Spectacular landscape #2 of 2. The Black Isle — which is a peninsula rather than an island — has never been seen by me before but turns out to be spectacularly beautiful, a smorgasbord of photo opportunities. I did my best to pick one that summed up all this.
Spectacular View of the Last Two Days, number 1. This is the view from Carn Glas-choire, historic Top of Nairnshire, my 52nd County Top (see my other blog). In the background to the left, Braeriach, which is the third-highest mountain in the whole of the UK, at 1,296 m (4,252 ft). A magnificent panorama, and total vindication of my CT project: giving me an excuse to visit parts of my country that I have never before seen. This one was well worth the effort.
A first ever visit to Arbroath. The town has offered plenty of things to the world, not least: the Bell Rock lighthouse (the world’s oldest extant lighthouse built directly in the sea); Arbroath FC who still hold the world record for the largest ever win in an official, senior football match (36-0 in the 1880s); and the Arbroath smokie, a very fine way to treat a fillet of haddock. But in 2022, while it’s attractive enough, not a lot seems to go on there. Though I admit I spent a good few minutes to get this shot without cars on it.
Culter Fell becomes my 50th County Top bagged. Not all that exciting a walk but a fine way to break the latest journey north into Scotland. I keep finding new corners of the country to explore and that seems a reasonable approach to take to the rest of my life.
After coming up the M6 yesterday, we turned left as soon as we hit Scotland, and headed for Galloway, the south-west corner of that country. There were various motivations for doing this, but getting some walking in was certainly one of them. This is the view from 1,050 feet above sea level, on top of Craig Airie Fell — not a substantial eminence in its own right, but it has a great panorama of the surrounding area, as a proper County Top should. Read all about it on the other blog, if interested.
Spent most of the day until 2.30pm behind the wheel, and the rest sat at home recovering from the first part of the day. But this scene did cause me to pause on the way home, on the A702 just north of Biggar, in southern Scotland. I’m not sure I’ve quite captured the sunbeam effect, but I did my best.
A 5am alarm call, pick up the car, pack the car, engage in a five and a half hour drive from home to Dundee (a pretty good run, in fact). Pick up key for Joe’s new flat, travel to said flat, unload car, hang around a bit to check all was OK and then…. well, what would you to do unwind from all that on a Saturday afternoon? Something different perhaps, but my habits are well enough ingrained. I did feel like this corner flag at Dundee Violet FC, however.
The long drive home was broken up at various points; the first break taken here, on the north side of the Firth of Forth, so I could get a shot of the magnificent bridges that cross it. The new road bridge has featured before on here; the Forth Rail Bridge is behind me as I took this.
Spectacular though that is, I chose this shot today, the reason being that it looks like it will be the last shot taken with my Canon Power Shot SX60 camera. The same thing has gone on it as goes on all the cameras I have had down the years, and used every day — the motor on the lens. It’s been creaking and grinding for a few weeks now, and after just about teasing it up and down Ben Lawers it conked out once more this morning, and I’m giving up on it. A shopping trip awaits.
Ben Lawers towers over the shore of Loch Tay and, at 3,983 feet (1,214m), is the tenth-highest mountain in the UK. In the whole country south of this point, there is no higher land. Tell you what though, it made me work to bag it; the day was a classic illustration of how conditions can deteriorate with altitude. This walker was heading up it after the worst had passed — which is more than can be said for me. See the County Tops blog for the gory details and more pictures.
A day spent between walks. Did another dose of museum instead, specifically the ‘Scottish Crannog Centre‘ on Loch Tay. A crannog, it seems, is an Iron Age dwelling built on an artificial island in the loch; there are reckoned to be many of these throughout Scotland and Ireland. This centre had a reproduction of one, until it burnt down last year — the impressive thing is that the place was still interesting and good value without it. That had a huge amount to do with the staff, including this guy, clearly the boss, but his minions earned their wages too.