Tuesday, September 25

Down by the River Side

Ex tube trams converted into a cafe somewhere near Liverpool Street
where we hired our bikes from

A perfect morning, the Thames sparkling, HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge in the background

Graham on London Bridge

Compulsory coffee stop at Monmouth, Borough Markets

The first of many bridges as we head west along the South Bank

View east to St Pauls

The girl power bridge - built entirely by women during WWII

London Eye
Big Ben

Westminster glowing in the sun

Looking back east from somewhere near Chelsea

Battersea - ex power station now being (very slowly) remodeled into a mixed use scheme with apartments and retail. It will take years of works and huge investment just to ensure the building is structurally safe for re-use, but the setting is awesome.

Lunch down by the river in Richmond in a wee german Biergarten, loving the Kartoffelsalat (potatoe salad), Currywurst and Sauerkraut. One of the great things about London is that you can get anything...provided you know where it is. Thanks Jess for telling me about this one!!

A human musical mobile - trapeze artists and musicians suspended from a crane - one of the spectacles at the London Mayor's Thames River festival, also taking place that day

Walthamstow - the dogs

One of Fran's colleages retired a few weeks ago and decided she wanted to have an after work do 'at the dogs', so we paid a visit to Walthamstow Stadium, reputedly the biggest dog race track in England. It also has possibly the worst neon sign in Britain.....I'm sure you would see this from space!!!

Catherine and Beth with their picks for the first race of the night

Feeling lucky the beginning.....this feeling quickly wore of as our individual picks proved to be no good, Fran's pick consistently placing last. After five races the four of us started chipping in for trifectas, one of which was successful!!!

Catherine, Beth and Fran at the finish line

Edinburgh AB's v Scotland

We left for Edinburgh from St Pancras and King's Cross so finally a chance to see Platform 9 and three quarters....

Fran & Mike

Emma, Adam, G & F

Amy, Leona and Patrick

Paul on the mic on the occasion of his 30th at The Dickins

Fran, Shaw, Mike and Graham on the way to Murrayfield to see the All Blacks in action

With Adam and Emma and Mike and some of his friends outside Murrayfield before the game

The Haka - 60,000 plus people and you could have heard a pin drop

This is where the 3x optical zoom ain't enough...

Nuclear power stacks somewhere between York and Newcastle

Training it up to Edinburgh

Tuesday, September 11


It's a lovely evening with a blooming full moon as we near the end of our nine-hour drive (long weekend traffic) from London to Edinburgh

We pass the 'Angel of the North' sculpture near Newcastle

Saturday morning in Edinburgh - the stands have been put up around the castle for the Tattoo

On the Royal Mile checking out the festival action on the street

The Pleasance Courtyard, one of the mid-size comedy venues where we saw a couple of shows

Sunday afternoon at T in the Park checking out The Editors and Razorlight

Tom Smith

The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre

Fran's cuz Mike and his mate Shaw

Getting amongst the Edinburgh pub scene

A canal lift bridge in Edinburgh in action

Jimmy Chungs, Edinburgh's finest Chinese buffet where we had Monday lunch on Mike's (avid!!!) recommendation

Mike and Fran outside the Usher Hall, Edinburgh

100 years of scouts celebrated with meticulous flower bed maintenance!!

Pipers in the street

Greyfriars' Kirk

Tuesday morning we head north over the Forth Bridge

Blair Castle....Queen Victoria stayed here for three weeks and it is the home of one of the last remaining private armies in Europe - the Atholl Highalnders

Fran checking out the deer in the castle grounds

Inverness on the river Ness

Heading out on a boat across Loch Ness to Urqhart Castle...yes the wind was cold but my scarf was nice and warm!!!

Approaching Urqhart castle

Scottish patriotism...

Stopping in for a wee bit of whisky sampling at Glen Ord distillery. They malt their barley using peat, so the whisky ends up with quite an interesting smokey flavour (I still don't like whiskey though - it's horrible!! - G liked it)

Heading into the Highlands on the way to Strathcarron

Thursday morning heading on from Strathcarron to the Isle of Skye

Where the loch enters the sea

The light plays on the water looking from the mainland to the Isle of Skye

Can you see the bridge to the island in the far distance?

Heading north on Skye

Lots of mist shrouded hills

Graham enjoying driving on an open road

More hills and more clouds

One of the guns at Dunvegan Castle, home to the clan of McLeod

Eilean Donan castle, the most photographed castle in Scotland - we certainly added to the stats!!

Another loch, another hill and more misty clouds!, this time on the drive down to Fort William

On Friday morning 10am we leave Fort William on a steam train out to Mallagie on the west coast. The best train ride ever!!

We had to sit in different cabins, as there were only a few tickets left. Graham sat with an old couple, the husband was an ex steam-train driver, so he got to listen to a few stories.

I got to sit with a family with three young girls - all total Harry Potter fans and soooooo excited about being in same train that was used in one of the movies. Here they are looking out the window as we approach the 15-arch viaduct featuring in one of the scenes where the train takes the children to Hogwarts

Puffing our way through more highlands out to the west coast

In Mallagie it's off the train and a mad scramble to the nearest seafood restaurant. MMMMmmmmmm fresh mussels......

A very picturesque sea side town

The viaduct again, on the way back

Firday arvo in Oban, further down the west coast checking out McCaig's tower, awesome views out to sea and the Isle of Mull apparrently, but it was a little bit cloudy that day. We got to watch the ferry roll in though!

On the road we see some Highland 'Coos' - soooooooooo cute!!!


Friday night we stayed with Diana in Glasgow, and she hadn't been to Stirling Castle yet, so that's where we went on Saturday

G soaking up the sunshine......there was plenty of it that day!!!

The William Wallace (aka Braveheart) monument, also in Stirling

Saturday night we in Glasgow we had a few drinks and a curry with Diana

Sunday morning quickly checking out Glasgow town centre before heading back to London