From a very young age I was exposed to Hydrangeas. My grandmother had the most beautiful Blue/Purple ones in her garden. Her pink ones was huge. I can remember a photo on my grandmothers nightstand with me next to it. I looked like a fairy under the big bloom. I wish I could get hold of it. I was about 18 months when it was taken.
While visiting Scotland I fell in love with these beauties all over again and when I got back from our tour I bought myself a plant at the nursery. It lost all it’s leaves though…. I just hope it stays alive during this cold winter. Yesterday I saw new leaves coming out. So I am trying to keep positive.
Thank you Cee for giving me the opportunity to post my Hydrangea photo’s again.
Hope you are all still safe and healthy. Here in Capetown we are freezing our buds off. My hands feel like two ice cubes.
Our next stop was Aberdour Castle and Gardens. It was spectacular and this was the first castle we visited on our Grand Tour of Scotland. Nordic Visitor arranged for explorer passes with Historic Scotland. This enables us to visit a wide range of places without standing in queue’s at ticket counters.
After getting our pass activated we could go and explore. The only thing dad wanted to explore was the shop and restaurant…. But I got him to walk with me through the garden and grounds.
We had to walk through the Walled Garden to get to St. Fillans Church. It took me a while to get to St Fillans Church there was just too many beautiful flowers to capture…
“St Fillan’s Church is one of the finest examples of simple Norman architecture in Scotland. To the south it overlooks Aberdour Harbour, north and west it is sheltered by the high wall of Aberdour Castle garden and to the east what was the Castle kitchen garden. As early as 1390 St Fillan is mentioned as the patron saint of the church.
Entrance to the church and its old cemetery is from Hawkcraig Road along Kirk Wynd. At the top of the Wynd, on the right is a door to the Castle grounds, above which the monogram of William, Earl of Morton and his wife Lady Anne, dated 1632. Further down the Wynd, on the left, is a collection of badly weathered old gravestones, some dating from the seventeenth century.
Initially St Fillan’s consisted simply of a nave and the chancel, lit by deep splayed windows and remains much as it was in the 12th century. Sockets for the rood screen can still be seen.
The dedication to St Fillan probably came about through the influence of Robert I (the Bruce), who gave Aberdour to his close friend and supporter Thomas Randolph Earl of Moray. St Fillan was the king’s favourite saint and is credited with helping the Scots win the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
In the 15th century, the church was enlarged by the addition of the south aisle. This involved an arcade supported by the three pseudo-Norman pillars and lowering the floor to its present level.
St. Fillan’s Church will celebrate its 900th Anniversary in 2023.”
Our next stop was a beautiful little town called Aberdour. Just as we entered the town I was taken with all the flowers and beautiful houses and their hanging basket gardens…. The streets are not really wide and the houses are on the street only a narrow sidewalk that separate them from the street. I saw only a few houses with nice front yards and the most beautiful gardens.
We stopped at a parking area near a garden and I took my camera and walked up the road to where we entered Aberdour.
I just love Hydrangea’s and the colors are to die for. I grew up with light pink and blue/purple Hydrangea’s. I just could not get enough of these pretty plants.
As you know by now I loved capturing Churches and Cathedrals even if they are closed. The architecture is just amazing. I love the colorful doors and the beautiful windows. I just wish we had enough time to go into every single one we visited. Also I know I missed a few too.
Here are some photos taken on my walk back to the car.
Thank you for joining us on this short visit at Aberdour. Next up Aberdour Castle and Gardens.
Without further delay let’s continue our road trip to St Andrews and Knockhill Farm where we will be spending the night.
Our next stop was Dalgety Bay. The 8th largest town in Fife. We did not spend a lot of time exploring Dalgety Bay due to a very long list of places still to see. Also at this stage I was struggling with the Tom Tom trying to get to the places of interest on our list…. We were trying to find Donibristle Stable Block but ended up with a view of the Fourth Road Railway Bridge instead. Not that I am complaining. The views and flowers were stunning.
Our next stop on our list was Cornerstone Full Gospel Church. I got the names on my Google Maps when I planned our trip. What I did came to realize on our Grand Tour of Scotland was that the names on Google Maps and the names on the signboards are not always the same….
