Saturday, August 25, 2012

The studs in HQ.

They started demolishing the nursing home at the end of my street while I was gone.

Went to Mulligans in the evening, The Tennessee studs were playing. And they played well!

There was an American in the house who could also do a few tunes. He mainly did some Johnny Cash but it was nice.

Went home around... I can't remember.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Returning home

All good things come to an end and so does our vacation. We took 3 busses down to Glasgow. Of course no bus drive in Scotland can be normal so the first bus we were on ran out of coolant and the alarm bells and whistles went off and the bus had to be stopped at the side of the road. Just dandy...

The driver let it cool down a bit and continued. We drove through Perthshire.

Can't remember where this was, might be Inverness. Which was actually before Perth...

Then we wooshed over the clouds...

This is always a sight for sore eyes. Coming back like this is never fun :-/


When I got home I found a card from my mom and dad for my driving license. That made me smile :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Scotland, day 14: Ullapool.

One last photo from my b&b bed room window. Lewis was nice. Cycling here was fun! Sorry Harris people, I like Lewis better...

This is the ferry that brought us back to the mainland. We're in Ullapool now.

Our b&b. They only opened a couple of months ago and everything still looks spiffy. Very nice place to stay in!

In the village there was a school piping band performing. Everybody was waving to each other because the midgies here were insane.

There was also some dancing.

We walked back along the pebble beach. The sunlight on the hills was amazing.

I couldn't stop making pictures...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Scotland, day 13: Lewis.

This morning we went on a boat ride. The boat was FAST! We like! And I looooove the grin on Marjolein's face :-)

The captain first took us to yet another one of those little mills. This one was very much tucked away.

There it is!

This is where your Scottish salmon is grown! A farm has several of these floating nets.

They are all automatically fed by this feeding vessel.

I think Scotland is secretly testing nuclear weapons...

Remains of a small chapel and grave yard. These islands are so on the edge of the country that it's weird to think anybody lived there.

Then we went to the far side of the islands, basically on the Atlantic ocean. It's not pretty and green there anymore but it looks quite hostile there. I didn't feel very comfortable.

They feel much more comfortable...

And he/she did as well.

To one side there was land, well, some ;-)

To the other side there was nothing but ocean.

The captain and 3 others.

The boat. Very nice boat i should say. it was so fast. Once it started raining and he just sped off to get away from underneath the cloud :-)

This is a shed where we waited for the bus. You can ask a bus to stop whereever you like. Quite nice actually. They also drop you off wherever you like.

Little flowers.

We took the bus to Stornoway to walk the castle grounds.

This is a big statue made after the queen from the Lewis chessmen. The Lewis chessmen are chess pieces that were found on Lewis in the 12th century.

The walk to the top of the hill didn't do me much to be honest. Receiving a shower every 15 minutes didn't help much... But when we got to the top we got some pretty awesome views. As a bonus we were treated on a rainbow as well :-)

I took this shot and the next and they look like paintings!

I think I'll have to enlarge this and hang it up at work...

Stornoway harbour.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Scotland, day 12: Lewis.

Today we went for a long bike ride up north. Cycling in Lewis is fun and the weather looked OK today. Our first stop was Dun Carloway broch. These blackhouse remains sit at the bottom of the hill.

On top of the hill stand the best preserved remains of an iron age roundhouse that was called a "broch". A broch was home to an important person or chieftain. It's a double cylinder structure where the inner and outer cylinder are connected by mostly stairs and bits of flooring. The whole structure is made of "dry" stone meaning no cement was used. Creating something that stands for over 4000 years by using dry stone is quite an achievement!

The info board.

Inner and outer walls.

The awesome thing about these remains is that you can still walk through parts of the wall. People walked these stairs 4000 years ago and today I walked on them.

The doorway is very small, you have to squat to get through.

Dun Carloway Broch on the right. Abandoned blackhouse in the front and new "white" houses in the background.
Great visit!

Next up was the blackhouse village of Garenin, just outside of Carloway. This used to be a tiny crofting village of about 5-6 so called "black houses". One of them is left as it was when the last occupants left. This was also the very last black house in use.

As I said they left all their belongings in there. I don't really know what happened to these people. I think they were quite old when they left and were looked after in a nursing home. This was their bedroom.

Beds and heater.

Looking out of the bedroom in to the kitchen/living room. The fire was almost out.
Notice that you can see clearly!

Kitchen/living room the other way. There's also a bed in there.


The shed/working area. Lots of people in villages like this took to making the famous Harris tweed.

The last occupants.

Living conditions in a blackhouse were not exactly ideal as this picture illustrates. The man looking after the fire came back after lunch and put new peat on the fire. It was a bit wet and therefore created a lot of smoke.

More smoke was coming out of the window instead of the chimney...

Moving on! The last place we wanted to visit was a water mill which is a reconstruction of a mill that stood on this site once built during the iron age. And we found it, with a nice rainbow in the background :-)

The building in the front contained a drying area where a fire was heating whatever was being milled. The back building contained the actual watermill.

The mill.

The midgies :-( There were so many midgies around here (there was no wind and it had rained) that I could hardly stand still for taking a photo.

On the way back I spotted this house. I had already seen it on the way up and knew I had to stop for a picture. Love it.

We had to pull in to a hotel to shelter for the rain at some point. This rain wasn't funny anymore. Thank god we were nearly home and had seen all we wanted to today without getting wet!

Had a fantastic time cycling and seeing all these historic things today! :-)