My New Blog Site for 2018

IMG_4213I am off traveling once again, however, I have created a new blog for my 2018 travels.

If you have enjoyed reading my Globetrekkergrandma blog, you might also wish to continue following my travels by visiting my new blog site Claudia’s Travels.

Just click on the link above and it will take you straight to it! Look forward to having you join me once again!  ~ Claudia

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Beer (Need I say more?)

IMG_5797It was only about an hours’ drive on the morning of August 30th so it didn’t take me any time whatsoever to arrive at my hostel nestled in the East Devon Area of Natural Beauty and the charming and absolutely gorgeous fishing village of Beer!

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The charming hostel snuggled up on the hillside overlooking the town was (as usual) very conveniently located and quite inviting. I was a bit early for checking in, however, so I stowed my refrigerator items in the self-catering kitchen, headed down to the village below and got right to the task of exploring this fascinating little hamlet.

The place was pristine and every lane was adorned with beautiful examples of architecture made out of the local stone – chalk, flint, chert & sand. I worked my way down the winding streets and marvelled at how ingenious they were to incorporate the stream flowing downhill into the landscape serving as a handy watering hole for dogs as they wandered with their owners all the while adding its own rustic charm to the sidewalk

The shops were delightful to peer into with all manner of wonderful and artful items, but it was the architecture and the variety of buildings that really caught my attention. The wonderful thatched roofs for example.

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The numerous stone buildings of every ilk glowing in their respective hues of the rock they were built of or the tidiness of mortar and paint coupled together to create a piece of art just fascinated me.

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IMG_5820About halfway down the main street, I came upon this beautiful church and it beckoned me to peek inside.

IMG_5823Its interior was light and airy, the feeling of spring and hope emanating from every corner with its pink marble columns, honey-coloured pews and woodwork, and beautiful decorations adorning the walls.

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The church’s porch, lawns and garden beds were all ablaze with glorious blossoms.

Naturally, one would guess there might be an establishment (or two, or three) that specialized in beer, and you wouldn’t be disappointed. You can even “Have a Beer in Beer, from the Barrel of Beer!” (Try saying that real fast 3 times!)

At the bottom of the hill, the road ended at the pebbly beach below with all the fishing boats and gear, swimming areas, cliffs and vistas to die for.

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All of this wonderful scenery and fishing gear in abundance! I just had to stop at the local fish market at the landing and pick up something yummy for dinner tonight. How about some fresh scallops and pulled crab?IMG_5798

I took a different route on the way back up the hill to the hostel to put my dinner in the fridge. Along the way, I passed these tidy little fisherman cottages lined up in a row with respective gardens across from each one on the other side of the street.

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IMG_5860Just a mile away was the town of Seaton. The town itself wasn’t much to write home about but I sure enjoyed a nice stroll along the promenade.

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IMG_5865A bit further east of Seaton the Axe River flows into the sea at Axe Yacht Club. I loved the way the currents of the river and ocean combined swirled the rounded rocks into a fascinating formation. Kind of reminded me of a seahorse.

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IMG_5880Working my way from the bottom of the Haven Cliffs to the yacht club, I met this beautiful collie who just loved having to find the rock his owner just threw! Isn’t he just a stunning animal?

IMG_5878IMG_5887Having worked up quite an appetite I made my way back to the hostel and prepared that wonderful fresh seafood so patiently waiting for me. What a scrumptious meal that was!

After dinner, I couldn’t resist one more trip down to the waters edge for a little contemplation and relaxation.IMG_5889IMG_5890Another perfect day to be thankful for, filled with beautiful ocean vistas, scrumptious bounty from the sea, outstanding examples of stone architecture and beautiful blossoms everywhere. I could easily spend a few days in this lovely nook.

Early the next morning I packed up my belongings, however, and headed out with the rising of the sun. Before leaving this beautiful area, I wanted to explore another little cove just a couple of miles west which I had learned about from some fellow travellers staying at the hostel. From the way they described it, I definitely didn’t want to miss seeing it.

It was tucked down a narrow canyon that twisted and turned on a one-track road and at the bottom, this treasure, Branscombe, appeared.IMG_5900

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The loop trail into the canyon looked very intriguing and promised to provide some beautiful gems as far as geology was concerned. I’ll definitely return to this place and plan on spending a lot more time doing so!  There was even this adorable thatched roof building right on the beach that I’m sure has quite a menu of wonderful delights to enjoy after walking in the stunning surrounding acres with gorgeous views…ahhhh….I am definitely to return another time.

