so as the weather had cleared we took a trip to Bickerton to do a circular walk. This sounded like a good stretch of the legs but the map wasn’t as detailed as needed and the trail markings were non-existent or ambiguous. So lost after our first ½ mile and had to turn around. Decided to walk the route in reverse which worked better and we actually made it most of the way before the ambiguity of the track made it time for a decision down the hill following a “circular route” sign or follow the Sandstone trail marker which was on the map and showed a road at the end. I gave the decision to Liz and she chose the downhill / “circular route” path which turned out was the wrong track and lead us into a busy road and about a mile long detour. I eventually got us back onto the track and returned us to our starting point ‘The Bickerton Poacher’ pub.

So another day down with not many in the UK left. Sunday we are heading to Ipswich to visit some of Liz’s distant relatives. It will be a drive of about 250miles a very long day in the car.

We had booked our accommodation on line and scored a very cheap room at Ramada Encore Ipswich which turned out to be a brand new hotel with everything squeaky clean and new. It also had very few guests and was about 20 minutes walk to the centre of town.

Monday firstly took a walk to the centre of town for a look see before heading a couple of miles from Ipswich to visit John & Jessica. After a lovely lunch and some good conversation we returned to the hotel and got our walking gear on for a visit to the seaside. We visited Aldeburgh on the east coast which was very busy with holiday makers (checkout the queue for the Fish & Chip Shop). We walked for about an hour and a half along the waterfront, although the beach looked more like rivers edge with small rocks in abundance.
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Tuesday we journeyed to Cheshunt and went straight to the Lee Valley YHA which we had booked for the next 3 nights. Along the way we visited Lavenham which was a boom town for the wool trade between the 14th and 16th century, the place was lined with timber framed houses with painted beams, wonky plaster walls and lattice windows. Nice place pity about the drizzly weather.

While the day’s drive was short, we were on the GPS shortest distance, it was still a struggle as the roads were wet and narrow. So after arriving we settled in for a quiet afternoon before heading out in the rain to get supplies for dinner. We are now getting close to the end of our time with the hire car so we’re looking at culling stuff we no longer need and boxing up stuff to send home with DHL. We must get down to one large bag/backpack and a day pack each.

Wednesday started with a full breakfast courtesy of the YHA and a 2 hour walk along the canal path. It was a very interesting walk we saw the building site of the white water course for the 2012 London Olympics, canal boats using the loch system and came across a guardian of the walking path - a mother swan protecting her signets who hissed and honked to stop our passage.

On arriving back at the YHA we rested briefly before hitting the road for Potters Bar and Watford. Potters Bar was to visit the Mini Spares shop, just to check it out as Lachlan and I had brought some parts from them during his car restoration and Watford to visit St Mary’s church as part of Liz’s family history research.

Friday saw us complete our loop of the UK with a return to Ascot. The only thing of import was a trip to DHL to send a extra large box of stuff home otherwise it was driving in drizzle and nothing much more. We did have a nice late lunch with Ashlee, our daughter, and a friend from her work. Ash also came over in the evening and tried to go through the trip photos – she gave up after an hour. No walk today because of the weather, hopefully tomorrow.

Saturday was a rest day with the weather closing in again (newspaper predicted rain until November??? What the ???? ) we slept in then bummed around – downsizing our bags and throwing away what was not needed or wouldn’t fit. We did go to Bracknell for lunch with Ash and to get some washing done before the week in Dublin. Other than that we had a quite day.

Sunday was an early start (8.00am) so we could finish the packing, checkout of the hotel, grab a quick breakfast and visit Ash before driving to Heathrow to return the car and catch our flight to Dublin. As we’d heard horror stories of the time it takes to go through the processing we thought it better to be way early. So it only took about 1 ¾ hours from the time we dropped to car back and sat down to lunch after security. So I now sit waiting for a couple of hours before the plane leaves, it’s OK because it means I can catch up on the blog and other computer stuff.

Posted by lizanddave 05:49 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

Beauly to Dumfries

all seasons in one day 15 °C
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The Caledonian was definitely cheap in more ways than price... I think I should leave it at that. So Sunday we journeyed to Aberdeen again so that Liz could revisit her family history research.

After unpacking and settling in the weather had cleared a little so we decided to walk to the town centre about two miles away. Of course it was Sunday afternoon so not much was open so we turned around and headed back to the hotel where we had a nice dinner and a couple of pints of cider before heading to our room and an early night.

