Friday, 13 May 2011

The Trip to Scotland

Our journey to Scotland started at 7a.m. We avoided motorways as far as possible making our journey northwards to Belfast swift and uneventful and so fast that we were able to catch an earlier ferry to Stranraer than the one we had booked to travel on. The Stena Voyager is a catamaran in design with four powerful pumps that push it through the water at a superb pace. The interior to my mind is plush to say the least and we always find ourselves some seating in the quiet area away from the noise of piped entertainment. Up for'ard you get good visibility of the sea, plus a small coffee bar with sticky buns and sandwiches as there is nothing like a snack to pass the time away. Except this time because I wasn't driving, only being the navigator, I took myself to the bar on the mezzanine for a couple of pints of Bass ale and they slid down like nectar.

The Stena Voyager

Disembarking was smooth and we were soon on the A75 heading towards the village, a short journey which took 1 hour 10 minutes and into the welcoming arms of our hostess.

The next day we hit the shops in Castle Gregory, The Gatehouse of Fleet and Kirkcudbright all of us picking up some great bargains; mine were a leather coat and trousers plus a denim cap. Refreshments were needed after shopping & a hotel provided me with a pint of McEwans Export ale revitalizing my tired parts.

The Grey Mare's Tail

The following day saw us heading into the Craigdews of the Galloway Hills, to a place special for our hostess. Our first stop was at "The Grey Mares Tail", a waterfall where three of our members were visited by a familiar in the shape of an Tawny Owl. From there we made our way to a place of high energy where we celebrated Bealtaine in a forest glade close to a fast flowing river and we arrived back to our holiday home with sufficient time to visit The Cream O Galloway; My first visit was two years ago and the taste of their wonderful ice cream cannot be beaten and I have sampled lots of different brands over the years. We are now planning a return visit sometime next year.

During the rest of of our stay we visited beaches and bays along the shoreline, explored, relaxed and sampled the haggis.

St Andrew's Kirk at Kirk

The pebbled porch floor of the kirk

An island off the beach entices the mind to create dreams !

Silver wavelets come ashore at Brighouse Bay.
(Brig refers to the goddess Brigit, she is everywhere)

Ross Bay
(In the far distance the hills of northern England are visible as smoky smudges)

A Heron with Attitude
(I could not resist taking this pic !)

Stena's MV Caledonian

Our ferry to Belfast on the MV Caledonian the journey was 3 hours long this time as opposed to 2 hours on the outward voyage. We returned to our home in the Irish midlands both tired exhilarated.


  1. Music to my ears, everything you described in this voyage. A great way to explore Scotland. We went to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo last year and the surrounding countryside. It was our first trip to Scotland and it left me wanting more...much more. We came back and ordered the TV series, Monarch of the Glen which I have nearly finished. I think if my family hears me say 'lassie' one more time they will ship me there permanently!
    Thanks for your photos and for sharing your experience. I love the heron photo!

  2. Lovely, Mel. I am betting the weather was kind to you too. I enjoyed the heron photo as well! I'm not sure what's involved in celebrating Bealtane. Is it something like Valpurgis night in Finland? I suppose I should stop being lazy and look it up :) In any event, I'm very glad you had such a wonderful trip. I love Scotland's just the climate that puts me off. NL is quite wet and cold enough for me!

  3. I'm glad you had a good time, hope all the others did too.

  4. Looks great, I love Scotland.Great photos like the beach and the pebble floor best.

  5. I would love to see all this up close and personal, its beautiful and couldn't be a better person to feed us the information we love to hear, see and feel! Thanks Mel :)

  6. Thanks for directing me to this post Heron. By the way - are you the entrepreneur behind Heron Foods?

    1. The name is pronounced as Kirkcubree just in case you did not know.
      I am nothing to do with Heron Foods never heard of them.


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