Ayr

This weekend we were away in Ayr. The campsite (which I would recommend) was next to Culzean Castle. On the Friday we had a long walk down the huge driveway to the visitor centre but unfortunately it started raining!
Luckily on Saturday it was a nice day and we got a good look around the castle grounds. The pups were running rabid on the beach there which was funny.

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Wish ‘ewe were here?

Leaving on a Sunday after lunch is always a mixed feeling for me. On one hand it signifies a few days off. On the other the disaster that is Sunday drivers! So I wasn’t expecting to make particularly good time on the first part of our journey up the A9 to Inverness. But despite some crawling traffic we still made good time (I’m sure my watch must’ve stopped).

Then a quick hop across the country and round some single track roads (coming head to head with a 4×4 pick up towing a speedboat on a bend) we found ourselves spat out at Poolewe on the west coast of Scotland. We were booked in at the Camping and Caravanning Club site up there as we intended spending a few nights. But there were plenty of wild camping spots for those that just want a shorter stop.

Highlights of the trip? Two spring to mind. Firstly the big stag that was bouncing around the field next to the road quite late in the day. And secondly the scenery. As it always is. It differs all the way up and perhaps not as you’d expect. Beyond the Cairngorms National Park is flattens out quite a lot. But a few miles out of Inverness and headed west and it picks up again.

Parts of the road we had been on before when we did our Highland Tour, but it in the Autumn it has a totally different quality about it. One I’ll be enjoying a lot more of for sure.

About a 4 and a half hour journey and we have landed though. Got to love the view from the site too. It’s supposed to have some great sunsets. Here’s hoping we see one.

 

The windfarm tour

Last weekend we went to a windfarm. Mrs A organised it on open doors ,a website, which opens up factorys, castles and things like that that are usually closed to the public. Mr A and I aren’t fond of wind turbines, i mainly don’t like them because they ruin the landscape. So as you may have guessed this was for Mrs A, I don’t know why but she is fasinated by wind turbines!

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Windswept and interesting

No, not me. Well I was one half of that anyway. A day trip today. And a somewhat bizarre one. Every year, in September, there’s something called “Doors Open Day“. The idea is that places and buildings that aren’t usually open to the public open for a couple of days to allow people in, and free of charge. The downside is you need to know when it’s going to happen, where and get booked early for some of them.
I’ve been to a couple of places before over the years, usually small local castles. But today was really one for Mrs A. Don’t ask me why but she is fascinated by these things.
Wind turbine
So when she found out that one of the venues was the Burnfoot Wind Farm on Glendevon Estate she was utterly beside herself.
Parking in “nearby” Tillicoultry” there was a bus journey up to it of about 35 minutes. The road isn’t really designed for buses. And that’s the bit before you turn on the farm road! After that it was quite an interesting journey in pas the reservoirs and threading between the hills. Sometimes the road was so steep that it felt like the moment on a plan when you leave the ground and are pointed straight at the heavens. Beautiful views though – well until you get to the wind farm of course (not a fan, can you tell??).
When we get there we find this at the top?
Tent at Burnfoot
Yup, a tent on a wind farm! And yes, it was windy. Lots of info, tea and cake, along with some of the guys that were involved in the building of the turbines and sticking them up there. And then we got a look inside one. Very interesting stuff much to my surprise. EDF, who run it now, had sent an engineer up to chat about the workings of them.
Inside a wind turbine
I still don’t like them but it’s quite fascinating the whole process from finding where to put one to getting it running.
Why don’t I like them? Well we actually saw this one being built a year or so ago when walking in this area. We struggled to the top of a hill and I was waiting to be rewarded with a lovely view. But I’m always disappointed when I see the view littered with these things. Each to their own I guess. What do you make of them? Leave a comment below.

