On the 15th of December 2017, I travelled to the North Coast of Scotland with one of my best Scottish friends. I stayed with her family in Thurso, and I honestly had the best time and can’t wait to visit again!
Full day of travel: Dundee-Perth-Inverness-Thurso.
The ploughed fields were fleshly covered in a thin layer of snow, looking like a hot chocolate cake dusted in icing sugar.
Country Highland mansions and crumbling stone walls continued pass our window.
A winter wonderland.
The snow-scape covers the Scottish Highlands like the thick woollen blankets we need to keep warm.
We arrived in the dark, country town with Christmas lights leading down the main street. A giant lit up ‘Happy Christmas, Thurso’ was above the twinkly, and newest addition to the Thurso lights display; a life size Santa.
I was graciously and very warmly welcomed to a cosy little home near close to the centre of Thurs. My friends home was the picture of a loving and immensely Christmassy home.
A 9:30 ferry from Gills Bay meant a half hour drive, and before that a 7:30 wake-up call (which seems early when the sun doesn’t rise until 9:02am).
First exploring the top deck, we settled next to the window in the dining area, with the large seats and tables to lean on. It was about an hour to St. Margret’s Hope; over the north crossing and it was a little choppy.
We’d organised a taxi tour by Craigies taxi's and sure enough there was the taxi waiting for us as we disembarked, the driver complete with genuine Orcadian accent. Many sentences that followed contained multiple ‘likes’ and almost always finished with ‘ye kin?’.
Our first stop was the Italian Chapel.
Built in the Second World War by Italian prisoners of war, it looks like a little church building, however it is two bunked combined together with a stone front face. The inside is immensely decorated with just paint and plaster. The painter has cleverly painted optical illusions to create the look of tiles, pillars and holy relics.
The day was amazingly sunny, the light rays offsetting the immense chill from the North Sea. Puffy clouds settled in the distance.
We next experienced the magic of The Ring of Brodgar, a Neolithic henge.
The feeling here was so special that if I had died and woken up here, I would have no doubt it was Heaven.
The light was low and warm, casting a glow onto the large ring of standing stones. The approaching dark, deep blue cloud created a depth to the scene that reminded me of the awesome brilliance of nature.
The breeze was light but enough to move the clouds, and as we walked around the henge we learned that first hand as we were dumped with a good five minutes of hail.
Oh that was the dark cloud…
Skara Brae – Historic Scotland
Occupied 4500 years ago, Skara Brae is a Neolithic villages that had been preserved under sand for thousands of years; excavated in the 1920’s. The Historic Scotland site allows you to visit and walk around the outside of the site, it also has an exhibition of artefacts and a replica house from the site so visitors can walk inside.
The walk to the archaeological site follows the curve of the beautiful small beach bay. And it was such a quiet day we were lucky enough to be invited into the Neolithic passage way and house itself.
Yesnby – End of the world
The final stop before lunch in Kirkwall.
The sun stayed low in the sky, for the few hours that it watched us. The brilliant golden light interspersed by the occasional puffy cloud or hail storm. I was standing on the end of the world. The end or the beginning, I wondered.
That day contained many magical moments.. I’m glad I visited and I’ll never forget you, Orkney.
You’re just another reason I love Scotland
The authentic Caithness experience aka extreme wind with occasional horizontal rain.
We drove to John O’Groats, and had a lovely little lunch at a cute café, and I tell you I was very glad to get inside. John O’Groats is the eastern most point of the northern head land, the furthest point from Land’s End in mainland Britain and probably the windiest town I’ve ever been too (yes, surprisingly people really live there!).
The day light was fading, and we quickly drove over the moors dodging the sheep, to the Stacks of Duncansby.
Stacks of Duncansby
The grass was waving in gusts of wind; like the straggly coat of a dog that needs grooming.
It was so windy it felt like the duck down might escape through my thick winter coat.
We ran over the peak of a hill, avoiding puddles and sheep droppings. And here, the enchanting sunset over the North Scottish Coast and Stacks of Duncansby, was another little slice of heaven on earth.
Most northern point of mainland Britain.
