31 July 2007

Pitlochry - tour of too much

Today started off with a plan. It even followed the plan for a bit. We left Pitlochry and went to the Dunfallandry stone, a really old Pict Cross. We the passed Dunkeld to go to the Meigle Pict stone Museum (from our Historic Scotland passes) Not being “insitu” detracted a bit (they were in a an old church) but very impressive. Neil acquired a seahorse picture. So far so good, plan still on track. As we had started out passes, and you can go to a many things as you like once you have had that day marked off, we decided we had to get two places in on this day, as we added Edzell Castle to the pan. Unfortunately this took rather longer than I thought, but the wan was really very nice and friends, the castle was really interesting, ~I met some nice Westies and their people, then my camera went flat. We went on to Brechin to a train, that was closed, which was a bummer. Then, on the way to Dundee, which we were already starting to run late for, Neil added two more historic places, (both of which were good, but that’s not the point!) there were some more Pict crosses, which were just sitting on the side of the road and two huge fill forts (white and brown caterthun), also from the Pict era (we only walked up one).
The trip to Dundee was uneventful, apart from running late, it was in Dundee that things went wrong. We got really lost. Stooopied maps didn’t help a bit, then it was peak hour. It mean it was after five by the time we got to Perth so we missed the glass maker and the Scone palace. I mean the observatory in Dundee was ok, but……….
We stopped in Dunkeld on the was back to Pitlochry to check out the stuffed we missed (a jeweler and the Beatrix Potter display). We decided the jeweller and a leather shop we found were worth a trip back there in the morning. We went back to Pitlochry, had dinner, a beer and went to bed. We were both completely dead!
Oh Yes, I accidentally bought 2 polar fleeces and a pair of trousers.

30 July 2007


We picked up the car bright and early, bid Jacki adu and many thanks, until we see her again in around 10 days, after our journey through the Highlands. On our way out of Edinburgh, apart from nearly following a bus into a bus only bit, we saw the half built Pantheon (Edinburgh’s Shame), Nelsons column and other things on Carlton Hill and (of course) the Fourth River rail bridge, very exciting. We decided NOT to go to ‘Deep Sea World’ as it was £10 and full of under 5’s.
We continued up the motorway on the M90 til Kincross which was the first place we saw with and i sign (see previous entry for translation). We met a very nice lady, Carol, who gave up at least a ream of paper worth of handouts and booked out accom for us here at Pitlochry. We are in a nice B&B for the next two nights, walking distance from town. We went the scenic route from Kinross to Pitlochry, which was really lovely and had many places along the way that were far too dangerous to stops and take photos. Even thought I’d have love too. We discovered the radio with the best music so have is BBC Gaelic.
We had a really ordinary dinner in a rally nice looking pub (Neil is convinced the whole lot came out of the microwave) then went for a walk. We found McNaughtons of Pitlochry, which Mum recommended as the place to get a kilt from, a huge Hydroelectric dam with a great fish ladder and lots of shops with pretty jewellery. We haven’t found the lovely looking pressed leather stuff yet, but we will.

29 July 2007

Edinburgh - Neil's hangover

I woke up the next day at 6.30am, already to go. Most of the house was quite hung over. I jumped on a bus at ¼ to 8 and went down the road to see the Queens ship Britannia. I knew it wouldn’t be open at that time but it was some where to go, as all he tourist places didn’t open til 10.30am. I got home about an hour or so later and dragged a mildly seedy Neil out of bed. Jack had done something awful to her back and wasn’t able to even get out of bed. After a slight delay it was decided that we should go off and Jack would ring us later. We headed into town and to the i place (Information Centre, for all those that don’t speak Louise) we found out about the Scottish Heritage pass and picked up a 7 of 14 day one of these each, we did our first email session and I bought a mug with a Scottie on it. Neil was still feeling seedy at this stage so we walked towards the Royal Mile. We looked at all the touristy shops and went up to the tattoo venue. It’s WAY smaller that it looks on the telly. We also went to a tartan mill at the top of the mile which was basically a huge shop, not a mill at all.
For Neil’s “my hangover is gone, it’s time to feed me now” meal we had curry at a really nice place called Khushi’s, yum. I took a picture of the wreckage of our meal.
Jacki rang at this stage to let us know she had been to the hospital and gotten “powerful” drugs. We would meet up with her after she went to church.
The we went down to the Greyfriers Bobby statue (really sad story, not going into it, google it) caught the bus the wrong direction, walked back, walked for miles in the right direction, tried to catch another bus to the ‘dynamic earth’ place, discovered we were only 2 stops away, then walked the rest of the way there. By this stage it was 4pm and we were both nackered! Our plan to walk up Arther's seat that afternoon was scrapped. The displays in the Dynamic Earth were really well done. Although I do have concerns for the English (or in this case Scottish) liking for animatronics and people dressed up in costumes explaining stuff.
We had a yummy snack of some pizza like stuff and a huge bread thing with mushrooms , onion and a cream sauce. Yum.
Whilst stagger back to a bus stop that would take us home, we found an excellent souvenir place, actually run by a Scottish lady. I accidentally bought a toy Scottie he he he he. (and some other Scottie things, and the book I am writing all this stuff in before typing it as internet is hard to find and REALLY expensive.)
When we caught up with Jack, as she was a little drugged, we decided to have fish and ships for tea again, yum.