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It was time to hit the road once again though since I had quite a few miles to cover that day. That’s the last stop in England and what a beauty it was. Next, I headed to Wales to explore that mythical land for the next 9 days. Oh boy! We’re in for a real treat!

Until next time…

Speaking of which, I won’t be writing another post for at least a couple of weeks. I’ve been home now back in Oregon for over a month and trying to get caught up with the blog posts sharing my stories of where I’ve been and what I’ve seen and experienced.

That itch to head down the road doesn’t take me long to want to scratch, however, so I’m off again! I’m headed down through the length of California to La Jolla Shores, getting to visit friends and lots of family members along the way; cousins, sisters, aunts & uncles – the whole gang – and before the weather turns sour and the holidays are a mad rush!

But I’ll be back, you can count on that, armed with many more exciting and fun travel stories to share. Until then… happy trails!

Balmoral Castle – a Deeside Royal Residence

Saturday, July 15th, a perfect day to visit a perfect castle, and a Royal one at that…

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The gates beckoned us to enter and soon we were arriving at what used to be the Stables to begin our tour.

We were given an audio tour device and off we went to see what they had in store for us.

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First stop, the Stables, where stalls housed old cars and memorabilia were on display from days past.

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My cousin Lindsay’s mother-in-law was born on this estate. Her family were butchers and supplied the royal family with cuts of meat. The car below, which belonged to them, was one of the first vehicles we saw.IMG_2303IMG_2302IMG_2304

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In addition to the photographs, vehicles and beautiful kilts, they also some very nice specimens of the types of wildlife common to the local woodlands: Red Deer, Fox, Wildcats, Grouse, Peregrine Falcons, Red Squirrel, Capercaillie, etc.

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There was also this display with beautiful Royal Commemorative China plates, cups, etc.

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At left, is the building where they brought the deer they had hunted on the estate for hanging and curing purposes.

According to the tour we walk through the woodlands down the path to the next stop.

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Oh, look, now we’ve come to the gardens!  ‘Yeah! What wonderful surprises lay ahead,’ I wonder!

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Such fertile ground and everything is growing so prolifically!  Wish my garden looked like this!  Course it might, if I had a full-time staff of gardeners at hand like they do!  Salads – yum – fit for a Queen!

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Wonder what this interesting plant below is! Sure is pretty…

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Flowers and vegies everywhere!

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Come around the corner of the garden, and, Voila!

 

Balmoral Castle in all its beautiful glory!

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A bit further along the path and there is the cottage, which used to be the gardener’s house until it was needed for Queen Victoria’s Lady in Waiting who was suffering from Scarlet Fever and needed quarantined.  Later, Queen Victoria enjoyed taking her breakfasts along the veranda and spending many an hour in its folds…

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Although we weren’t allowed to tour inside, they graciously left the curtains open on most of the rooms so we could have a peek inside…

Behind the cottage, Prince Albert created this aquatic pond in the woodland setting…

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Strolling along the designated audio tour route, we begin to make our approach to the castle itself.

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Inching ever and ever closer to view its magnificence in minute detail!

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The Betty Prior roses have always graced the west wing’s windows…

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The view from the west wing windows, one that Queen Victoria delighted in looking at…

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Now, down the rock path around the corner along the stone path lined with herbs and flowers embedded in the cracks, we make our way to the Grand Ballroom – the one room of the castle we get to go in and look at!

Below is the wallpaper on the wall opposite the entryway into the ballroom and unfortunately the only picture I could take before entering.

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Once outside again, we worked our way around the corner of the castle and made our way back toward the Stables where our tour began. Positioned quite conveniently, there was the Tea Room with all manner of wonderful treats and refreshments to refresh ourselves with.

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I chose a delicious tomato soup.

While Lindsay was quite happy with his Latte…

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We enjoyed our break, as did others, and before we headed back through the woodlands to look at the rest of the castle from the east side…

…we were pleasantly surprised to find a Birds of Prey demonstration just around the corner from the Tea Room where we actually got to put on a falconer’s glove, perch the birds on our hands and pet them!  What a cool experience was that!  They all loved being petted.  It was something else!

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Now, back to the castle for the finale…

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It was a delightful day touring the grounds of this castle and viewing the royal memorabilia in the ballroom.  The added plus of getting up close and personal with the beautiful and majestic birds of prey was an added plus.  If you like visiting castles, be sure to add this one to your list!

