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Yaraandoo II Cruising
13th Oct 2017 - 22nd Oct 2017
On Northwards to Scotland

With sadness in our hearts we departed Amble and drove the coast road to Scotland.  While Mike and Marj returned to grandparent duties in Rolleston.

We stopped in Alnwick to tour the Castle, home of the Duchess of Northumberland and my old school (not forgetting Hogwarts).  The Castle dates from Norman times but on the site of a Saxon fortification.  The Castle was very heavily fortified by the 1100's. What wonderful morning we had taking 2 tours - one in the outer and inner Baileys and then a tour of the State Rooms within the castle.  Both tour guides were excellent and very informative so we learnt lots more of the local history.  

After the Castle, we walked the market town and lunched in Ye Olde Cross public house - locally known as the Dirty Bottles.  In the front window of the pub is a collection of dirty bottles (now sealed) which have remained untouched for 200 years because of the curse. The pub dates from the 1600''s and the last publican to move the bottles instantly dropped dead - the bottles have not been moved since even though the pub itself has been renovated several times.

We then journeyed to Eyemouth our first stop in Scotland.  Eyemouth is a very active fishing port and our attic room looked over the bay and entrance to the harbour.  We walked the quays before breakfast and saw seals, swans and boats unloading fish and lobsters. From Eyemouth we toured St Abbs another fishing village and on to Dunbar for lunch. We visited the Dunbar RNLI station and purchased more gear for our Hawaiian cruising friends living aboard the Waveney Class lifeboat they have converted.

Then we arrived at Haddington to stay with our school friends Mike and Jen. They have a lovely converted cottage and like David and Joan the Aga is the focus of the kitchen making it all very cosy and a wonderful gathering place within the home.

Mike and Jen like all our friends took us to explore their local region - East Lothian, (I might add that all our friends live in fantastic localities within the UK). The weather was perfect and we explored two castles both ruins but fascinating. Haines in the country and Tantallon on the coast with fantastic views of Bass Rock. The famous rock situated in the Firth of Forth near North Berwick which we raced for all those years ago.

Our second day we toured the Royal Yacht Britannia. What a day - the tour was wonderful and a floating palace it really was. We explored all 5 decks, had morning tea in the Royal Deck tea room. Britannia sailed over a million miles on a thousand official visits during 44 years in service and carried a crew of 220 Royal Yachtsmen as the crew were named. It was named as the place where the Queen relaxed the most.

Onwards from that tour we visited a Georgian House on Queen Charlotte Square. It was built in 1796 by John Lamont the 18th chief of the Clan of Lamont who paid £1,800. The National Trust is hoping to open the attic rooms for public view shortly. So far the basement, ground, first and part of the second floors have been restored and are open to the public.

Our next day was spent touring the famous views as far north as Loch Faskally near Pitlochry in Perthshire, the Highlands, the Trossachs and down through Callender to Stirling, and back to Haddington, so all the way from east to west Scotland. What views and interesting places we discovered. The oak tree which inspired Shakespear to write about the witches in Macbeth, the mill where we had lunch - (the mill is still active and the wheel still turned by the brook) and then the Crannog Centre on Loch Tay where we saw artififacts from the Iron Age. Archeologists diving on this site have changed history as they have proved Spelt wheat was in Britain prior to the Roman invasion who were thought to have brought it to Britain. Crannogs are straw and reed huts built in the Iron Age and which have been preserved below the cold waters of the Scottish lochs.

Our penultimate day was spent in Endinburgh visiting the new Parliament House, the castle and we ate in The Bee Hive pub favoured by Prince Charles located in the Grassmarket below the castle. We were in the castle when the one o'clock gun went off and later walked to see the grave of Greyfriars Bobby the famous Skye Terrier who watched over his dead master's grave for 14 years.

Our last full day we returned west towards Loch Lomond beyond Stirling to visit Lady Jennifer Maclellan in
Buchlyvie. We met many years ago in Sydney and she came to stay with us in Canberra when she was visiting relatives and touring Aus and NZ.

All too soon it was time to leave Scotland and return to Rolleston on Dove so we could prepare for our London escape. We spent two days driving back to Rolleston on B roads so we toured through moorlands and high country giving the A roads and motor ways a big miss. The scenery was fantastic even though the driving on one lane roads with pacing places was more taxing for Mike especially as the farm traffic was very active.

So today is laundry and catch up correspondence day before leaving for the train station early tomorrow morning. London here we come.

Next: London - 3 nights and 4 days a whirlwind visit
Previous: Last Days in Northumberland

Diary Photos

A great part of UK

The story of the Gibet

The Gibet outside Elsinore

Alnwick Castle Main Entrance

The Percy Lion

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle

The Keep -Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle Arch to inner keep

Detail of stone mason's skill

The Well in the wall of the Keep

Capability Brown landscape at Alnwick Castle

Rive Aln at AlnwickCestle

Dirty Bottle Story

The Dirty Bottles

The Cursed Dirty Bottles

Northumberland's most Famous Knight - Hotspur

Harry Hotspur

One of Alnwick Town Gates

Entrance to Eyemouth Harbour

The old mill near M and J's

3 wise folk at Tatallon Castle

The Royal Yacht Britannia

Britannia Binical

Britannia Bell

The lounge

Seaman's sleeping quarters

Britannia's operating theatre

Grey's Monument - Edingburgh

A polish soldier rescued a bear during WWII

Shakespear's Oak Tree

The Highlands

Mike and I sampling the Whisky

Working Mill

A Crannog replica

Crannog Roof Interior

Sun hiding over Loch Tay

River Tay

River Tay in flood

Scottish Parliament Interior

Inside Scottish Parliament

Scottish Parliament exterior

Edinburgh Castle Courtyard

Edinburgh Castle

The largest gun - Big Bess

Ending urghCastle

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh street scene


Cut Haggis

Pumpkin Picking

Mike and Lady Jennifer

Lady Jennifer's Conservatory

Lady Jennifer

In the Highlands

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