28 July 2007

Edinburgh - Christmas party

Jacki had organised to have tome people around in the afternoon for a Christmas in July party – Australian style, ie: BBQ, beer and (in theory at least) warm weather, well 2 out of 3 ain’t bad! No really, the weather was fairly good, there were only a few spots of rain. So we spent the day getting a few last minute items for the party (ie beer chips) from the supermarket (we got there right the first time this time) and decorating the courtyard for the party.
The guests arrived and were so many and varied, that we all seemed to need little flags on our shirts to say where we were from there were only a few locals. One lady has very generously loaned us a few books on the geology of the north which will aid out up coming tripping around, I’m sure
The BBQ itself was a bit of an education. It was tiny, only had a wire grill thing and was FILTHY! I turned all the rocks in the base of it over which helped a bit. Neil did most of the cooking, as the Aussie bloke in attendance, and was completely discussed with the quality of the meat on offer. I had sausages in a blanket and they were fine. I got very tired and went to bed fairly early, but Neil stayed up and partied for a bit longer and I don’t even remember him coming to bed.

27 July 2007

Edinburgh - valuts tour and others

After a bit of a sleep in we got up and decided we should head to the supermarket that Jack had pointed out the day before from the bus. So we gathered our bits and pieces and headed out the door, or in this case the gate. We took six steps to the right, turned round, took seven steps to the left, and turned back inside to get the map!
Eventually we nearly made it to the supermarket, except at the last intersection we turned the completely wrong direction and walked about a km the wrong way. We were both completely sure we were going the right direction!!
We picked up snacks, shampoo, snacks and toothpaste and wondered back. We stopped at a really old church and took pictures of the cool tombstones. By the time we’d had a short rest at Jack’s place is was time to jump on a bus (there isn’t any there isn’t really any other sorts of PT here) and go into town to meet Jack Jack for the tour she had organised for us: Secrets of the Royal Mile. While we were waiting for the tour to start there was an awful incident with a stoopied American and deliberately stomping on a pigeon and breaking its wing. The groups demented tour guide had to be embarrassed into doing anything about it. Quite awful. The tour, on the other hand, was great. My camera went plat, but Neil took lots of pictures. It really helped put the old part of town into context. Then we had a quick pint and a snack before heading back to Jacks for fish and chips for tea and bed – Absolutely stuffed!

25 July 2007

The plane trip

We got on the plane with no major issues. We even managed to procure our selves seats in front of one of the emergency exits. This turned out to be a life saver, because even though there was no window (the main reason we asked for another seat) there was heaps of leg room. I don't think I would have arrived sane if it wasn't for that leg room.
I watched 'Blades of Glory', 'Becoming Jane', the ' Pride and Pregdidious' movie (yuk) 'Groundhog Day' and some episodes of various bits of crap TV and tried to sleep. This last bit didn't really work too well.
The stop over, at 5am, in Hong Kong was boring as nothing was open, but no as boring as the next 13hrs flying to London. AWFUL. I couldn't wait to get off the sodding plane. England was rather cloudy so there were no really cool pics out the window . We rushed to change from Terminal 4 to Terminal 1. By this stage I was starting to feel the ground moving beneath me when I was standing on concrete. We were both a bit shirty at each other. The Edinburgh plane ended up being about an hour late in landing. We met up with Jack Jack with no issues and the loaded ourselves on to a 35 bus back to Jacki's
Jacki took us to one of the many many pubs near by for dinner (we had to walk past 4 pubs to get there) so we could eat Haggis. It wasn't too bad. We had a few nice beers and ciders, then back to home and bed.
We slept like rocks, but both woke up at 3am with huge bladders! He he he he