A Week in Dingwall

This past week I’ve been enjoying a wide range of fun activities with my good friends, Pat & Ian MacLeod.  During that week, Dingwall was celebrating Gala Week and had a host of activities each and every day to raise money for the Fire Brigade’s favorite charities.  It was a great week to be visiting my ancestral home.

 

One of those activities included the crowning of the Queen & King where Pat and Ian were honored to get to do the crowning!

 

It was a really fun event enjoyed by all ages from the community, including me all the way from Oregon!

 

The activities began with the pipers escorting the “royalty” down to the Town Hall in the center of High Street..

 

After the crowning ceremonies, the dancing began.  The community was trying to break a Guinness World Record of townsfolk dancing “Strip the Willow.”  Although they didn’t get the necessary amount of people involved to break the record, they still had a lot of fun dancing down the High Street just the same.

 

 

I particularly enjoyed just being around such a great community.

 

 

 

For the conclusion of the evening, everyone joined hands and sang “On the Bonnie, Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.”  Even I sang along, although I turned off the camera before singing as I have a very hard time singing in key!

It was very moving to me, and I have to admit when it was done I had a tear or two that I wiped from the corners of my eyes.  It was particularly moving to me to be singing it with that particular community in the town I love most in all of Scotland.

During the week I also had the pleasure of seeing Pat’s sister, Cecilia, once again and also meeting her brother, Ken and his wife, Kate, for the first time. What a great couple!

Toward the end of the week we all hiked up to the top of Knock Farril near Dingwall and enjoyed 360 degree views of the surrounding area.

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Below is a closer shot of the town of Dingwall at the edge of Cromarty Firth from atop Knock Farril.

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Here are a couple of shots of wildflowers growing on the hill.

 

Naturally I couldn’t possibly visit Dingwall without paying my respects to my great, great grandparents, Thomas MacNaughten Frew and Christina Rose Frew, as well as her parents; George Rose and Jessie Dallas, at the end of the street from the Town Hall at St. Clement’s church!  (The restoration I did to the stone a couple of years ago is still holding up quite well I was pleased to see!)

 

Pat, and her daughter, Lynn, are very active members of the WRI (Women’s Rural Institute, a service organization) in Dingwall. The first day after I arrived they had a big regional formal “tea” in a nearby community celebrating 100 years of service to their communities.  Don’t they look so nice; Lynn complete with a lovely fascinater in her hair?

 

About midway through my 10-day visit, Pat & Ian, one of their friends, Ina Mutch, and I drove west to the coast near Poolewe to visit the Exhibition Centre of the Russian Arctic Convoy naval base during WWII.

I had never heard of this place or anything about its importance or operations, but boy-oh-boy, after I visited this centre, I knew all about it and just how significant it was to winning the war back then by the time I was done touring this place.  We spent the entire day exploring it and enjoying the scenery there and back – a 200 mile round trip!

We started out in the morning and drove through some absolutely gorgeous scenery on the way to our destination, Aultbea, passing lochs, beautiful rock formations and waterfalls!

 

We stopped at Maggie’s Tearoom at Dundonnell to stretch our legs and refresh ourselves with tea and scones along Little Loch Broom.

 

 

 

A few more miles across the peninsula and we had arrived in Aultbea at the exhibition centre.

 

In a nutshell, this place existed because supplies needed to get to the Russian by the allies to defeat Nazi Germany.  In this bay, Loch Ewe, a massive naval operation existed.  Ships, airplanes and other craft escorted the supply cargo ships that traveled through the dangerous arctic waters to make sure supplies desperately needed reached their destination.  I was utterly amazed!

Of particular note, the friend of Pat & Ian’s, Ina, that went with us that day, had a brother named George who served in the navy and was stationed at Loch Ewe.  He went on 14 different convoys on several different ships, & managed to survive!  It was especially significant to her to be there and see all of this. Having her with us made the day that much more special.  She had always wanted to visit and I was so happy to make it possible for her.

Here are just some of the pictures I took of the displays, models, and pictures that the small, but jam-packed exhibition had to offer.

 

 

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Outside in the lawn, ever on the lookout for flowers, I found these mushrooms growing in the lawn and some very interesting looking wildflowers growing amongst the dandelions, before we climbed back into the car for more explorations.

 

Once we got back in the car we drove around the loch to the headlands on the other side and visited the war memorial perched on the headlands within the area of the abandoned gun battlements near the edge of the Atlantic ocean and where the netting had been stretched between the two headlands to keep enemy submarines and ships from entering the loch.

