Monday, October 14, 2013

Pictures from Scotland–almost postcards

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We headed up to Scotland on the Sunday and went quite early to avoid most of the traffic. I generally ignore the advice of the SatNav most of the way. This time around we went up the A1 pretty much until Edinburgh, including the picturesque bit around the coast from Newcastle upon Tyne. Which skirts Berwick upon Tweed, Eyemouth and Dunbar. We then skirted Edinburgh and went over the Firth of the Forth Road Bridge.  A replacement is underway and appears to be known the as Queensferry Crossing, it is dues for completion in 2016.

According to the Wikipedia link it was priced at £1.72Bn to £2.34Bn. Although when it went to tender it was cheaper than planned and it has come down even further in cost - £1.4bn-£1.45Bn. Perhaps they could help Cambridge County Council with its next big project!

This trip was the reverse of a scoop and run although no students were hurt in the process. We took her up and off-loaded her stuff had a meal with her and then made our leisurely way down to The Lake District.

We stayed in Dundee – and the hotel shall be nameless – because we didn’t have a good stay. Early morning fire alarms and WiFi that didn’t work were some of the problems you can do without. At one point I dreamt I was in a hammock sleeping – brought on by the less than supportive bed. The breakfast was fine though.

They did send me an email asking for our assessment of the stay. They did not score highly. To their credit they followed up and offered us a free nights stay the next time we visit. After a drive of nigh on 500 miles I want somewhere restful and trustworthy. So I declined, I’d rather pay to stay somewhere decent.

I did stock up on Thistly Cross Cider – well 12 bottles of the regular – as that was all they had on the supermarket shelf. The weather was beautiful as we took the coastal route back to Edinburgh.

We passed through Pickletillum, but once again I have failed to get a picture of this strangely named hamlet.  There is/was an inn called the Pickletillum Inn, which was an old Drover’s Inn. Now up for redevelopment, or rather razing to the ground and being replaced by 5 houses.

As we passed through Leuchars there appeared to be a shoot taking place – along the ridge of a hill. It turned out to be more plane spotters with cameras taking pictures of the departing Air Show planes.

We stopped in St Andrews where the weather was glorious as we looked over the sea on the East Scores.


St Andrews has a Sea view

St Andrews view from the Scores

I forgot to mention we passed through the town of Leuchars on our way from Dundee – there had been an air show on the Saturday – the last one before the base is handed over to the army.  We saw what looked like beater in the field by the air base and at first assumed there was a shoot one. It was actually a load of photographers with long lens, taking pictures of the planes that had been assembled for the show. There were also miles of cones being collected and loads of temporary barriers. Apparently there were nearly 40,000 on the base for a Red Arrows flypast.

I guess that quite a few crews had stayed over on the Sunday and were now leaving – we heard and saw a few planes thundering away. We saw this one head up into the sky when having a picnic.  This one looks like a Lockheed TriStar. I am not sure about the roundel though – looks like The Netherlands.

Lockheed TriStar Leaving Leuchars (for the last time?)

My picnic – a Scotch Pie – it always brings back memories of my childhood. I was too young to eat them when I lived in Scotland, we left when I was two.  However we used to go back regularly for Summer holidays – they are delicious. If you want a business idea – then starting a Scotch Pie Company (and franchising it) around the UK would be pretty good).

Scotch Pie

Another Scottish delicacy – a Macaroni pie – not to be missed – nice with tomato ketchup.

Scottish macaroni Pie

And this was the view – pretty awesome.  Next stop Lake Windermere – although that isn’t quite true.


  1. Cider and pies, excellent. The new bridge may come in below the original price but that won't offset the disaster that passes for Edinburgh`s tram project. Google it and feel better about Cambridge council!

    1. That tram project has been running for years, you do wonder how it is possible for something to go so wrong. Although I see that the end is nigh and it might be opening early next year (May 2014). If I ever take my Brompton up I'd better take care and watch out for the tracks .

  2. Hi Jamie,

    your Tristar is actually a Royal Netherlands Air Force KDC10, which were converted from the McDonnell Douglas DC10 passenger airliner. McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender

    The DC10 was used by Freddie Laker's transAtlantic "Skytrain" service, on which I flew many times.

    There's no feathered equivalent AFAIK.

    Good spot!


    1. Thanks Mike, this one still seems to have the windows in place. In fact on the Wiki link there is a picture of one of the (2?) Dutch ones a bit further down. Which indicates it is used both for re-fuelling and for carrying people including evacuations.