The sun was setting (very slowly, as it was winter) and the low light was extremely eerie. Driving through and over the flat moors, on the completely empty roads, enchanted my imagination; the sinister, old lands telling stories of murder and betrayal.
Day 4 was a short day. We wandered around Thurso, beginning down at the beach and around the outskirts of the town. There was a clear view of Orkney, and I still felt so astounded and grateful to be exploring Scotland.
We went to the local for a late lunch, Y-not? (Yes, it was called the ‘Y-not’). Then did a tad of shopping before dinner, a couple of episodes of the classic Australian murder mystery Miss Fisher, and a card game of Bahoochie (a fun dictionary of the Scots language).
The long, long journey home.
Sheep dotted the landscapes. Snow and frozen streams. Warm sun light streamed in the window opposite me; bouncing off the ocean and onto the highland mountains to my right.
Much, much later, I made it home to Bonnie Dundee.
I hope you enjoyed my belated narration of North Scotland.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
A quick weekend trip to Sydney gave me the chance to explore again.
Although all my days where inside, learning with the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship, my mornings and evenings walking the city gave me a few chances to look deeper than the surface of Sydney.
I was based around UTS due to the course, visited Spice Alley, and even snuck in some views from the Mercure Hotel.
I challenged myself to look up and use the angles of the city to form abstraction in the frame.
The deep blue skies and dark nights gave epic contrast.
So here is my black and white photo series of Sdyney.
For more black and white photography, follow my new instagram account.
And don't forget to let me know what you think!
I came to Scotland ready to fall in love, and, my, did I ever!
My first visit to Edinburgh was in mid-August – perfect for the tourist season. The overcrowded hustle and hurried excitement is easily transferred between visitors. With events and performances every night, there was never any time to be bored.
The Royal Military Tattoo, Fringe Festival, International Festival, Writers Festival were all in full swing in the month of August.
The second time I visited was as a day trip from my student flat in Dundee. The mid-September season was changing to yellow leaves and grey skies. It seems Edinburgh is beautiful in all weather and all seasons.
Coming from Australia, the first thing that strikes you in Edinburgh is the magnificence of the architecture. It seems fictional, as if stepping from a novel into the presence of magic.
Actually, I've found that a common experience in Scotland.
My first days in Edinburgh consisted mostly of recovering from jet lag, then sight-seeing and taking in what the many festivals had to offer.
Edinburgh Castle watches me; overseeing the city from its high central pedestal. In the crowded streets, cobblestones rise and fall from the centuries of use, and some bowing into the earth. Cars sound a rhythm, pacing the stones and their spaces; the pitch varying as they slow for dips and dodge pedestrians.
The little cobbled streets and lanes rise to the central road leading into the castle know as The Royal Mile. Vibrant summer flowers pots hanging from doors and shop fronts, with pinks and greens complimenting the old-style fonts detailing the year of establishment. Herds of tourists’ step from one tweed souvenir shop to another; their language drowned out by the sound of bagpipe street performers, and hypnotising rhythm of traffic on cobbles.
In the evening, The Royal Mile was buzzing with performers hoping to coax an audience to their performances. Loud street previews were performed. Full acts of fire-throwing showed courage and unique music sets all contributed to an infectious atmosphere. Walking the Mile in twilight signalled me as fair game as a possible audience member. After refusing flyers for several paces, the dodging seemed more work than it was worth. With every step came flyers, events titles and pitches directed to me; the infectious energy of the performers matching the review stars so highly noted on the handout. The low bubbling dusk only fuelled the hum of excitement as curtain calls drew near.
I ended the day will a full hand of flyers, knowing the performance I had pre-booked with the international festival would be well worth it. Joshua Bell plays Bruch with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, at the stunning Usher Hall.
The Grassmarket is probably the best place to go restaurant (or bar) hoping. And maybe the best way to find the Grassmarket is by following Victoria Street from The Royal Mile.
Victoria Street twists down the hill, lined with quaint and colourful shops featuring designer tweed and specular bowties. The buildings in this part of the Old Town are full of character and a joy to behold.
