Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Skye's the Limit.... or is it

Well, Ok, something went a little wacky on that last post with the position of the photos and the text. I hope everyone can follow along all right. Grrr. At any rate, after Edinburgh I went to The Isle of Skye for the weekend. There really are no words to describe the Highlands or Skye. Beautiful, stunning, they don't really seem to convey the essence of what I saw. And unfortunately the pictures are a poor substitue for the real thing but they may give you the idea.

These are some photos of the country side. And, Yes, the sky was that blue and the hills that green. The unfortunate thing is that I can't get the panoramic shots online. They would give you the sense of granduer that the scenery truly has.

Believe me, I took more pictures than anyone would care to look at, however, it was well worth it and I'm grateful that I had a digital camera and don't have to develop film to look at them. Next up is a waterfall that I happened across as I was touring north of Portree. The photo following it is what one would find should they venture past the waterfall and into the glen beyond.

This is one of the many small lochs (lakes) on the Isle.

I should take a moment to explain the roads. While Scotland does have "highways," or dual carriageways, the country roads are a bit smaller. And on Skye, at least the northern bit of the island, most of it is single track, or less than...well check out the pictures. Below is a shot from the drivers seat as I passed someone pulled over on a passby, which is a burp to the left or right in the road so that two vehicles can pass.

This is slightly before the photo above to give you a feel for how wide the road is and how small you feel compared to nature. Yep, those are sheep.

In fact, this ram took a bit of convincing to move. It was his road and he wasn't sure he wanted to let me by. I took this just before I passed him.

This is just a pretty shot of a small village from the road.

Later that day.... On the way back to Broadford, which is where I stayed on the Isle at Green Gables B&B, I decided to take the scenic route. I thought the one tracks were small but this one had very few passing places, luckily, it was not too busy. This is a shot from, I belive the one layby on that road.

Broadford is a gorges little village that sits on a bay. The sun sets just to the left of the bay and the tide goes, as tides do, in and out through out the day. The shot below is at high tide. I never managed to be awake and have the camera at the ready at low tide.

The sunset on the bay is breathless to behold. The pictures really do not do it justice.

And now for some flora.....

This is foxglove and it grows wild just about everywhere.

I'm not sure what most of the flowers are that I saw but they are beautiful

And of course.... the classic flower of Scotland the thistle.

Well, there's tons more pictures, but I've been at this for some time. I will post more of them, mostly of a castle and the highlands, tomorrow when I return to Glasgow. Now, I'm off to the library and tonight I'm going to do a touristy thing and go on a tour of some of the haunted places in Edinburgh. OOooooooOOoooooo!
The Sites of Edinburgh

I'm staying, as I've said, at Ardgowan B&B. It's a lovely place and quite eccentric. Apparently it is one of the oldest B&B's in Edinburgh. You can read more about it at they're website: http://www.ardgowan.com/

This is the view from my room.

It is not in the city centre like Charing Cross Guest House. It is a bit outside of the downtown area. However, it isn't a terribly long walk and a very short bus ride to Princes Street and other shops from here.

I'm sure y'all will find the next several photos a bit macabre. However, It is intriguing to notice how afraid of death and its images we as a society have become. These photos are of the Greyfriars cemetery. What one can garner from the nature of the headstones and other funerary art is that people used to celebrate and pay homage to death and the dead. Well, at least if you had the gold to do so.

This is looking down a street called Candlemaker. It is next to the Royal National Museum of Scotland. It is down this street that I found a fantastic little shop called (Un)Familiar. It sells a variety of pagan and occult supplies and art.

This is the store front of (Un)Familiar. I was quite grateful to discover it as I finally found someone to hang-out with here.

Just down a bit on the same street if you looked up you would see the photo below. It is, I believe the rear of Edinburgh Castle. I'm not going to take the tour because it is a bit pricey and being on a limited budget I think I'll opt for a smaller castle and therefore a cheaper tour.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Howdy y'all from Edinburgh. I got into town last night (7-20-05). No pictures yet but I will post some soon. Edinburgh is much more 'suburban' than Glasgow. Calmer at least. I'm staying at a wonderful B&B called Ardgowan. It is family owned and operated. They also live on the premises. The premises are extra-ordinary. A truly unique atmosphere. If I can get permission from the owner I will be posting pictures to the blog of the inside of the B&B. Until then, I must go ring-up the Scotish Studies department at University.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I'm still at the café working on getting my pictures up. Kate here's a call out to ya! They were just playing the Beetles and it made me think of you. So, folks, on with the pretty pictures. Next in line will be what I could see out the window of my first room. I've moved rooms since I've been here because I only set up for four nights but needed to stay in Glasgow longer. The room with a view.

This is perhaps one of the neater lamposts I've ever seen. It has two bronze statues on it of pidgeons. Yep, pidgeons. I have yet to see a squirell but there are tons of pidgeons and they're quite cheeky too.

This is rather interesting too. It is a bust of ...someone... I'm not sure who and neither is anyone else. He sits atop a now defunct shop. I can only hazard to guess that it may have been a music shoppe?

The following are some of the things that I saw as I walked around Glasgow City Centre. Good thing I had my camera with me because I got lost a few times and it gave me something to do while I wandered around.

This is just a cool construction 'thingy' I saw. Apparently they had taken out a building that had stood between two other buildings and used this to hold up one of the remaining buildings.

This is a pretty church that I saw as I walked up Pitt Street back to the B&B.

This is the park where I had my dinner the second night I was here. Apparently on days that it doesn't rain they turn on the water and it works like a fountain sort of the water goes down on the left and right of the steps like mini gorges.

I was supposed to have a Ford Ka, however, they didn't have one and I got a free upgrade to this. I think it's called a Vauxhill Mivera. Rounded and small is the fashion for vehicles here. Except taxis they tend to be a bit bigger.

This is a look down Garnet Hill. Until I figured out a less steep way to get back to my B&B I walked up this many times. Ohhhh, my aching calves. You can see in the distance, if you squint, green country-side.

This is one of the buildings you'd see on the campus of Glasgow University. It is a gate house. I tried to get a close-up of the crest on it but it did not turn out well.

This is a shot of the Clyde, it's a river that runs through Glasgow.

This is the miniest car I've seen. The car in front of it is just a wee bit smaller than my Ford Escort Wagon at home to give you some scale.

This is just a neighborhood shot near Glasgow University.

This road is called Great Western Way. I was warned that it was a big road by a local. I imagined something like south 13 in Ithaca, NY or 127 through Lawrenceburg, KY. Again this gives you an idea for scale by comparison. This is a 'big' road in the city. Imagine what a regular or small road looks like. In fact, there are some 'lanes,' I would call them alleys, that don't look like they are big enough to fit a car through them.

Well, that's it for the photos for now. *Yawn* it's getting late almost 9p GMT. The most interesting thing about my physical condition so far as jet lag is concerned is that I really didn't get it. However, my insomnia has gone into overdrive.

Another interesting point before I sign off for today. It's 9p GMT but it looks more like it does at 7p EDT outside. The daylight hangs on much longer here. In fact, it stays dusk like until about 10:30p GMT. Kinda interestin'