Archive for June, 2018

Travel Day!

Wednesday morning coffee in Glasgow, lunch in Amsterdam, dinner in Toronto!  wowza!!!  now that is a good old fashioned travel day!  we started out at 3 a.m., Queen Street, Glasgow, just as the party folks across the street were closing the bar!  one gal out there in a white mini dress and jean jacket gave me a free show!

but before we took off, we had Tuesday to play tourist.

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Glasgow Central Train station: pulling out at 1130 a.m. and going back to the town of Ayr.  thought i’d go see the ocean from their point of view, one last time.

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the beach at Ayr: glad to see it again.  walked it alone and let me tell you if i’d been wearing a “mood ring” that puppy would have been changing flash colours like a disco!

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interesting…  these boys came to visit me a number of times on my last day.  this is in the town of Ayr, outside the family style fish and chips diner.  he/she gave me the look, said a few things and flew away.

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house for sale, just up from the beach, town of Ayr.  what a CRIB!!!  i imagined that one on the back 90 at the tree line, back home on the range.  what an artist studio/party house that would be!!!

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more swanky addresses in the town of Ayr.  i think that’s the owner walking at right, he was going for his fancy Maserati and didn’t look happy i was standing out there snapping  pictures.

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yes:  quite the neighbourhood, town of Ayr.  i’d like to see this in September, Indian Summer of course!  (although its tough to imagine being anywhere but on the grand and glorious range, and the beauty Manitou River, during Indian Summer.)

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back in Glasgow:  that’s the Central Train Station as seen from Gordon Street.

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and that’s the hotel attached to the Central Train station.

next day we were up at 2, on the street for 3 (free show at around 315) and at the airport for a 6 a.m. flight.  all went easy at the Duty Free (i needed a 15 year or older bottle of scotch that couldn’t be found in Canada) and we were on the plane in good order, and on schedule.

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there she is:  at Schiphol, Amsterdam.  she was another sold out bird, it was sardines style flying, 6 hours worth, me in with 2 young gals from Iran.

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safely back at Pearson International, darn near where we started way back on May 28th. well I can say this much:  we maxed out those 31 days!

Scotland is a beautiful place and i look forward to going back someday.  next time we need to rent a car, drive those back roads and really do it up tourist style.  but after 31 days on the road, like that final afternoon in the town of Ayr, i couldn’t keep from thinking about another special place:

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home sweet home:  i too, have the good fortune of a swanky address!  but at this address there are no neighbours, there is no light or noise pollution, and at times there are some very lovely ladies there!  plus 8 horses, 4 cats and 1 pooch!  blessed indeed…

but we’re not home yet!  i’m still in the city of Toronto.  we put another 24 hours behind us and i’ll be standing on that blue and green paradise!

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Monday in Glasgow

waiting on an airplane in Glasgow!  we’re here early and not bugging out till Wednesday morning which leaves sweet Monday and Tuesday to hit the streets!

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perfect day for it too!  sunny, hot and dry.  beauty weather for our last few days on the adventure.  that is St. Vincent Pl. as seen from the south side of the street.

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The Iron Horse on West Nile Street:  perfect spot for an afternoon snort and fixing up a few postcards.

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of course i could NOT walk past this place!  had to go in!  The Raven on Renfield Street.  they had some very cool looking t shirts, the company logo, in black of course but the shirts were not for sale.  (lame!)

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St. George’s Tron, Church of Scotland, as seen from the intersection of West St. George and West Nile.

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in George Square, downtown Glasgow.

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Glasgow City Council as seen from George Square.

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Glasgow City Council!  what a facade!

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looking west on St. Vincent, right next to George Square.

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looking north on Queen Street at George Square, that’s the train station in the back ground but not Glasgow Central which is where i’ll be going today!  one more day in this great country, that’s all we have for now.  once i get the chores squared away, i’m getting me a ticket to ride!

Friday in Inverness

left the woodlands yesterday at 10 a.m., out to the train station, and booked a ride!  22 local bucks and 90 minutes to the town of Inverness!  now over there in Pitlochry it can seem like a fairy tale landscape with the huge trees, super greenery, soaring hills, open cliff faces, deep ravines, old rivers running here and there.  the train tracks cut through this, and the folks here don’t keep it trimmed back.  the trees and brush grow right up to the windows and in some places there is a green canopy.  sweet!

but a short 15 minutes north of here you’re in a totally different landscape.  you roll out of the woods and see something like this:

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beauty landscape north of Pitlochry, south of Kingussie, on June 22.