At the Grassmarket there are rows of out-door seating spilling out from the many restaurants, and sometimes stalls with local makers and international foods. The other side of the square hides the Instagram famous, Vennel, where stairs lead down into the Grassmarket and you can see the Castle guarding the city.
During my last visit I ate in Edinburgh’s oldest pub est. 1516, and although I wasn't expecting much, there is a reason it has been around for so long. Delicious!
Best Views of the City
Edinburgh Caste is worth spending at least half and day exploring inside the castle walls. There are many lookout points over the castle wall, mostly over the New Town and across the Firth of Forth.
The Castle has many museums, displays and re-enactments from different eras, detailing the dense history of Royal, suffering and remembrance. Enter into the museums knowing history is written by the victors, and although it is in Scotland, doesn’t mean the history displays a Scottish opinion.
It is worth waiting in line to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny: both have a very turbulent history.
If you have the nerve, the Scott’s Monument is well worth the £5 entry fee. Firstly, a warning. If you suffer from claustrophobia and a fear of heights, Scott’s Monument is not for you. To get the most out the climb, the trick is waiting for a group all going the one direction, up, and calling out that no one is coming down, as overtaking on the tight circular stair case is rather too friendly for comfort.
Four separate staircases allow increasing brilliant views and breaks from the dark and seemly endless steps up. The staircases grow deliberately narrower, the last with little windows blowing cool air onto your ankles and creating a sensation of swaying.
Squeezing into the fresh air, we shuffled around the crown of the moment. Too narrow to pass anyone we had to hope the swaying we felt was just in our heads and wait until the other 3 people in front of us wanted to head back down as well.
As the crow flies, the Arthurs seat trail is not far. However, up-hill, it feels like a long way.
I now know that the feeling of never-ending steep up hill walks is a regular occurrence in Scotland. The Munros and Bens are always deceiving, just a little further to go and it all seems to be up hill.
The view from Arthurs Seat not only displays the entire of Edinburgh and out over the river, also the surrounding directions, out in the suburbs and sprawling paddocks.
And perhaps the best time of year to visit Arthurs seat is August/September, due to the free self-picked picnic of wild black berries.
A good little view point and reminder of Scotland’s dense history is Saint Anthony’s Chapel ruins. The date of the ruins not exactly known, it is thought to be from the 1300’s.
Calton Hill is another city vantage point and a very popular place to take photos of Edinburgh. The permanent display of monuments that is set out across the hill top seems to me to be without much reference to each other, and could, perhaps, be viewed as an outdoor art installation.
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
I can really recommend the Tattoo as a fantastic show. I’ve been to and performed at the Calgary Stampede marketed as the “greatest show on earth”, but I believe the Royal Edinburgh MilitaryTattoo is a serious contester for the title.
I bought a package ticket including The Cannonball restaurant before show dinner. The Cannonball comes with my recommendation too: dinner was a Italian and Scottish mix which conquered my food allergies. There was a lot of wine, a live fiddle performance by 3 of the cast of the Tattoo and a friendly owner who genuinely enjoyed greeting and meeting his customers from all over the world.
The Tattoo is an absolute must if you are visiting Edinburgh- in fact I would recommend visiting to see the Tattoo.
Have the perfect lunch in Princes Street Gardens, with a view of the Castle.
Whether you have lunch in a restaurant or a picnic in Princes Street Gardens, the view is drop dead gorgeous.
The last of the summer roses bloom as the autumn leaves change, all in sight of the towering castle.
After my 2 visits and total 6 days in Edinburgh there is still so much to explore!
On my next visit: Dean Village, Holyrood Palace.
How to see the Scottish Highlands on a student budget:
Join the University of Dundee Rucksack Club
Last Wednesday night we met in a bar behind the university. The Rucksack team looking up the weather forecast and deciding on the best hiking location for the weekend.
The decision: Glenclova.
After heading to Edinburgh for the Day on Saturday, I didn't have much time to plan a hike or research the trails around Glenclova. Downloading the ViewRange app and looking through a few hiking options, I decided Mayar and Driesh; a 14.5km track.
Meeting 7am outside the Student Union, we all piled into mini vans, admired the scenic highlands and gripped tightly to the hand holders as we went around the corners.
