Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Weekend in Scotland

It seems like ages ago that I took my daughter back up to Scotland to start her second year at University. Once again we had a car load of stuff – but this time the the Air conditioning was working and once again the weather was pretty good. In between the trip and writing this Post there has been flooding with train and road journeys significantly disrupted on the East Coast of the UK with a 30 mile stretch of the A1 closed for a time.

Regular readers might know I own a Landrover Discovery – which has its good points – it also has its bad points and is one of the more unreliable cars and certainly my own experiences have supported that view. It is also expensive to run – although I will say in my defence that I do more miles on my bicycle that I do in the car each year. The reason I do cycle more is because I enjoy it. Mind you having been posting recently about the cost of running a car it was a bit of an eye-opener when I worked out the cost of the trip to Scotland and back.

The alternative would be for my daughter to sell what she couldn’t carry before coming home and then me giving her a bunch of cash saved to buy new stuff, clothes would probably feature quite highly there!

The trouble is that would mean my wife wouldn’t get the chance to check where she was living and to get a sense of the place – so we’d probably still end up going – perhaps by plan – it amazes me how cheap it can be to fly from here to there.

As we perhaps should have realised, since this is her second year, there are lots of parents taking there kids up and so the hotels were busy.  We have stayed in the Hilton which has always been very good and friendly, but it was full so we ended up in the Apex City Quay Hotel which made a very pleasant change – I would stay in both hotels. Now I know we could have saved money by staying somewhere cheaper – but for a variety of reasons we haven’t had a Summer holiday for the last couple of years so I could hardly begrudge my wife a couple of nights in Scotland could I?

As the name suggests the Hotel is on the Quay with some rather nice views. Here is the old North Carr Lightship moored in Victoria Dock, Dundee. The last remaining Scottish Lightship.

North Carr Lightship, Victoria Dock, Dundee

I did take a few pictures through the windows – but I have not used them as there was too much reflection. I have also combined the pictures taken over the weekend since I am trying to catch up with my Posts and the recent stretching of my Deepings ride over 7 (gulp) posts didn’t help and that was just a day ride.

As luck would have it we had an end room with views in two directions.  This is the view looking North-ish towards Hilltown. I have not been able to work out which church it is though,

A view of HIlltown, Dundee

And this is the view at night – the edge of Victoria Dock seems to have a bit of nightlife.  It was a long exposure (4 seconds) – hence the light trails on the road.

Victoria Dock, Dundee – at night

This is a view of Victoria Dock in the morning – look how calm the water is – almost mirror smooth. The slightly odd bits of light at the bottom are caused by taking the picture through the hotel window. The orange and green ones are caused by light reflections, inside the lens, because the sun was only just outside of the shot.

Victoria Dock, Dundee – early morning

Before breakfast we went out so I could get some better pictures – although there is still a bit of a light blob to the bottom right.

Victoria Dock, Dundee – early morning

I was rather attracted to the shape in the water from the various piers that crossed the dock. This is a picture using HDR – which has made the legs beneath the pier on the right look a little more exposed than they would normally appear.

Victoria Dock, Dundee – early morning (HDR)

This is from a similar viewpoint, tweaked to highlight the silhouettes and give a slight lemon tint.

Victoria Dock, Dundee – early morning (Silhouette plus lemon tint)

This is the same as the last picture, only using HDR which makes more features visible. Now I know that I seem to use HDR virtually all the time – because I like the painty effect. My personal favourite picture is the one above with the lemony tint.

Victoria Dock, Dundee – early morning (HDR)

After a good breakfast we then headed of back to England via Liverpool to pick up my Mum who was staying with us for a week. I reckon to have driven over 1,000 miles in two days – phew – not my idea of fun.

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