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north of Kingussie, on the way to Inverness:  over there you can see the windmills, all placed in that windy little valley.  a good plan i suspect but i would not like to see them in my back yard.

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town of Inverness, as seen from the foot bridge over the River Ness, looking, i think, that’s south east…  (not sure truth be told… )

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town of Inverness, that’s Bank Street, running north and south.  the river is shallow and appears to be running slow.

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Bank Street, Inverness, Friday afternoon, June 22.  River Ness.

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there she is!  the ever popular castle on the hill, overlooking the river and on the other side:  the valley below.  River Ness.  as seen from the Ardross Terrace.

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groovy scenes along Castle Road, next to the River Ness.  it was close to here where i saw and heard “them”…

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there was a lot more in that town, many photos to the tune of around 300 taken, but we don’t have the space for that here.  nor did i have the time to spend, getting in with the locals.  i was back on the train at 4, hoping to get back in time for the last bus out of Pitlochry at 550.  here is a scene just after leaving the town of Inverness,  looking west.

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ah yes…  those rolling hills near Kingussie.  i’d like to walk that road over there, at night, at full moon, in the summer time.

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the road to Tummel Valley:  just off the main road and going down that narrow and twisty back road called B8019.  just 12 miles from town to the boons, past and west of Loch Tummel.  i walked half of it the other day but we don’t have time for that today and tomorrow we’re to report for noon, the bus out and a plane standing by.  our movie making days are over for now.  i might be back on the range by Thursday at the earliest.  Friday at the latest!!!  (ha!!!  i say that now but i know nothing makes the Great Spirit laugh more than a man with plans…  )

6 miles on B8019

had the day off and the sun was high and bright so i hit the open road, B8019 on foot, thinking i was going to walk my way to Pitlochry, 12 miles away.  i started off bright eyed and bushy tailed, singing “i love to go a wandering” but 5 miles in the glam had faded big time!

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i wanted to see this:  Loch Tummel.  we drive by twice a day, going to and from the office and i’m always wanting them to stop so i can get a better look.  what a scene!  looking south east.

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looking south west:  check that out down there:  someone has a crib overlooking that scene and they’re the only ones around.  wowza what an address!  i can imagine this through the 4 seasons!

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further along:  i still haven’t had my rack of lamb…

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The Inn at Loch Tummel, ultra wowza!  this place is truly in the boons but inside it looks pretty swanky!  the dining room looks like a pretty grand place to sit down for a couple of hours.  hey we should go there in September!

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pretty sure that is a cemetery down there.  couldn’t go in for a closer look as the private property signs were up.

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and there it is!  Loch Tummel as seen from the Queen’s View.  glad i made the walk but the 6 miles man…  that was all i could muster for today.  hitched a ride with the bus at 230 and arrived at Pitlochry for 3 p.m.  beauty sight seeing adventure!

Tuesday at Kingussie

the boss cut me some slack on Tuesday!  nice day for riding the rails.  to get there i had to take the local bus which only comes around this way ever few hours!  found myself at the train station at 11 a.m., booked a ride north leaving at 11:50.

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Pitlochry train station, north bound platform.  the next three stops are Kingussie, Aviemore, and Inverness.  going south would be Perth, Glenealges, and Stirling, but those will have to wait for another day!

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riding north bound, what scenes and my how the landscape changed in what seemed like a few short miles.

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no castles on those hill tops!

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i wanted them to stop and let me out!  i’d like to walk that road, walk it into the distance, going west.

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you can’t see them but there are sheep out there!  lots of them.  got me to thinking about lunch how i’d like a rack of lamb when i got there.

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the corner of A86 and King Street, Kingussie, Scotland.  not much happening in this town!  nor is there a rack of lamb on the lunch menu!  (frowning face goes in here!)

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heavy duty cemetery just down the street from the diner.  went in for a little snoop and the dates on those stones, wowza!  they’re going back a few, i saw one with the date: 1824.  you don’t see numbers like that in the Mindemoya Cemetery back home!

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how many years have you been here?

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that black one was so far gone you couldn’t read an anything on it.

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Ewan Mack, KIA, WW1.  hey i’m going to look up where the 7th Cameron Highlanders were on July 31st, 1917.  a fella like me wants to read a story like that.

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walking around in there, i saw quite a few names that you’d see up there in the Mindemoya Cemetery:  Mackenzie, Robertson, MacDonald, just to name a few.