The olympics!!!:)

Hi!!!:) we’re in London!!!:) the olympics are AMAZING!!!:) The staff are kind and happy, AND it’s been great weather. I’ve had 2 showers today(one of them being freezing cold)!!! A couple of days ago we went to ExCel and got lost going there AND coming back!!!
Bye 🙂

Into the Olympic Park

It’s been a long time coming but today we finally made it to the Olympic Park. And wow! What a setting. Some of it seems to float over the roads of London. We had seen some of it from the outside yesterday but it has to be seen to be believed.

Olympic Park

I’m already into the park, over the main road and that’s the Velodrome

We started off by the Velodrome, looking down onto the containers the bikes and equipment are kept in. The Germans out looking after their bikes. The pedestrian pathway goes over a gap between the storage area and the Velodrome. So if you hung around long enough I’m sure you would see some of the guys going in.

Bikes at the Velodrome

Wonder if I could borrow one?

Spent some time in the BP cyclorama, which involved a 360 degree screen and rotating floor. And then the Acer exhibition with a rather cool show and some games after that.

Wandered past the entrance to the athletes village, and spotted the NBC broadcasting booth. And who was in there? Michael Phelps.

NBC Phelps

It’s OK Mike – the hair looks fine

Crosstown traffic

What a day. Slightly bizarre but pretty good. Todays event, the table tennis, was at the ExCel. About 5 miles away in a straight line. But the cycle lanes aren’t in a straight line. That’s right. We took our lives into our hands and biked across London. Half the Olympic cycle routes were closed so navigation was interesting. But we got there and back intact. Saw some interesting sites. Closed roads, parks in the centre of town, but my personal favourite, stone table tennis tables. In a park somewhere. Don’t ask me where though.

As for the table tennis. Great match. Germany v China in the men’s semi final. China won out in 4 matches but Germany never rolled over right to the end.

Hate to think how I’m going to feel tomorrow!

Guess where?

Let me give you a hint with a pic.

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OK. Who said distillery? Nope. Despite the fact I found a cask of one of my favourite whiskies I’m nowhere near a distillery. I’ll give you another clue.

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Well that should do it. No more pictures now though. There’s no problem taking pics inside the studio but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. It has to be seen to be believed. A managed to kill the battery on my camera before we got anywhere near the end! If you can get down to Watford I can highly recommend it. So much detail, way beyond what you could possibly imagine. Including that barrel, tiny inscriptions on horcruxes and half a dozen versions of the same outfits in various stages of aging. It says it takes 3 hours or so. Well if you pick up the digital guide, and I suggest you do, you could easily be there a lot longer than that.

And then onwards to the home for our next few nights. Hard work to get to it but part of Lee Valley Park has been turned into a 320 pitch site for the Olympics. Not a bad looking space either. Flags everywhere needless to say.

Tomorrow? The Olympic trail is back on again.

5-on-tour start their Olympic campaign

A long enough drive yesterday, so today’s was much shorter. Well the first part anyway. Time for someone else to do the driving so a quick trip to the Park and Ride meant we didn’t have to worry about getting parked at Old Trafford itself. There had been some debate over what game it would be. It looked for a while like it might be Team GB. But no. Instead it was Japan v Egypt, which I had expected to be quite entertaining.

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We spent a while outside taking in some of the atmosphere before heading in. We were all a bit confused to go in and be sent down towards the pitch. Turns out we were three rows from the pitch! You can see every blade of grass from there.

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A pretty good game, including a sending off and three goals. Can’t argue too much with that.

Before the game started, when the stadium was half full the big screens showed the mens fours winning gold in the rowing. just the last 50 metres or so. But the place erupted.

With the first instalment of the games done for us it was off to our overnight stop. Lovely site just at Blenheim Palace. No doubt be back here. Early start tomorrow for another drive before taking an Olympics break – just for the day though.

Kirkwall

Well it’s misty again. And we’ve just driven up the length of the mainland and its causeways to get to Kirkwall. After stopping at a few spots to try and make a phone call (if you come here don’t expect great mobile coverage) we got a night at a site in Kirkwall. Took some finding mind you. But we are in. And its quite sheltered thankfully. It’s a bit windy out – but then its Orkney. It’s usually windy!