Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More Scotland: Glasgow to Inverness

Moving on from Glasgow we headed to Inverness.  We picked up a rental car in Glasgow and headed out up past Loch Lomond and Loch Ness to our B&B just beyond Inverness.  What drive!  The scenery was beautiful, but the road was narrow and our car was big.  If you ever go to Scotland, get a small car if you plan to drive on A82.  Most of these pictures were taken from inside the car as we drove, but they are still beautiful and I hope you enjoy them. There are a lot here, and I left even more out!  It's so hard to choose. 

Getting close to Loch Lomond.  This is nothing compared to how narrow the road would become.  Had we known, mom probably would have chosen a different rout.

On of our first views of the Grampian Mountains.

The pictures do nothing to show how breathtaking the scenery was. 

I would love to live in a little cottage like this. 

I wanted to badly to climb up and explore what was beyond this runoff.  I decided trespassing wasn't a good idea.

Our rental car.  It was nice and roomy.  It was also far too wide for the stretch of A82 that runs along Loch Lomond. 

The Bonny, Bonny Banks of Lock Lomond.
Bonnie Braes.  It quaint little place we stopped for some lunch.  The atmosphere was great and just what mom needed to calm her nerves a bit before getting back on the road. 

Tea! I had never put milk and sugar in my tea before going to Scotland.  It was always either plain or with honey/lemon.  Now milk and sugar is my preferred addition to my tea.

When I saw a pickle and cheese sandwich on the menu it sounded intriguing.  I like pickles and I love cheese.  So I ordered it.  BIG MISTAKE.  It may be the worst thing I have ever tasted.  It was the only meal I had in Scotland I did not enjoy at all.  I would go back to this restaurant with no second thoughts, but I would order something else to eat.

Now you get a look at how narrow the road was.

Stuck in traffic.  It turns out there was an accident up ahead somewhere.  There was no way out so we waited.  It was over an hour, but it gave us a chance to stretch our legs and enjoy the scenery.

More mountains.

And more mountains.......

Even more mountains...........

I wish the pictures could capture how grand and amazing it felt to be here.


The road ahead winding through more mountains.

I know nothing about this church.  It was a lucky shot from the car window driving by.  There were so many little churches and houses dotted here and there.

Rainbow!  I don't remember where this was.  Possibly Fort Augustus, but I'm not sure.

Loch Ness!  There will be more coming of Loch Ness.  By the time we got this far we were tired and almost to our B&B.  We came back the next day for more pictures.

We only drove through Inverness this night and we got lost!  I don't really have any good pictures of driving through Inverness since I was busy with a map trying to find a way out. We made it to our B&B very late. More on the B&B next.  It was a great place to stay.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Glasgow Part 3: Glasgow Necropolis

I think Glasgow Necropolis was my favorite place in Glasgow.  It was peaceful and full of history.  There weren't many visitors there the day we went which added to the serenity of the place for me.  I don't have a lot to say about this place as I think the pictures speak for themselves.  It's quite simply a very old and very large cemetery. And also very beautiful. You can read more about it at http://www.glasgownecropolis.org/.

This old stone bridge leads from the grounds of the Glasgow Cathedral to the Necropolis.

Author of Wee Willie Winkie
The rows going up the hill are in tiers.  It was quite a steep climb.

My mom looking out from the top of the Necropolis at Glasgow Cathedral. 
This was one of a few tombs we saw.

Normally a broken statue like this would make me sad.  As a Doctor Who fan a beheaded stone angel seems less frightening than one with it's head attached.

As you can see, the cemetery stretches quite far.

A few of the stones hear the top of the hill.

My mom again.

There were so many wildflowers to photograph.  Lots of thistle, foxglove and ivy.

Some of the oldest areas are quite worn, and overgrown.  Yet at the same time the whole place seemed well groomed.
One more view stretching out toward the city.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Glasgow Part 2: Glasgow Cathedral

 When I started out writing this post I had intended to put Glasgow Cathedral and the Glasgow Necropolis in one post together.  Then I realized even getting it down to my favorite pictures of each would be too many for a single post.