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south bound, blazing back from Kingussie to Pitlochry, a 45 minute ride, 20 bucks there and back, local currency.  a fun and simple way to spend an afternoon off duty.  i was thinking about going up to Thurso, super in the boon docks but it was all rain in the forecast up there.  that would have been an over night, we’ll save that one for another time.

instead it was the Coach House saloon at 430 p.m., what a wild bunch of local boozers in that joint!  ah but it is an adventure!  there will be plenty of quiet days come July when we are looking at something like this:

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my front yard, sunset in September 2017, big time thunder storm happening to the south south west, during that wild and beautiful heat wave!  remember that one?  3 weeks of blazing sun, 38 C during the afternoon!  wowza indeed!  when i get back home, i’ll be sitting at this very spot, on a Friday evening, thanking my lucky stars and looking back at this little road journal.

but we are here and it is NOW!  time to see about that afternoon adventure seeing how the boss cut us some slack, 2 days in a row!

Walking the Royal Mile

Sunday morning in the boon docks, down along Tummel Valley, just west of Loch Tummel.  it was a brutal 5 days at the office but the boss cut us some slack yesterday and even hired us up a flashy coach to take us down to Edinburgh for some sightseeing.  i was up for that!!!  perfect day for it too, sunny skies and a balmy 20 C.

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there it is:  Edinburgh Castle, as seen from the attacker’s point of view.  i’d hate to be the one who had to assault that fortress!  you’d need the artillery in there first and the paratroopers second before you set foot in that crib.

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the ancient Giles’ Cathedral:  big time old!  just east of the starting point on the Royal Mile.

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inside The Royal Mile Tavern, lunch:  Haggis, neeps, and tatties.  very tasty!  had me wanting seconds.

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a table for one inside the Royal Mile Tavern:  June 9th, in Edinburgh.  beauty!

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very cool:  The Royal Mile Tavern.  we’ll have to go back there some day, and take a table for two!

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at the Scotch store…  those top shelf bottles were priced at 300 pounds!!!  21 year old hooch, a little too heavy for this tourist!

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nice work.  the complete outfit was for sale, 600 pounds.  also way too heavy for this Anishnabe!  but then where in Canada would an indian boy wear a kilt and complete rig?  i’ll spend the 600 pounds on the train rides.

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the obligatory shot of a local jamming on the streets:  photo op for many.  (it might not look busy, people wise, but let me tell you the streets were jam packed with folks of all colours and languages!)

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an address just north, off the Royal Mile.  this is definitely a “no high heels” part of the city!  cobble stone streets and some serious uneven sidewalks!

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general issue street scene on the Royal Mile.  they only gave us 3 hours so i couldn’t wander off too far.  i’m pretty sure that is the intersection of The Royal Mile and Cockburn Street.

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a view looking west, at the Giles’ Cathedral.  ancient!  i ran my hands across those old stones and…  well.  i’ll tell you when i see you.

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big time churches!  and old!  another one along the Royal Mile.

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walking the Royal Mile: big time touristy street!  no cops anywhere!  if this were touristy Ottawa you’d see the RCMP on every street corner!

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the intersection at Victoria Street and Cowgatehead.  looking south south west.

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looking east, Victoria Street, as seen from the Castle Arms patio.

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over taking the classic, on the road out of town.  we had a great driver who got us in there and out of there hassle free!  a beauty drive, 50 miles south of our location near the town of Pitlochry.  we are not camped at Pitlochry but that is the assembly point and it looks like we’ll be, or i’ll be camping on the shores of Loch Tummel, for the next 20 days at least, unless we get a walking papers sooner or later!

more fun adventures to follow!

Where on Saturday?

i have no idea where we are.  some where deep in the green woods and hills of Scotland!

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unknown body of water, fast moving, very dark!  as i was walking down this trail two things crossed my mind!  1:  should i even be out here on this trail?  and 2:  i had the theme music for the 1985 film Legend playing in my mind, me semi wondering if i was going to cross paths with Brown Tom and Screwball!  ha!

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fast moving and very dark water, body of water unknown at this point in time.  no bugs! a pleasant jungle stroll and a complete 180 as far as Queen St. in Glasgow to here, in just a few short hours.  beauty drive into the boons.

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check out that fence!  unknown road way running east/west.  i’m going to take a long walk this morning and see what’s up there.

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a pleasant scene very close to where we are bunking for the weekend.  this place reminds of the scenes back home, along the Manitou.  but the water sure is dark!  i’m going on the snoop this morning so i’ll come back with a few more pictures.  i forgot that it is Saturday, so we’re not working today or tomorrow.  perfect chance to get some leg work sight seeing locally.