It’s been two weeks since I last posted a blog; I have been traveling south through Scotland and into England spending a day or two in each location. Now I am in Wales and I have visited a whole lot of interesting places to share with you, my dear readers. It’s been non-stop for 14 days!
I left Aberdeen on the 19th of August and drove as far as Scone (Point B on the map above) to visit my friend, Karen MacGregor, at her house for two days. I no sooner arrived when we jumped in her car along with another good friend of hers, Vicki, and took off across the countryside on an adventure. We stopped at an old churchyard in Kinross near Loch Leven and saw a place over on the island where Mary Queen of Scots was held captive.
Then we stopped for lunch at a very lovely Tea Room at Dobbie’s Garden Center on the outskirts of Kinross just as we were leaving town. (I just love how Scotland’s garden centers invariably have a Tea Room in them where you can get great food! What a great idea!)
After a delightful lunch of jacket potatoes stuffed with chicken, pineapple, and a mango dressing, we headed off to our next stop – a delightful village called Culross, (Point C on the map) which has been preserved as it was many, many moons ago!
According to the National Trust for Scotland, “Culross is Scotland’s most complete example of a burgh of the 17th and 18th centuries.
White-harled houses with red-tiled roofs line the steep cobbled streets which run from the market cross to the hilltop abbey. In the center is the ochre-colored palace with its beautifully reconstructed period garden, complete with herbs, fruit and vegetables, and rare Scots Dumpy hens. Get a sense of what it would have been like to live in Culross Palace in its prime, with original painted woodwork and beautifully restored 17th and 18th-century interiors.
It’s little wonder that Culross is acknowledged as one of the most picturesque villages in Scotland – or that it’s so often used as a film and television location. The streets of Culross have appeared many times in the hit US TV series Outlander.”
It was a delightful experience to walk through the twisty cobbled lanes of the old village admiring each of the unique houses and manors. So much character around every turn.
We worked our way up the hill to the old Abbey at the top.
Inside was equally as beautiful…
We stopped at the Abbey Tea Room to enjoy some lemon sponge cake and some tea and coffee and then worked our way back down the hill toward the car to head off on even more adventures.
Our next stop – the fabulous “Kelpies” sculptures near Falkirk!
According to the Helix website:
The history of The Kelpies
Chosen by Scottish Canals at the inception of the project, The Kelpies name reflected the mythological transforming beasts possessing the strength and endurance of 100 horses; a quality that is analogous to the transformational change of our landscapes, the endurance of our inland waterways and the strength of our communities.
Each of The Kelpies stands up to 30 meters tall and each one weighs over 300 tons.
Andy Scott’s vision for The Kelpies follows the lineage of the heavy horse of industry and economy, pulling the wagons and plows, barges and coal ships that shaped the structural layout of the area. Retaining The Kelpies as the title for these equine monuments, Andy sought to represent the transformational and sustainable enduring qualities The Helix stands for through the majesty of The Kelpies.
“The artistic intent (of the Kelpies) is built around a contemporary sculptural monument. Water-borne, towering gateways into The Helix, the Forth & Clyde canal, and Scotland, translating the legacy of the area into proud equine guardians.” Andy Scott, Sculptor
Aren’t they fabulous? We spent quite a bit of time here just admiring them (and taking about 300 pictures of them from every angle!)
Last but not least was the amazing Falkirk Wheel! It was closed by the time we got there but it was still a magnificent engineering feat the stand and admire. This wheel turns and lifts boats up into the air from the water below to meet up with the adjoining canal full of water above that runs off behind it and away from us from the view above.
It was certainly a full day of wonderful discoveries and sights to please the eyes. The three of us headed back up to Scone to Karen’s place where she fixed us a wonderful meal followed by this fabulous dessert – a baked meringue shell filled with clotted cream and topped with fresh fruit – Pavlova.
Oh, my goodness gracious was that ever yummy!