I loved the Cathedral and this alone would be enough to bring me back to Glasgow.  The Cathedral was so full of things to see.  The inside of the Cathedral is such a mix of time periods that it is almost overwhelming and most certainly awe inspiring.

 This altar is just one example of the amazing stone carvings we saw on our visit to the Cathedral. 

It's hard to imagine the time and labor needed to complete a work like this.  I don't know the actual age of this altar, but I do know it is OLD.

The ceilings in the main part of the Cathedral were decorated with beautiful wooden beams. 
 I don't remember what the significance of these stones was.  I just thought they were worth sharing.  I guess I should have taken some close up pictures of the signs.
 This room to the right was my favorite in the Cathedral.  It's sort of a basement room. The ceiling had beautiful colored decorations where the beams come together.  Below are a few pictures of those as well.  It was so hard to choose what to include here.

It was a rather dreary looking morning with all the clouds.  It's kind of funny how I don't remember thinking that at the time.  I was simply in awe of my surroundings.  I was in Scotland with my mom and we were having an adventure. 

Below is a picture of Glasgow Cathedral.  In the background on the right you can see the Glasgow Necropolis.  My next post will be all about the Necropolis.  Be prepared for a lot of pictures. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


I have not forgotten to finish my trip posts.  My family has been very sick this last week, and now mom has it.  So while you wait, here's a little something for my fellow Doctor Who fans.  This was a huge highlight of Glasgow for me. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Glasgow: Part One

 One of the big things I wanted to do while in Scotland was have Fish and Chips.  So dinner the first night was at this Fish and Chip shop. 

You can't see it in the above picture, but there was actually a surprising variety of things offered here.  I am not sure what I expected though, maybe I was expecting it to be just simple Fish and Chips on the menu.  
In the end, simple Fish and Chips is what I got, because it was what I was after.  I don't even remember what else was on the menu.  I also had Irn Bru (pronounced "iron brew") to drink.  It is something that is inherently Scottish and so I had to try it.  I didn't care for it and so it was also the last Irn Bru I had to drink. 

This was not, however, the last fish and chips I had to eat.  It left me wanting as the fish was just warm and the breading soggy.  However, the chips (fries to Americans) were delicious!

In my research before the trip, I came across several references to a "Full Scottish Breakfast".  This is the closest I got in Glasgow.  Breakfast at the hotel was served buffet style.  The black sausage was surprisingly good, although I don't think my mom could bring herself to try it.  I also discovered that I love tomatoes and mushrooms for breakfast the way they cook them over there.  The ham looking meat on top is bacon.  It's very different than American Bacon, but similar to what we call Canadian Bacon.  Still, the flavors are a bit different even from that.  The sausage underneath I don't remember the name of.  It was good and I would probably eat it again if it was on a breakfast buffet like this, but I don't think I would go out of my way for it.  All in all, breakfast was good and filling and carried us a long way through our day.

 Here we are on our walk to Glasgow Cathedral (which deserves a post all it's own).  According to Google Maps, it's only a 15 minute walk from our hotel.  I'm pretty certain it took us much longer than that.  I'm not sure if Google Maps is off by that much, or if we walked that slow.  It's probably a combination of the two.  We also stopped a few times along the way.

 I'm sure we've all heard the phrase "Dr. Livingstone, I presume".  What I didn't know was that Dr. Livingstone was a Scot.  This statue is one of many of him that exist in Scotland.

 This is just a pigeon I liked.  Every time I saw a pigeon on our trip, I would think of my kids singing the words to Mo Willems' book "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus".

I cannot remember what this building was!  And right now I don't have time to go look it up.  But it was huge!  And beautiful. 
Here's a close up of the statue on the building.  I'm not sure who it is.  I really need to find time to look this all up, because I'm sure it's fascinating. 

I promise when I do get a minute to look it up, I will post about it. 

In the distance here you can see a picture of the Glasgow Necropolis.  Such a beautiful place, and I promise you there are more picture to come of this.

I must sign off for now.  Enjoy.