Monday, June 30, 2014
The human population on Skye is somewhere around 10,000. The sheep population is considerably more. They are pretty much free range; people have fences but they are to keep the sheep out not in. Sheep rush for no one - or car. You just have to wait for them to clear off the road. This shepherd and his sheep dog pretty much had this lot heading in the right direction while the van behind him and we ahead of him waited our turn.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Today's post is an iPhone panoramic image made at Quiraing on the Trotternish peninsula on the Isle of Skye. If you'd care to check the location on Google Earth it's at N 57°37'41.519999999999" W 6°17'25.44". To get there on takes a single track road leading from the seaside town of Staffin. At the end of the road there's a parking area and from there you can take one of two footpaths that go north or south - either way will provide spectacular views over the Sound of Raasay and the Western Ross region of Scotland. I opted for the northern trail, it's a bit of a white knuckle walk and no place for anyone who is a bit put off by heights. Any reasonably fit person can do these walks with no special knowledge or equipment. The trail is on the left and the destination is the pointed peak in the upper left. It will not be apparent in this forum but there are people on the high ridges in the upper right of the photo; those are the folks who opted for the southern path.
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Around about 1974 a group of very silly English people arrived in Scotland to shoot a movie. This castle - Doune Castle - was featured in multiple scenes in the movie. The path to the lower left was used to move a giant Trojan rabbit toward the castle. The centre courtyard was made to look enclosed for a wedding scene. The upper rooms were used for other scenes in this epic movie - Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow was constructed using funds from the 1888 international exhibition and opened in 1901 as the Palace of Fine Arts in Kelvingrove Park.. Built of Locharbriggs red sandstone, the building houses a large collection of paintings, objects of natural history and Scottish artifacts and is the most visited gallery in the UK outside of London.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
The Scottish National Parliament lies to the east of Edinburgh Castle along the Royal Mile near Holyrood Palace. Designed by Spanish architect Enric Miralles (who died before the building was completed in 2004), the building was fraught with controversary from the outset. The selection of a site, the choosing of an architect and the cost created all sorts of public angst as did the design itself - it's not your normal parliamentary building at all. The building was completed 3 years late and considerably over budget - almost 10 fold by some accounts. The objective of creating a profoundly Scottish building that the nation could be proud of has been achieved however. The building seems to be very much 'of the land' and entirely appropriate on every level - it just feels like a Scottish building in all ways. Some of the detailing is a little dodgy in places - as is usually the case with buildings that incorporate organic forms in an extreme way.
On the day we visited parliament was working and we had the chance to sit in the debating chamber as the members did their thing. The sun was shining in through the clerestories and the Scottish oak and fir floor, walls, desks and roof structure were glowing. The subject of debate was the usual tedious stuff but there was nothing boring about the building.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
The juxtaposition of the piper and the fellow promoting the Kurdish restaurant along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh struck me as we walked by. The fellow with the restaurant sign has ear buds on, I'm pretty sure he's not listening to bagpipe tunes...
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
Monday morning in Scotland, time for a little single malt. This is Glengoyne 12 year old. Glengoyne is rare in that unlike most distilleries they use warm air to dry the malted barley rather than peat fire. The result is quite superb. In fact, maybe one of the best late morning single malts I've had.
Sunday, June 22, 2014
You don't often get photos of me on this blog, but today is an exception. That's me on the famous Swilcan Bridge on the Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. This little bridge is 700 years old and has been trodden upon by some of the most famous golfers in the world. Jack Nicklaus paused for a farewell wave from the bridge during his last competitive round at St. Andrews and in 2010 Tom Watson bent down and kissed it as he finished his final round at The Open Championship.