Dad and I saw the church on our way to Dalgety Bay and on our way back we took the turnoff to the church. Next to the church I found this beautiful cottage with fields and sheep.
I walked up to the gate to see if I could enter and it was open so I walked inside and took a few photo’s. Now this is what I call a peaceful place. Normally I don’t like walking in graveyards, but one thing that stood out for me was how peaceful it was here. Maybe it is the surrounding pastures with sheep and horses grazing. One don’t even hear the cars passing on the road to and from Dalgety Bay.
Thank you for visiting Dalgety Bay with us. Our next stop is Aberdour and I am looking forward to sharing some of the photo’s taken in this beautiful town.
At long last we can start our next phase of our Grand Tour of Scotland. We will be driving along the coast to St Andrews where we will spend the night at Knockhill Farm. I must admit I was very nervous on that Cloudy Tuesday morning. This would be my first time driving in Scotland and I did not know what to expect. The only comfort for me was that I am use to driving on the left side of the road.
Our driver that picked us up at the airport on Sunday gave me a few tips and told me to avoid the bus lanes and that I should never park in parking places for taxi’s. He also explained to me how the passing place work.
The people at Arnold Clark was very friendly and before I knew it we were on our way to Inverkeithing our first stop.
We stopped in the first parking lot we could find and from here we walked and explored for a while. While touring through Scotland I fell in love with the buildings, the decor and details on the buildings, the shapes and sizes of the windows, the colorful and detailed doors and lastly the bright colors used to paint the houses and shops. I we could I think we would have stayed much longer in the different towns and I would have taken building by building, street by street to make sure I capture every little detail….. But we have to cover around 100 to 180 miles per day depending on our route and we had to be at our final destination for the day at a certain time… This was one of the reasons we decided that our next tour of Scotland we will do in a campervan and we will stay in Scotland for about 76 days.
It took me a while to get use to driving 20 miles per hour. But I made sure that I kept below the speed limits just to make sure I do not get a ticket. Now let me explain why the speed difference was so difficult. Here in South Africa the speed limit in our towns is 60 Kilometre per hour that equals around 37 miles per hour. The most confusing part while driving was you get a sign that says 40 Miles per hour then about 2 meters after that it is either 30 or 20 miles per hour. For someone who is driving in Scotland for the first time it is very nerve wrecking, but by the end of the day I figured out the pattern….
In our rental car we had a Tom Tom and oh my word did it frustrate the living daylights out of me. First when I type in a castle name or Church name it kept saying not found. Now before we came to Scotland I mapped out our tour in Google maps and saved it to my phone. All the places on our list was on google maps but for some reason I could not find it on the Tom Tom not even when I typed in Street addresses. So when I saw that some streets have more than one name it started to make sense. I switched to my google maps on my phone and only used the Tom Tom as guide to the flow of the road ahead.
After exploring we remembered the sign at the church that offered Tea, coffee and Home baking. Dad and I decided that we still have time for a nice cup of tea before we leave for our next stop.
We were welcomed with open arms and felt right at home. We sat down at a table and it was not even a few seconds when the first man came to greet us. Dad and he hit it off and talked about Scotland and South Africa. He was a retired doctor and he came to visit a few times here in South Africa around 15 years back. Dad explained to him how everything has changed and that now a days one can’t just go out at night and walk as you please it is to dangerous.
While Dad and the retired doctor talked I excused myself and went and took some photos of the beautiful windows of the church.
Thank you for reading my post and I truly hope you enjoyed the photos. Our next stop is Dalgety Bay.
At long last I can post about our night at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo…
Dad loves bagpipes since I can remember he played a 7 single with bagpipe music on it. He always said that before he closes his eyes permanently he want’s to go to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo…
Then in March 2018 he got very sick and was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. One day out of the blue he asked me if I could choose any place overseas to visit where would I like to go… “I have a list as long as the National road” I told him…
Then I remembered his words and said Scotland. Dad asked me to see when the Military Tattoo is his only demand for our holiday was that it includes the Military Tattoo…. After doing some research I contact Nordic Visitor for a quote and put the plans in motion. Sarah told me that I better book our tickets for tattoo early because it sells out very fast. 24 January 2019 I booked our tickets for The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in August 2019.
