Sunday, 24 April 2011

Scotland Tour Day 2 - Edinburgh to Spittal of Glenshee

After not a good night sleep at the Budget Backpackers Hostel in Edinburgh, I got up to a sunny a day. 
View from my hostel. Having my morning coffee and cigarette outside on the street corner.

Edinburgh Castle seen from the corner of Cowgate and Candlemaker Row.

9:00 am. After breakfast and storing my luggage I have 5 hours to see more of Edinburgh before picking up my hire car and heading towards the Cairngorms.

Edinburgh Castle seen from the corner of Grassmarket and King's Stables Road

Souvenir Shop on Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Edinburgh Effect:

Reflections from the mirrors outside the Camera Obscura building on Castle Hill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

Early morning Tourists on Castle Hill.

1.30 pm. After a visit to Gladstone's Land on the Royal Mile, I explored more wynds (lanes) and closes (alleys).

daily delivery


Wherever you go in Edinburgh you come across history along the way. I find that fascinating.
About the Lady Stair's Close and House:
Beside Gladstone's Land, which is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland, Lady Stair's Close was once the main foot-way from the Old Town to the New. It also leads to Lady Stair's House, built in 1622 by another wealthy merchant, and named after Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Stair, a leader of Edinburgh fashion. Currently the Writers' Museum, the house is dedicated to the work and lives of Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson. On display are personal items such as Burns' writing-desk, and a rocking-horse made for Scott as a child, with one footrest higher than the other to make allowance for his disabled right leg. The Writers Museum also houses the Scottish branch of International PEN, the organisation that campaigns for imprisoned writers and freedom of expression. ~ from ~

View of Lady Stair's Close and House, Edinburgh.

Lady Strair's Close, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh.

An abstraction (moving the camera while taking the picture) of a group of tourists in the Lady Stair's Close, Edinburgh.

View of the Scott Monument and Princess Gardens from the Mound.

The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh.

In Edinburgh's New Town.

King George IV Statue on Hanover Street/ George Street roundabout.

Aspiration - Adoration 

2:30pm - Seen the New Town with it's posh stores and cafes for the first time. Very grand indeed. I walked up Hanover Street, then left onto George Street until "The Georgian House", a National Trust for Scotland property. I was running out of time, so decided not to go in. Here I turned back and walked eastwards on George Street heading towards Harvey Nichols. There is a cafe/bar on the 4th floor with great views over the town and the Firth of Forth.  A tip from my friend Wendy. Thanks Wendy! Though judging by the looks I got from the Chef de Restaurant or Maitre d' I was not their sort of usual customer. Been looked up and down by him with half closed eyes and a dignified smile on his face. Guess he had no choice but to lead me to a free table as, although not dressed for the occasion, I didn't smell or whatever their criteria is for turning down customers. :) And by the way Mr H Nichols, your toilet in the third cubicle didn't flush. However nice your bathroom interior and complimentary hand lotion this is not acceptable!

I'm now Leaving Edinburgh on the Airlink bus to pick up my hire car from the airport. 

7:00pm - Arrived at Gulabin Lodge, Spittal of Glenshee.

Picked up the car at the airport, on the way to Perth got lost just after I left the airport because for some reason the places I was passing on the way to Perth and road numbers weren't sign posted. So here is a tip (if travelling without satnav), if you want to go North towards Perth direction, don't bother remembering place names or road numbers, just follow the big signs saying "North Forth Bridge". Of course I new I had to go over a bridge, but never thought that would be the only clue for directions. And also, not everyone knows the name of the bridge, well I didn't. Anyhow, once over the bridge you can revert to the good old map reading technique.
Arrived in Perth around 5:30pm and I'm not sure if it was just because of the time of day or because it was Easter Sunday, but the town seemed really dead. Went for a stroll, a coffee and the loo but wasn't inspired to take any pictures at all. The light wasn't good either, very dull. The youngsters were out drinking at the Sports Bar and I didn't feel too comfortable flashing my 50D. I'm not implying Perth is not a safe place, I just had the impression it'd be better not to draw attention to my equipment. May be totally wrong, but as I said I wasn't inspired to take pics anyway.

Just as I arrived in Spittal of Glenshee a helicopter landed on a field near where an ambulance was parked. I watched for while, I had to stop somewhere anyway and ask for directions to the hostel. Took a couple of quick shots.
I've heard later that apparently a biker involved in a road accident was taken to Aberdeen Hospital by air ambulance.

Air Ambulance taking off at Spittal of Glenshee, Scotland.
9:00pm After checking in with Darren, a shower, a sandwich for diner and a nice chat with a Steve who is staying for 5 days to go walking in the area I'm now sitting outside, cold beer in front of me, deleting rubbish shots from the day to free up storage.
Steve is the only other guest staying here tonight, so I have a room for myself! Been lucky as the lodge was fully booked for weeks.

View of the High Rope Activity Installation (not sure how to call it) at the back of the lodge.
Gulabin Lodge and Outdoor Centre, Spittal of Glenshee.

Things I've planned to do today but didn't:
  1. Visit Scone Palace north of Perth on the A93. It's a very important historical place where all Scottish Kings were crowned until 1651. I arrived 15 after closing time... this is going to be the story of my tour. The Palace wasn't even visible from the gate and although the gate was open I didn't dare to explore the grounds.
  2. Stop and take pictures of the the world's tallest hedge, also on the A93. Noticed that I've just seen it when I was almost past it. Couldn't find a good stopping point so just carried on driving.

Click here to see the map of the whole 8 day tour

Tour Itinerary: Edinburgh – Spittal of Glenshee (Cairngorms) – Nethy Bridge (Cairngorms) – Inverness – Inchnadamph (Sutherland) by Loch Assynt – Ullapool – Torridon – Applecross Peninsula – Loch Ness – Glen Coe – Loch Lomond - Edinburgh

If you've enjoyed this post please feel free to share or forward it.
Or visit my website for more photo galleries.


Hi Dorit - I like your new website and of course your mono photography which is always top notch. Your approach and techniques certainly brings out the essence of things - well done indeed. Thanks for your recent comments on my stuff.....regards, Wayne.

Hi Wayne,
Only a month late, I've discovered that I can actually reply to comments.
Thank you so much for your comment.
I don't think I can do Scotland's beauty justice with my photos... but I gave it a good try :) It's such a stunning place.
Always a pleasure and inspiration to see your "stuff". Outstanding work.
All the best.

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More