Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

CatsWhiskersTours provide unique tour experiences tailored to suit you. Call +44 (0) 141 638 5500

Browsing Posts in History



This morning I took my laptop to have some repairs undertaken and found myself close to the Forth & Clyde Canal at Anniesland, Glasgow. This canal has a long history, being at the forefront of the industrial revolution when it was built in the late 18th century (work commenced 1768) to link the east and west coasts of Scotland’s industrial heartland. It operated until 1963 and was subsequently re-opened in 2001. The canal covers a 35 mile route which, intriguingly, closely follows the line of the Antonine Wall built some 1600 years previously by the Romans. Today’s rail and road routes follow a roughly similar line of communication.

It is possible to cycle and/or walk along the canal between Glasgow and Edinburgh, a challenge I have longed planned to take up.

Today, the canal is made used by leisure craft and has become something of a wildlife refuge.

The following images cover only a tiny snapshot of the waterway. However, watch this space for more images when I get round to traversing the route by cycle.

This is a waterside restaurant/cafe ‘Lock 27’. There are 39 locks in total.

Whilst taking some pics I came across a couple out walking who had spotted a heron.


Here is the lock
Lock and bridge
Waterbirds in formation, mainly swans and ducks

This canal is not normally on visitors’ main hit list. It is, however, an important part of Scotland’s industrial archaeology. Boat trips are available, in addition to walking and cycling. I am looking forward to my cycle ride along the banks.

Read more on Visit Forth and Clyde Canal Scotland…



This evening, I am continuing my Roman theme, providing images of my recent visit to Cyprus.

The following pictures are from the Salamis Ruins in Northern Cyprus. The development of this city was interrupted by earthquakes, particularly in the 1st and 4th centuries AD. After the earthquakes, the city was rebuilt by the Byzantine emperor, Constantius II ( 337-361 AD) and renamed it Constantia. The city was abandoned in AD 648 following a raid by Arab pirates.

Here is an impressive buttress


Mosaics in archway at the baths

A 3rd century fresco piece showing Hylas as he refuses the water nymphs.

Hypocaust heating system at the baths

Swimming pool with columned courtyard in the background

Gymnasium

Another view of the gymnasium which served as an exercising ground for the military.

Ancient Greek script


Local tour guide in full flow
Entrance
Ancient Greek script at the theatre
More Greek script
The theatre which dates from the time of Augustus. It was destroyed by earthquakes in the 4th century and was never rebuilt

Overall, this proved a fascinating site where I would have liked to spend more time.

Read more on Roman Antiquities…



This evening, I am departing from my usual Scotland/Britain theme to cover a photo record of my recent visit to Roman sites on Cyprus. Touring Roman Britain is one of my passions and I guess there is some overlap as the Romans did occupy Britain for about 400 years.

The site covered below is that of Kourion which is an ancient Cypriot city the remains of which comprise a Theatre, House of Eustolios, an early Christian Basilica, Roman Forum, Public Baths, House of the Gladiators, House of Achilles and House with Earthquake evidence.

These Y signs indicate Christianity, Yios is Greek for Jesus.

Mosaic at House of the Gladiators-Hellenikos and Margerites in combat.

Mosaic of gladiator Lytras separated from his opponent by the referee, Darios.


Hypocaust system at the public baths


Unusual shell carving

Decorated mosaic floor
Corinthian Column

Slightly surreal view of the site with a para glider in the background. This is the early Christian Basilica.


View of the coast from the site. A superb location with benefit of cool breezes.

The Theatre

House of Eustolios
The bust of KTICIC on the mosaic floor of the rectangular hall at House of Eustolios


Mosaic inscription on the floor of the east portico which reads;

‘In place of big stones and solid iron,
gleaming bronze and even adamant,
this house is girt by the much venerated signs of Christ.’

Mosaic floor inscription welcoming the visitors- ‘Enter for the good luck of the house’



Hypocaust heating system
I found Kourion a truly stunning site. It would be nice if guided tours by experts were available to enhance the experience. However, wondering round at own speed does help one connect with the past.

Tomorrow, I will be presenting information and photos of another Cypriot site, at Salamis in the north of the island.

Contact me if interested in tours of Roman Britain or other Roman themed tours.

Read more on Roman Ruins and Monuments…