Monday we went to the Springbank Cemetery to chase down the burial site of Liz’s great-great grandmother. This was attempted on our last trip but no staff had been present. This time we found a member of staff quickly and he checked out the register and the cemetery map and even charged around the cemetery helping us find the right place (the registry book was well over 150 years old and he carried it casually around the cemetery) which turned out to be unmarked by a gravestone but at least we found the spot.

Next we journeyed to the city centre to find a Tourist Information Centre so that we could find out which museum to visit to find a butterfly collection that had been donated to a museum by Liz’s family in the 1920’s. A lovely lady at Aberdeen City Tourist Information Centre helped out immensely even phoning Aberdeen University Zoology Department who may know about the catalogue of the local museums. So we walked the 30 minutes to the Zoology Department to find out everyone was on holidays but another helpful lady of reception assisted by providing contact details and web addresses that may help to track down the collection.

Tuesday morning I was on the go early to get a haircut at the little shopping centre at the Hotel. First time I’ve paid for a haircut in 20 years - it cost me £8.50 for a No 1 clipper cut – ridiculous! We packed up and started our drive to Strathblane about 140 miles south west. We had a little car trouble at Dundee with the Corsa having a short in the coil – Automobile Association came and checked it out and fixed it (possibly permanently or not). While we were stopped we caught up on some washing at a laundrette which was a good use of time.

With the car working we drove to Perth and went for a short walk up the local hill (Kinnoull Hill) on marked trails which was a 3.5kms and had an elevation of 728ft. The walk had some good views and it was a good stretch of legs after so much time in the car.

After the walk we continued our day’s trip with the final 50 miles to Strathblane and the Kirkhouse Inn which was established in 1601 – luckily it had been updated. It was a well appointed hotel with good meals (and cider).

After a good night’s sleep we had the full English breakfast which was part of the cost of our night’s accommodation we decided to head for Balloch on Loch Lomond for a walk before heading south to Dumfries. There was a walk that left from the centre and followed the Loch and skirted the edge of Balloch Castle, it was mostly flat and took about one and a quarter hours to finish.

After the walk we continued our journey south with a slight detour to Glasgow airport to discuss with the Hertz people about the car problems. The Hertz guy offered us a change of car (VW polo 2 door) which we refused as the car was only a 2 door and we couldn’t easily get our bags in and out and it was pretty knocked about. So we took the risk of keeping our Corsa and hoping the coil problem doesn’t resurface.

Heading south still we decided to get off the motorway and take a more coastal routing, more scenic but also more concentration required with the narrower roads - we did reach Dumfries which was a good size and a city Liz instantly liked (she likes the cities/towns with nice town squares and plenty of little speciality shops). Our accommodation, The Aston Hotel, was very good considering our budget (thankyou www.hotelscombined.com that had a great deal over 30% off the price quoted over the phone). We were busy on the computer starting to look for accommodation for the next three nights which was difficult as it’s the weekend.

I’ve begun to classify hotels by the quality of their showers (water pressure and size) and the pillows. So far only two places have really been up to scratch – the Smiddy House in Glenkindie and The Aston Hotel Dumfries. Most of the rest fail in the shower stakes with lousy water pressure and lack of bathroom space to dry yourself.

Thursday was another day in Dumfries so we again hit the Tourist Information Centre for walking trail details. After looking through the four booklets we decide on a circular walk around Brighouse Bay about 25 miles south of Dumfries. It was a coastal and farmland walk about 7km long without any great elevation rises. It was our longest walk so far but probably one of our easiest. The weather was extremely changeable as we started with a light overcast, had drizzle as we rounded the sea cliffs, and sunshine as we walked through the farmland. The walk took 2 hours instead to the suggested 3 so we are obviously improving.

After a nice lunch in the park at Kirkcudbright we drove back to Dumfries, searching for Banded Galloway cattle which you would think would be easy being in the middle of Galloway. Liz had promised her brother she would take a picture of some of these cattle in Galloway – the only problem was we couldn’t find any. We saw plenty of milking cows. Eventually we spotted some likely looking suspects but it took an extra 10 miles of driving to get back to the place so we could photograph them. Task completed Geoffrey!

Posted by lizanddave 12:36 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (1)

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