Sunday, 4 April 2010

Long Easter Weekend

According to the weather forecast, Sunday was the going to be the best in the way of sunshine. So to make the most of our long Easter weekend and get some fresh air into our lungs, we decided to take a gentle drive along the West Coast of Scotland.
Our first detour was Dumbarton Castle but only from the bottom as we got distracted by the enormous Dumbarton Rock, a plug of volcanic basalt which is 240 feet high.
A 'stones throw away' pardon the pun, but its true was this beach. The autumnal-winter colours were fabulous, but my heart sank as it was littered by rubbish.
I'm surprised that West Dumbarton Council has not cleared it up; or even Historic Scotland with the castle nearby; or even community volunteers.
Such as shame, how a place of beauty is ruined by inconsiderate fellow human beings.
I wish I had brought a bucket, I could have picked up some seaweed for the garden plot. Oh well. I will just admire the colours.
These made me smile too - like meercats standing to attention.
Next stop was a farm shop. It was extremely busy, to be fair it generally is, but more so today with the Easter weekend. Many families were out with their children. I think the farm shop may have even organised an Easter egg hunt.
I didn't pick up any chocolate Easter eggs. Chocolate Easter eggs are not something we indulge in (never have), but I did pick up half a dozen free range eggs and potatoes.
I was also tempted by some strawberry and blue popcorn.
The views here are absolutely gorgeous. You appreciate it more when the skies are clear and blue. Still some snow on the mountains. If you look to the left and you can see one of the chickens having a wander.
Last time I was here, I took some pictures of the Aberdeen Angus cattle, this time the sheep. I tried to get some pictures of the lambs, but they were pretty active, leaping and jumping, so I let them be.
But can I interest you in the 'not so cute'. I don't think this fella is going to win any beauty prizes, nevertheless it would be wrong for me to discriminate purely on looks. These are intelligent animals.
Whenever D and me go out to historic houses, castles and places of conservation we become acutely aware of the cost of entry to some of these places. This has deterred us a number of times from going any further. Well today, we decided to dig into our pockets. Oh no not for the entrance ticket, we actually signed up to become members of the National Trust for Scotland, on the premise that we will make more of an effort to travel to some of these places and enjoy them. So be warned, you will see a lot more on this blog of Scottish heritage. Anyway, as official members of the NTS, our first entry was to Geilston Gardens.

As expected, theres not much growing this time of year, I just loved the unhurried pace and the tranquil environment.
Oh how my eyes envy that greenhouse. The potting shed
the things growing there.
The woodland walk was really pleasant with the sound of the waterfall in the background was just bliss. I would rather listen to it than motor cars driving by. I could see myself here, sitting in the shade with a good book.
I'll come out here again, probably in July to see the progress in the kitchen garden and the colours of Summer.
We've stopped at Helensburgh many times before, so this time we decided too keep on driving. It was a good decision as we came across Faslane Peace Camp, but more about that later in the week. All this fresh air has just knocked me out!
I'll leave you with this 'crafty head'.

18 comments:

  1. Lovely photos! My mom was born (and spent most of her childhood) in Scotland, but I haven't been there since I was very young. I'd love to go for an extended visit at some point.

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  2. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos. THe photo of the farm with the mountians in the background looks so lovely. makes me want to visit the Adelaide Hills :)
    Oh that pig is so cute! but so ugly lol
    I cant believe the amount of litter on the beach, so sad, I just dont know how people can litter like that. There is only occasional litter on our beaches but nothing like that.

    Rose

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  3. Hi Jennifer.
    I am sure Scotland will welcome you with rain :D
    There are plenty of beauitful places in Scotland, but unfortunately not many (reputable) vegetarian or vegan eateries.


    Your so welcome Rose.
    When you have time off from work, perhaps you and Mikey can go to the Adelaide Hills :D
    Yeah, the litter is appauling and there was so much of it. Honestly, if I was a local resident nearby I would have been picking up the litter.

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  4. such beautiful photographs! looks like the funnest road trip! Gorgeous scenery!

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  5. Wow, you live in a really gorgeous part of the world!

    I think it's great that you joined the National Trust for Scotland - I was a member of the English one for a year and got to see so many great places I probably otherwise wouldn't have (my membership was free as I did some volunteer work for them). I keep meaning to actually go and buy membership again, maybe this year I will!

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  6. The views look amazing and that pig is cute! Strawberry & blue popcorn?? Sounds intriguing!

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  7. Hi, I loved all of your photos, clear blue skies and mountains always make me stop to look!Don't be too harsh on the powers that be for not cleaning up the beach, a lot of that may be washed up in winter storms there are hardly too many walking the beaches if your weather is anything like ours! I look forward to seeing your future tours on the blog as I have never been to Scotland but photos or video of the highlands will always grab my attention.

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  8. Thank you Darlene.
    We were lucky that the rain stayed away too.


    Emma,
    Parts of Scotland are really beautiful - not where I live though :( Maybe oneday. I am sure I'll enjoy my membership to the fullest.


    Thanks Clare.
    When I make the popcorn, i promise to show it on the blog. You may have to wait till the weekend though :D


    Fair enough Peggy.
    Your right it could have been the weather, so to give it the benefit of the doubt, i'll go back in the Summer and see if there is a difference :D
    And yes, you'll be guaranteed to see a lot more of Scotland heritage on my blog now, as this will be our new weekend distractions replacing the loss of the allotment plot. I sincerely do hope you enjoy them.

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  9. Lovely pictures. It makes me sad to see trash discarded on the land. We are going to the beach this weekend and I am always happy to see when it is clean and people care for it.

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  10. I am with you on how sad the trash makes one. It is awful. I love the beautiful photos of the trip though. The wooden piers covered in algae & scenery is lovely. Glad you had a nice weekend.

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  11. Lovely pictures (other than the litter; why are some people so selfish and lazy?) I am glad to hear you will be posting more of your historical travels. I am not sure if I will ever make it to any of the beautiful places you post, but do enjoy an "armchair" vacation!

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  12. Thanks Krys.
    I am (now) hoping that the litter is there because of the recent poor weather.


    Thank you Dee.
    I loved the wooden piers too. Amazing what a little bit of ageing can do!


    Thank you Shannon.
    I'm a bit of an armchair traveller too. This part is easy as its in my backyard so to speak, but overseas travel is another story. I haven't done much of that at all.

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  13. Lovely pictures. I love the pig!!

    The 'meerkat' one immediately made me think of asparagus.

    My only trips to Scotland have been to Edinburgh...would love to see the rest of it and am hoping we can nip over on one of our return to trips to Ireland in the next few years.

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  14. Thanks Christine.
    I like the idea of the asparagus.
    Hopefully the weather will be kind when you do come over to Scotland. It does rain a lot here as you may know.

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  15. I love your pictures! I really miss being in the countryside. Luckily the in-laws live in a beautiful part of West Wales so we can visit often. Maybe one day we'll move away from city life. Hope you had a good easter!

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  16. Thank you Sarah,
    If the weather is good this weekend, we are hoping to visit another NTS property.

    I live on the edge of the city too. Like you one-day we'll move away from the city and be able to enjoy such pretty views from our window, unlike the passing cars (in the front) and trains (at the back) :(

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  17. Pigs are my favorite so I think he's pretty darn cute!

    Beautiful photos, I am very jealous.

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  18. Ah the pig is certainly winning the hearts.

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