Friday, 19 December 2014

Duchess wears a Friendship Knot again

The Duchess of Cambridge again wore her Scout scarf in a Friendship Knot this week when visiting her local Beavers Group.  You can see my video on how to tie a Friendship Knot here she first wore one in 2013 which can be seen here
The Duchess of Cambridge meets children at the newly established 23rd Poplar Beaver Scout Colony in east London
Photo: Daily Mail

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The end of our Oban/Inner Hebredies Trip

The day after our fabulous trip to Staff a we went to Oban for a good look around.  First stop was a tour of the Oban Distillery!  The Distillery was beautiful inside with a lovely museum/meeting area (and fabulous toilets!).  Anyway we were taken on a tour around- no phones, no photos as no electronics are allowed in case sparks cause a fire with the whisky fumes! 

Some of the old equipment used in days 
gone by to make whisky.

Map showing the Diageo Group 
distilleries in Scotland.

The end products.  We got try some 58.25% 
proof straight from a barrel but that was before 
it was finished!  By golly it was strong stuff.  
At the end of the tour we tasted the Oban 
Single Malt (seen 3rd from the right here).  
We were given a lovely glass to keep as well.

This is McCaig's Tower built by a local 
wealthy man, Mr McCaig, but it was 
never finished after his death.  We climbed 
the very steep hill to the top to admire the 
views from there:-
A most unusual "tower"!

Lovely views are seen  through the arches.
Looking out over the dsitillery (chimney left)
to Oban Port and beyond to Kerrara and Mull (I think!)

Kerrara in the mid line and Mull behind.

Next we decided we wanted to get back 
out on the water so we found a little 2 hours 
trip to see castles and sea birds.  First stop 
a salmon farm!  Here the fish are auto-fed 
and as the pellets were spun out the salmon 
leaped in the air for them!  

The water was just mirror like by the 
salmon farm!

A local castle undergoing repairs!  
I took this photo more for the flag that was flying!


Then an amazing sight the White 
Tailed Sea Eagle sitting proudly 
on a favourite rock.  Magnificent!

We were so lucky to see this amazing eagle!

Then his mate flew in to say hello too!

You can just make out the grey seals 
that were few in number the day we went 
but they certainly kept an eye on our boat!

As we returned to Port the ferry "Clansman" to
the Outer Hebredies passed us by and rocked 
our little boat with her bow wave!

Oban from the sea.

Our little boat (very uncomfortable 
saddle style seats!)
Back on land and this little dog was having 
fun in the seaweed on the shore!!

The next morning we had to make our 
way home - some misty scenes in the 
valleys could be seen from the train.

Beautiful reflections in the lochs.

Then an unexpected guest joined our train!  This little dog, who turned out to be called Angus got on the train at a stop - the train guard shoo-ed him off the train but Angus was too clever - he ran along the platform and jumped back on again at the other door at the opposite end of the train carriage.  He was only discovered again when the train guard had shut the doors and we had moved off!  So poor Angus was unceremoniously corralled into the guard's cabin until 2 stops later when both he and the guard got off to board another train back to Oban.  The guard was then going to put Angus off at his home stop.  Apparently little Angus makes a regular habit of boarding trains much to the annoyance of the train guard LOL!!!!


When we got to Glasgow we headed to the 
Willow Tea Room for lunch and cake!


It was hard to choose but I had lemon meringue!

Willow Tea Rooms are famous for 
their Rene Mackintosh styling.

The cute napkin holder!


Then it was back on the next train heading to 
England through the beautiful Cumbrian 
countryside.

A viaduct near Carlisle.

Our virgin Pendolino Train.  I love these!
Sadly we were nearly home.  It was the 

most amazing weekend ever.  We could 
never have imagined how lucky we would be 
with the weather and the wild life.  So so lucky.

Programming note - I am having trouble with my password so I hope it will be fixed soon but if I can't remember it then I don't know how I will recover access to my blog - YIKES! I am on twitter as @Scarf_Addict so you can find me there!

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Inner Hebredies

So I finally got round to posting the next installment - I am sorry for the delay, but I have been to so many places/done so much lately I can't keep up with myself let alone the blog!  Maybe I should just tweet!  Anyway....  After Glasgow we took the train to Oban.  The purpose was to visit the amazing Fingal's Cave on the island of Staffa.  We were so lucky with the weather we had glorious sunshine and calm seas - perfect for visiting the cave we were truly blessed, not only that the wildlife was wonderful too.
Our Ferry arrives to take us to the Isle of Mull.


Passing a lighthouse on the way to Mull.


And a beautiful castle!


Arriving into the port of Craignure on Mull 
to pick up our coach which took us west to 
Finnphort from where we would take the 
next boat to Staffa.


A handsome solitary stag - the rutting 
season is about to start.


Beautiful view across the hills of Mull bathed 
in the rich colours of autumn.


The calm waters lent themselves to making 
lovely reflections!


A fearsome buzzard regards our coach 
from his telegraph pole!   We also saw a 
Golden Eagle high on the hills.


Our little boat arrives to take us to Staffa.


Passing by a beautiful yacht moored 
in the safe waters of the bay.


A seal peeps up to see what's coming!  
Later we saw the dorsal fin of a Minke Whale
in the far distance - wow!


A first view of Staffa Island.


This is Fingal's Cave - the whole island 
and cave is made up of basalt columns
and is the "other end" of the Gaint's Causeway 
the rock formations are mind blowing even
more than at the Giant's Causeway.


Here you can see inside the cave it is like an
organ in a cathedral the way the columns hang
from the ceiling.  Inside the cave the waves 
slapping against the sides make the most
incredible sound, no wonder Mendelssohn was 
inspired to write his Hebredies Overture.  You 
can see and hear a video of the music on 
You Tube of this here


Some of the most amazing rock 
formations on Staffa.


Inside the cave itself.


Here you can see the rocks going out to
sea - almost like they are heading straight
for the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.


Again more amazing rock columns lie 
horizontal on this island



here you can see the horizontal ends of the 
columns lying at 90 degrees to the ones coming 
out of the water - truly amazing (well IMHO!)


Here the columns curve into the rock wall!


This line of columns is known as the "clam shell" 
as it is shaped  rather like seashells.


A closer look.


Some more columns at angles on the little 
island to the side of the main island - I was
fascinated by how the rock is co curved.


Reluctantly leaving the island as the daylight
being short at this time of year we had to be 
on our way back to Iona before returning 
to Mull and then the mainland.


However on our way to Iona we got company!


A fabulous pod of dolphins decided to come 
and play and they loved swimming alongside 
our boat and jumped out of the water! 


As the boat sped up so did they!  It was a
magical moment - I didn't get too many photos 

but you get the idea!



Here you can just make out 2 of the bottlenose 
dolphins beneath the water surface.


Arriving on Iona we saw the old Nunnery ruins.


And the Abbey.


Back on Mull another lovely view.


Some sows and piglets on the Pennyghael Estate.


And this cute seagull hitched a ride on our 
ferry back to Oban, although he flew off as we 
neared the port LOL!



Oban town overlooked by
McCaig's Tower (the round building)


Some colourful boats in the harbour.


The sun began to set as we
neared port.


A yummy lobster thermidor in the port was 
just what I needed after a long day out at sea!


As was the sticky toffee pudding!


The beautiful sunset ended a beautiful day.