Dad was super excited and I could see in the way he walked that he could not get there fast enough… I did take some random photos while walking…
Dad was so excited that not even the stairs was to much for him. The closer we got the less dad talked… He was getting a bit emotional…
The views behind the stands was so beautiful I could not just pass. So while dad was visiting the bathroom before heading to our seats I took the opportunity to capture it.
Thank you for joining us on our way to the Military tattoo. I won’t be saying much in my next post. Will mostly be photos of the Tattoo.
Hope everyone had a good nights rest and ready for the day. I did not really sleep much. My brain is working overtime. I worry about COVID 19 interfering with our plans to visit Scotland again form May 2021 till August 2021. If we are not allowed to travel in 2021 then I must postpone it to April 2022 till July 2022. We have to travel in spring and summer because the main purpose of this trip is so that I can capture Puffins. We also would like to see the rest of Scotland that we missed….
Either way if I continue to post only now and then I will never finish in time before our next trip to Scotland even if we leave in 2022. I also still have some places I visited here in South Africa that I need to edit. But I work from first captured to last….
Here I am back again hoping to finish our walk back to our Guest house today. I still need to post about The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo also before we can hit the road and continue with the rest of our Grand Tour of Scotland.
My first thought when I saw the Omni Centre and The Glasshouse was “WOW that’s a lot of Windows to keep clean…. How on earth do they do it? The Glasshouse is a beautiful building…
Just look at how busy the streets of Edinburgh is. We don’t even talk about parking that is one big headache… The best mode of transport might just be to Cycle from point A to B. I prefer to rather walk… I love cycling but my balance is not that great and when I see a robot, stop street or even a car I start to panic…. That is why I put my bicycle in my car and drive to a quiet road or a farm stall park there and cycle from there…
The Theater Royal Bar is situated next to the famous Playhouse Theater on Leith Walk. I just love the decor of this building…. The hanging flower baskets just makes one feel so happy.
Well just around the corner is Ben Cruachan Guest House on MacDonnald Street….
We had about two hours before we had to get ready for our walk back to Edinburgh Castle where The Edinburgh Royal Military tattoo was held…. I went outside and took a few photo’s of the garden before I made us a nice cup of coffee and we talked about the day and how excited we were to go see the Tattoo….
Thank you for joining us on this last stretch back to our Guesthouse. In my next post I will be sharing some photo’s taken on route to the Tattoo and of the Tattoo itself.
Good Morning friends and followers. I hope that your lockdown is also very productive. I must say mine has been so far. I ticked off a few task on my to do list so far.
I am busy reorganizing my kitchen one cupboard at a time. Still a few to go…
Since this weekend I have been organizing my photos of our Grand Tour of Scotland. Putting the photos into folders. This makes it easier for me to do my research on all the places we have visited and also to see 1400 photos in 1 folder for 1 day gets a bit overwhelming, but 150 photo’s is much better… I would like to finish editing before we go on our next Scotland Tour….
I have finished planning our route just need to fine tune it and do some more research on traveling in campervan and Wild Camping in Scotland. Any suggestions will be much appreciated.
Okay enough of that let’s get back to our walk back to Ben Cruachan Guesthouse…
The Balmoral Hotel is such a beautiful building. I wonder how it looks inside? In my imagination it would be fit for a King and Queen…. Next time I will arrange to have a peek inside….
“The statue of the Duke of Wellington outside Register House was unveiled in a highly patriotic ceremony on 18 June 1852, the thirty-seventh anniversary of his greatest victory at Waterloo. Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon was regarded as ensuring the freedom not only of Britain but of Europe in general. “
Dad and I encountered multiple meetings with one of Rabbies Tours tour busses while exploring Scotland and some of the islands. Only while editing I realized that I captured one of the buildings they occupied.
Walking down Leith Street was an experience. They were working on buildings and also the road. The beautiful hanging flower baskets caught my eye…. I just loved it…. But more next time….