 

Along the single track road that led to the headlands, we chanced upon some beautifully stunning beaches.

 

And there it was, standing proud and erect and decorated magnificently with poppy wreaths which had recently been placed in remembrance on Veteran’s Day.

 

Surrounding by the gun battlements on every side…I could just see in my imagination the young men so bravely protecting freedom and justice and fighting with all that they had in that horrific war.

 

Afterward, we all quietly piled back into the car to begin our scenic journey back to Dingwall, passing more beautiful landscapes along the way and remembering the heroic deeds of days past.

 

 

 

On the last day of my visit, Pat and I went to Inverness, about 11 miles to the east of Dingwall, to visit the castle and climb the tower for another 360 degree view of that city.

I also wanted to pay my respect to another great, great, great grandmother, May Naughten, wife of John Frew from Northern Ireland, in the Chapel Yard cemetery just below the castle and down the street.

First the castle….

 

 

 

Up the tower we climbed, reading interpretive signs in exhibits on each floor as we slowly made our ascent.

 

 

I really liked the way they made these new interpretive signs in the comic book format to appeal to the younger crowd and get their interests peaked about history instead of the traditional types of exhibit signage one sees everywhere.

 

 

When we got to the rooftop of the tower, the views of the surrounding city of Inverness were outstanding!

 

Back down on the ground, the views were still incredible… and soon I was heading down the street following the river Ness toward ocean to visit Chapel Yard cemetery in order to have a nice conversation with another very special lady.

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After that nice visit on a warm and sunny afternoon, we made our way back to Dingwall and in the evening hours on my last night in Dingwall we took part in yet one more ‘Gala Event,’ – a ‘car treasure hunt!’ What fun was had by all!

There were about 20 entries in a scavenger hunt around Dingwall.  Each car team were given a list of clues in order to find items in the community (on plaques, on canons, at the cemetery entrance, the old Victorian railway station at Strathpeffer, the auction market, etc.) where we had to search for the answers to the questions.  It was great, great fun and a whole lot of laughs. Our team didn’t do too badly in the end, managing to find the correct answers to 15 out of 18 items, including finding a chanter and a masonic apron!

As if that wasn’t already a very busy week, during the first part of my visit to this lovely burgh, Pat and I even managed to squeeze in a lovely 3-day trip up the coast and over to some islands off the tip of Scotland via a ferry at Gills Bay – the Orkneys!

That, however, my dear readers is another story in its own right and will follow shortly… until then!

 

Between Oban & the Isle of Skye – Driving in Gorgeous Glens

Hated to leave the lovely town of Oban.  The only consolation was that my next stop was the Isle of Skye!

It took me all day to drive from one place to the other.  Not because it was such a great distance, mind you, but because the landscape I passed through was just so darned gorgeous!  I had to stop the car and take pictures every mile or so it seemed.

Not too far from Oban was my first stop, Kilchurn Castle!  Can’t think of a better way to start the day – explore a new castle right after breakfast! This one was a hidden little gem too.  The only reason I knew about it was because my new friend Jonathan had told me.  There weren’t any signs or mention of it along the road, just a very small car park off to the right side of the road and a trail to follow.

Although I managed to drive right past the car park the first time, I turned around and found it.  Very insignificant looking and still I wasn’t real positive I had the right place.  Still I followed the path, and after walking under the train trestle, this view appeared!

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Soooo, it is another clan Campbell castle, like Inverary!  I will have to do some research later to find out if any of my Campbell ancestors had anything to do with this place…

 

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Quite the setting! I really enjoyed walking around this place, and because it is so obscure there sure weren’t very many people here besides myself!  Made it really, really nice actually.

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As I started my way back along the pathfinder to the car park, a pair of swallows, looking for food to feed their babies in a nest back in the castle, were swooping around me back and forth, back and forth.  I had to take a gagiliion pictures to get these two shots…

 

After I walked back under the train trestle I drove a bit further up the A85 road intending to take it to the A82.  A short distance from the junction however, I came upon an alternate route heading the same direction, so I turned up the single track B8074 road which followed the Orchy river flowing through a beautiful glen… am I glad I did.  What an absolute delightful, and surprising route!

 

 

The road hugged the rivers edge most of the way and offered up so many opportunities to view simply breathtaking views of this meandering waterway.  First there was this tranquil spillway…

IMG_0779I no more got back in the car and drove around the next bend when I came upon these gorgeous waterfalls!

 

Also along the river were more wild orchids! Then there MORE waterfalls!

