Welcome to 2009!

This is my first blog posting for the year as technical problems prevented postings in recent days.

Starting from Glasgow we commenced with a Roman theme. The following two images are of the Roman Baths at the fort on the Antonine Wall at Bearsden, now a prosperous suburb of Glasgow.The Antonie Wall dates from ad 142-144 and ran for 37 miles between what is now Glasgow and Edinburgh.

We traveled east following the line of the Antonine Wall until we reached the next site at Rough Castle, near Falkirk.

This image is of lilia ( lily pads). In fact they are the Roman equivalent of a minefield, comprising camouflaged pits within which were placed up ended pointed stakes intended to disable attackers.

Centre of Pitlochry, a popular Perthshire town.

The following three images are of Edradour Distillery, Scotland’s smallest whisky distillery which provides visitors withe excellent free tours.

Whisky stills at Edradour

Mash Tun at Edradour

This is the Pass of Killiecrankie, Perthshire. This has a number attributes including (a) a natural corridor linking the Highlands and Lowlands (b) a strategic location for communication and transport (c) a site of Special Scientific Interest (d) site of famous battle in 1689 when a Jacobite army defeated a Government force under General Mackay. This image shows the pass and River Garry flowing through the wooded gorge with rail line on the left.

This is an image of Blair Castle which, unfortunately, was closed to visitors at time of our visit.

The following four images show Stirling Castle which sits atop a flat plain on an ancient volcano. The Castle mainly dates from the 15th and 16th centuries.

This is the Great Hall with oak hammer beam roof built by James IV.

Tour group at castle entrance.

Renaissance era palace dating from 1540-42

Interior of Chapel Royal built by James VI in 1594 for the baptism of his son. Note locally woven tapestries on right hand side.

The following four images were taken at Calton Hill, Edinburgh. This is the so-called ‘Athens of the North’.

Here is the Dugald Stewart Monument by William Playfair and dates from 1832. It was erected to celebrate success of Stewart’s choir in a competition. The actual monument is modelled on the 4th century Lysicrates monument in Athens.

This is a view of Edinburgh looking towards Princes Street and the Castle.

This is the New Observatory, also by William Playfair, and dating from 1818.

This is the Old Observatory by James Craig and dating from 1776.

The following two images were taken at Linlithgow Palace, a 15th century Renaissance style former Royal Palace. Mary Queen of Scots was born here. It is now a ruin due to accidental fire damage by Government troops in 1745.

This is the ornate fountain-which influenced a similar fountain at Palace of Holyrood House, Edinburgh.

View of the Palace.
This is nearby St. Michael’s Church, the largest pre-Reformation church in Scotland. The crown and spire were added in 1964.

This is Glasgow Cathedral which, unfortunately, was closed to visitors on day of our visit. The original cathedral is believed to have been founded by St. Kentigern around AD600 but the present building dates from the 13th century.

The following two images are from Glasgow’s Necropolis or City of the Dead and dates from the 1830s. Many of Glasgow’s Victorian era wealthy and merchant classes are buried here.

This is the William Rae Wilson Mausoleum from 1849. It was built in the style of a Moorish Sepulchre influenced by travel in Palestine.
General view with John Knox monument third from left.

This is Provand’s Lordship, the oldest house in Glasgow which dates from 1471

Science Centre Tower at Pacific Quay. This is one of Scotland’s tallest buildings and is open to visitors April-October.

BBC building at Pacific Quay

Steamship ‘Waverley’ on the Clyde with the Armadillo Building and Squinty Bridge in the background.

Highland Cattle at Pollock Park

Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Overall, a good tour which covered a diverse range of topics and themes.

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