Views of Scotland

Views From A Caravan Window, Scotland

Although the first part of our Scottish holiday, May 2018, wasn’t as nice as we could have wished for, the second part was.  This is the view from our caravan window, the air was so clear, I could see the lighthouse just off of the Isle of Lismore, with the Isle of Mull in the background.  Normally there is a heat haze with hides the lighthouse, but on this day all was clear.  Even the castle which we can see, was clearer than we had ever seen it before.  The views from the caravan site were wonderful, and we had the most wonderful sunsets, made up for all the rain 🙂


Iceland Cruise 26 – Scapa Flow & Churchill Barriers, Orkney, Scotland

Iceland Cruise March 2018 – The coach trip we choose to go on when we visited Orkney, included Scapa Flow and Churchill Barriers.  We travelled over all four causeways and had good views of the Scapa Flow straits.  There are a few photos I took on route, just to give the feel of the islands.

A little history……..The Churchill Barriers are a series of four causeways in Orkney, Scotland, with a total length of 1.5 miles (2.4 km).  They link the Mainland in the north to South Ronaldsay, via Burray, and the two smaller islands of Lamb Holm and Glimps Holm.  They were built in 1940 as naval defences following the sinking of The Royal Oak, but now serve as road links, carrying the A961 road from Kirkwall to Burwick.  Within a month of the sinking of the Royal Oak, Winston Churchill visited Orkney and ordered that work begin on the construction of four permanent barriers, to stop any further German U-Boat attacks.  Italian prisoners of war built the causeways and also the Italian Chapel, which I have posted about. The work began in May 1940 and was completed by September 1944.  The Churchill Barriers were formally opened by the first Lord of the Admiralty on 12th May 1945, four days after the end of World War II in Europe.  The lasting role of the Chruchill Barriers has not been as a defence for Scapa Flow, but as a series of causeways linking the five islands together.  The roads crossing them have been improved over the years and Barrier No 4, no longer looks artificial. Over the years dunes have accumulated on the eastern side to form a lovely sandy beach and as a result Burray and South Ronaldsay are no longer really separate islands.

In 1919 the German High Seas Fleet was brought to Scapa Flow after the German surrender.  A misunderstanding over the progress of the peace talks led the German commander, Admiral von Reuter, to believe that war was about to resume.  To avoid his fleet falling into British hands he ordered the scuttling of the 74 German battleships and other warships at anchor in Scapa Flow, on 21 June 1919.  Many of these were salvaged for scrap after the war, but others still remain on the sea bed as a magnet for divers…… the following photos show some of the rusting remains of the blockships.

With the help of Italian prisoners of war, the construction phase used bolsters – wire cages or baskets filled with broken rock and dropped into the water of the channels.  Most of this lies under the surface, with the topping and road surface built from dumped aggregate and concrete blocks.  In total, around 250,000 tons of stone rubble and 66,000 concrete blocks were used to build the barriers.  The next photo show how the blocks were used making the barriers/causeways.  I have added the information board and hopefully it is just about readable.  

Iceland Cruise 24 – Tangwick Haa Museum & Trip Back to Lerwick, The Shetlands


Iceland cruise March 2018 – On the way back to Lerwick, after our walk along the cliffs, we stopped to look at ‘Tangwick Haa Museum’  This interesting building is full of items from around the Northmavine area, I have added an information sheet if you want to read about it.

One of the items I found interesting was ‘The Gunnister Man’  who was buried 250 and found in 1951.  I have added the information sheet, unfortunately the photo didn’t come too good, but you can still read it.

While on the coach, the tour guide passed around some old black & white photos of knitters on the island.  The ladies knitted non stop, whatever they were doing, they incorporated some knitting.  I just love the photo of the little girl knitting, they started early in those days.

Some views from the coach window on the way back to Lerwick.  Next post will be a visit to Lerwick.  We are still on holiday in Scotland, and so far have had 6 nice days in row, a few more days to go, just hope the weather holds.  



Neptune’s Staircase, Nr Fort William, Scotland

Neptune’s Staircase is in the small village of Banavie, four miles from Fort William, Scotland and is overlooked by the magnificent Ben Nevis.  We visited in 2016, and I have only just come across the photos from that date, we did visit again in 2107 and nothing had really changed, still an interesting  walk along the canal, watching the locks at work, in glorious surroundings. 

Built by Thomas Telford between 1803 and 1822, it is the longest staircase lock in Britain and raises the canal by 19 metres (62ft) over a quarter of a mile continuous masonry.  It takes about 90 minutes for a boat to travel up or down the comprising eight locks on the Caledonian Canal.   



The Land of the Rings & Sanna Bay, Ardnamurchan, The West Coast of Scotland

Last year, 2017, we visited Sanna Bay, in Ardnamurchan, Scotland, to get there, you drive through a ring of hills which form a world famous geological structure, a classic example of a ring complex.  From space the ring of hills looks rather like a crater on the moon, but it was formed in a very different way.  They are quite amazing to drive through when you realise they are ancient volcanoes.  I have added a few details about them.  We then arrived at, Senna Bay, truly beautiful, we were blessed with stunning weather, the first we had for over a week.  This is a photo tour of the rings and the wonderful walk we had along the beach.

The rocks of the ring of hills were called the Great Eucrite, by JE Ritchie of the British Geological Survey, when he made the first geological map of Ardnamurchan in the 1920’s.  The rocks of the Great Eucrite form a ring of hills because they were resistant to the glaciers that carved this only 20,000 years ago.  Eucrite, is a variety of gobbro, the coarsely crystallise quiver of basalt.  Large crystals form when igneous rocks crystallise slowly beneath the surface of the Earth in magma chambers.

Four ancient volcanoes on the west coast of Scotland…….When the American and Eurasian tectonic plates began to drift apart 55 – 60 million years ago, and the North Atlantic began to open, what are now north islands of, Mull, Rum and Skye, together with the peninsula of Ardnamurchan, formed a chain of volcanoes.







Through The Car Window – Glasgow, Scotland

Last December 2016, we were in Glasgow, Scotland, very near to Sauchiehall Street, which forms one of the main shopping sectors of the city.  The visit was work related, but I managed to grab a few early morning shots through the car window.  The city was just starting to wake up, although the photos could be better, the window wasn’t too clean, I hope they give a sense of a large city on the verge of having its breakfast 🙂


Inveraray From The South, Scotland

One more photo of Inveraray, this time from the south, it’s the view we always see when leaving the town.  The dark building on the right is the jail and it looks like it was quite a forbidding building, one building to try and keep out of, in days gone pass.

Taken May 2016