 

 

 

 

Mile after mile I drove through this paradise complete with fly fisherman casting their lines…hoping to get a bite!

Although it was really only a short distance, that beautiful glen I had just passed through, and stopped to look back upon, seemed like a magical eternity!

 

I then turned my attention in the other direction – northward toward the next glen I would be passing through… the dramatic Glencoe.  Words cannot begin to describe the majestic beauty of this glen… just look at the pictures and drool….  this is Scotland personified!

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I stopped along Loch Eil, just north of North Ballachulish, stretched my legs and ate a picnic lunch Loch side in the sunshine.  Even had the Scottish Saltire appear in the blue sky of the sucker hole in the clouds before I travelled further north toward Fort William.  What a wonderfully perfect Scottish day, wouldn’t you say?

After lunch, I continued north on A82 until I came to Spean bridge and the Commando memorial and then continuing on to the junction of A87 heading west at Invergarry.

 

 

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I contined to drive along through this gorgeous Invergarry Glen until I came to another junction at Shiel Bridge called the old military road.  My friend Jonathan, from Oban, had told me about an alternate way to get to the Isle of Skye, via a small village called Glenelg and by which I could take a very short ferry crossing.

I am oh-so-glad I followed his advice!  I had yet one more very fascinating glen to explore on this portion of my journey! I meandered down the old military road until I came to a junction.  One way led to the ferry; the other way led to the village itself.  Since I had to catch the ferry at some point, I thought it best to go there first, check the schedule and plan my explorations of Glenelg accordingly.

 

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I found the ferry easy enough – at the end of the road!  There was this cute little lighthouse with self-serve coffee and snacks and other assorted souvenirs with a basket for honor payments.  Had to wait for the ferry to come back across the Loch to answer my questions about when their last crossing would be (6:45) and made friends with the ferry dog.

What a unique ferry it was too!  It’s a “turn-table” ferry which holds as much as 3-4 cars at a time! What a cutie!

 

 

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After finding out the necessary time schedule of the ferry, I headed back the 4 miles to the junction that I could take to the village of Glenelg and beyond.  Jonathan had told me about the “brochs” that I definitely needed to find and explore beyond the village that he promised would be well worth taking the time to find and enjoy.

 

So I drove past the village, along the Loch, up another river into another glen and voila, there it was just yards from the road!

 

IMG_0922There they were!  Amazing, ancient dwellings like nothing I had ever witnessed! Very unique, double walled dwellings of people from long, long, long ago!  Absolutely fascinating!

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After walking around this first one, I had to drive up just a short distance further up the glen to find the second one – Dun Trodden!

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There were also contemporary dwellings in this valley, unique in their own right with grassy sod covered roofs!  So cool! I really enjoyed this glen of unique dwellings, both old and new.

It was getting to be late in the afternoon however so I headed back through the village and headed to the ferry to make the necessary crossing over to the Isle of Skye.

 

I arrived just I now time to catch the next ferry crossing and drove onboard.  As soon as the cars were loaded, the one ferry man lifted the loading ramps and then began pushing and turning the bed in a clockwise manner to be straight on the ferry again.

I got a big kick out of the two  dogs.  They watched intently every move the two ferry men made and reacted accordingly.

Once the guy got the revolving table set in place, the younger of the two dogs started tugging on the rope that was holding the ferry to the ramp, pulling the slip knot free.

Once the rope was free and the ferry started to drift away, the two dogs jumped aboard with the ferry man and took their positions.  One on the deck, the other in front of the steersman!  Those dogs knew just what to do and exactly when to do it!

 

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It took no time at all get to the other side and off  I went, driving up, up, up the hill on the other side.  As I crested the hill, I could see the town of Broadford just off to left along the waters edge, where I would find a nice, cozy bed, with a view of the harbor from my window in the hostel!

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Before I laid my head down for the night however, I found a wonderful harbor side place to eat dinner which featured some of my favorites: scallops, crab, some deliciously wonderful coffee and a dessert consisting of strawberries, meringue and mango ice cream at Claymore restaurant.

What a perfect ending to a perfectly wonderful day of driving through deliciously delightful gorgeous glens in Scotland.  It just doesn’t get much better than that!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Renfrew, Glasgow Cathedral, Necropolis & Botanical Garden

Almost a week ago, on the 21st of June, I was visiting the small town of Renfrew and on the other side of the river Clyde – Glasgow.

