Sunday, December 30, 2012

The River Lune

Our first morning in Kirkby Lonsdale- so frosty and chilly!

24 hours later. It's a gorgeous sunny day.

Perfect for a hike along the river

The weather changes quickly in these parts...

Very suspicious river wardens

7 swans a-squeaking...


 We were way too naive to know that this weather was rare and that it will be weeks before we even see the sun again!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

RRRRolling hills....

We are driving south on the motorway, listening to Gaelic radio, I'm practicing rolling my r's and feeling sad that we have to leave Scotland. I agree with our host, Patric, who said " Aye, tis just cracker". A place that I feel we've had too brief a taste of (though all those oysters and mounds of smoked salmon are lingering fresh and recent in my memory).

We make a detour to the west to catch a glimpse of beautiful lake Windermere

and catch it in the last rays of daylight. We'll be back.

Castle Dangerous

We stopped to see where Neils brother, John Douglas Harley got his middle name.

Our guide

this one tried to eat my mitten

This is all that remains of the famed Douglas Castle first built sometime before 1288 by captain William Douglas, he of the Clan Douglas. One of the oldest, largest and at one time most powerful clans in Scotland. It was captured and garrisoned and burned and rebuilt many times before the final fire in 1775 that destroyed all but the corner tower. An immense mansion was then built near the castle remains, had it been completed it would have been the largest in Scotland but that duke of Douglas died before that happened and it was only about half the size of the original design. Sadly, in the 30's coal mining was allowed in the park next to the castle causing major subsidence and it was then demolished. So it's just that one tower, some beautiful trees and plenty of sheep left at the place that once inspired Sir Walter Scott's Castle Dangerous.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A loch is not a lake

We arrived at Loch Lomond just as the light was fading...

It was a heavenly spot on the water with not a soul in sight.
Sunrise was just as beautiful

See the snowy peaks to the north? It was mighty chilly.

Loch Lomand is the largest loch in Great Britain by surface area (I cannot tell you why it is not the same as a lake but I was firmly informed as such), we just loved that we had this amazing place to ourselves. We were ready to just stay put and have all mail and loved ones forwarded right here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My name in lights!

After a big drive, this is what we saw as we pulled into town-I knew we had found the right place.

 In the morning we hiked up and up towards Stirling castle

It was beautiful, we enjoyed some time outdoors and then felt the need to leave so off we headed...


Absolutely LOVE these taxis!

Another gorgeous day in the life of this lucky tourist. What an amazing city!