I stopped in Renfrew for obvious reasons – it has my surname of Frew in it!  How could I not visit it.  As luck would have it the small town held a few surprises for me. However, they weren’t related to my Frew lineage, but rather another lineage in my family tree – the Stewart lineage!

As I came into town on Main Street, the beautiful town hall proudly standing in the center of town, grabbed my attention and called to me.  I parked my car and headed straight to its welcoming entrance beckoning me to explore and make some incredible discoveries in short order!

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The Town hall serves the community in the obvious administrative ways, but it also has a very nice little museum as well and that is where my discoveries were unveiled to me on the very first exhibit display!

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The first display I came to informed me that Renfrew is the cradle of the Stewart’s!  Wowsers!

As I continued on there also some very interesting artifacts and interesting information about this town.

Before  left, the very nice receptionist let me know where to find a plaque on the side of a building just up the street which marks the spot where the castle used to stand.  I managed to find it and nearby was the local parish church were lucknwould have it, the parish was hosting their weekly coffee and cookies fundraiser!  How lucky I am, get to take a look at the church and get coffee too?

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After that little stop in Renfrew that ended up with a major impact, I headed across the river Clyde to the bustling city of Glasgow to enjoy a few of its many treasures.

The hostel I stayed in was situated very conveniently to a lot of fine sights to visit near the University and Kelvingrove Park.

I only had a one nights stay in that interesting city so I focused my attention to just three of its offerings.

First stop, Glasgow Cathedral which survived the reformation period when so many other cathedrals found their demise.  The fine merchants of Glasgow were able to withstand the powers and forces of the times and managed to save this beautiful cathedral from destruction!

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Let’s head inside, shall we?

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I presume that the chairs in the photo above are exclusively reserved for the Queen and Prince Phillip when they visit so they have front row and distinguished seating right next to where the altar is.  Exquisite rug, isn’t it?

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This very old door leading into the sacristy has seen some tumultuous times as evidenced by the leaden bullets lodged in its face!

Now that we have explored the cathedral and some of its many treasures, let’s head back outside and head over to the adjoining graveyard, the Glasgow Necropolis.  This graveyard is the mother of all graveyards as far as I’m concerned; it’s absolutely incredible and absolutely gigantic containing so many interesting headstones, crosses and temple type family crypts.  I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Toward the end of the afternoon I was ready to find a park, a garden, or something like that to stroll around in and let all of the historical sights I had been visiting earlier kind of settle in and find their absorption point in my being, when I stumbled upon the Botanical gardens.  Perfection!

Because it was near closing time at 6 pm, I didn’t have enough time to tour all of the greenhouses like I would have liked.  However, it stays light so late here in Scotland, I was able to amble around all the grounds as long as I liked, including a nice river walk.

Here is a sampling of what the botanical gardens has to offer to appease the nature and flower lover within.

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Now here is a bit of a treat; they had a superb collection of orchids….

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Before going back outside and leaving the humidity of the greenhouses, I spotted some colorful other little gems such as hibiscus and amaryllis…

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Back outside again I was delighted to see the dogwoods still blooming here.  They are some of my favorites.  At home my dogwood bloomed in April, and I also got to see some in Ireland last month, and now here in Scotland a month later!  I have been triple treated to a nice long blooming succession on my travels!  What a treat!  I usually only get to enjoy them for a couple of weeks if I’m lucky!

further along the pathways I was lead to herbs and veggies, and eventually to the Rose section…

 

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After a nice walk along the rivers edge I ended my day with a pleasant peaceful feeling,

returning to the welcoming hostel at the top of the park.

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What a great day in Glasgow.  The following day I made tracks north to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond…but that’s another story for another time… until then.  Happy trails!

 

A circular tour of England, Scotland & Wales

After taking a 5 week tour of Ireland with my good friend Lynne, I have headed over to the neighboring island to the east to do yet another clockwise tour here for the next 3 months.  I started out last Thursday, June 15th, by taking a ferry from the docks in Dublin over to Holyhead, Wales.

When I arrived at the terminal, I had another rental car waiting for me, this time painted “pull me over red!”

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I drove to my first destination a short distance up the coast to a lovely little hostel just outside the charming walled town of Conwy and cozied up for the night in that picturesque setting.

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In the morning I was fed a substantial full English breakfast at the hostel and soon I was down in the charming town and taking photos of the iconic castle before venturing northward to my next destination, Liverpool.

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As I drove north I stumbled upon yet another castle by chance when I pulled off the highway for a break.

I came upon Flint Castle.  What a fun accidental find!