Safe to say we where relieved to arrive on solid ground.
We started along and wide road through forests and over rivers; the mountains around Glendoll towering above us.
The morning dew and the cloud-like rain glittered in the early morning sun. The highland scene seemed it couldn't get more Scottish, with ruins of old stone walls and the sounds of rushing rivers.
After what I discovered to be only moderate walking, we broke through the trees to an engulfing sight before us.
The mountain range completely surrounded us, the ruggedness of the landscape exciting.
What I was about to find out was the track lead us directly up the centre of the mountain range.
And there was some very steep climbing ahead.
And this was only the beginning...
Man-made steps out of natural and local rock both helped and hindered the ascent. The uneven footing at times and varying step size made this walk a physical and mental task.
My favourite New Zealander and flatmate taking in the view.
Also waiting for me to catch up.
Approaching the summit of Mayar, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped.
We hurried to the peak before the cloud consumed us and blocked out the breathtaking view.
Sophie, from France, an excellent walking buddy, pictured here admiring the view and swimming in a sea of fluffy clouds.
The path then lead us along the relatively flat ridge line... Until we reached Little Driesh.
A climb to the peak of Little Driesh.
Then another to Driesh itself.
We waited a little for the cloud to move on, but it seemed to be having a lovely time enjoying the view- and blocking ours. We did, however make it right to the top.
What goes up, must come down.
Our finishing point is just past the base of the rainbow.
Forest conservation observation point; Encouraging visitors to take photos and share them to record the rehabilitation of the Glen.
This magical little forest trail I'm sure hid faeries, playing by the stream and napping on the mossy rocks.
The hike contained a little of everything (except climbing, there was a lot of that!).
And the relief of returning to the meet point and the van may have been overshadowed by the stomach turning drive ahead.
I was going to write up Edinburgh first, but I must say I was quite distracted by the highlands!
We chose Rabbies Tours and I'm glad we did!
This is Rabbies 'Highland Explore' 5 day tour.
INTO THE HIGHLANDS:
We travelled north out of Edinburgh and stopped first of all in the little high land village of Dunkeld. Dunkeld holds a quaint path behind the village to the chapel and river, the air was cool and fresh after becoming accustomed to Edinburgh’s humid summer.
And apparently J.K. Rowling lives nearby!
Where we stopped next was one of my highlights of the day! The Highland Folk Museum in Newtonmore; here was an iron age village in enactment used in filming Game of Thrones and Outlander. It just so happens the day we visited was the Outlander day! (a bit of a massive fan) The village was filled with stalls of both tasteful fan merchandise and period goods, as well as re-enactors dressed from the series and giving any historical information you might want.
The view of the highlands was amazing as well.
At the café I bought Irn Bru, a Scottish national soft drink, which will definitely be my go to fizzy drink from now on!
The highlands slow grew around us, until they couldn't grow much more. With the average mountain peak now towering above us, it was time to stop for another break, and this time at Loch Ness. This short Nessy spotting sport resulted in nil sightings (although we got to pet a few dogs!). Oh and I collected a few good looking rocks from the beach, now well-travelled.
Note: the seemly emerging Loch Ness Monster is just 2 doggos
Stopped at the black water in Garve, known because the organic matter in the water makes it look dark and syrup-like.
After a little more of a drive we were all excited for a walk! And our bus driver Micheal had done a wonderful time introducing the facts on Corrieshalloch Gorge. Hyped with excitement, we bounded straight past the sign to say the suspension bridge was shut. We ended up taking a pleasant walk through the wild flowers and forests on a little path that lead back to the bus and showed us a wonderful view of Ullapool from a far.
I’d like to say that words could describe the beauty of Ullapool, and they probably can, however it’s beyond my limits.
Ullapool sits on the sea loch of Loch Broom and on the opposite side to the loch, looks out on to the Atlantic Ocean. We stayed in the Riverside B&B and it was absolutely lovely, they even catered gluten-free breakfast!
A DAY OF ASSYNT:
Ullapool in the misty morning sun.
The rising country a contrast of strong fluorescent greens and the misty purple of heather.
The highlands were set to become more beautiful as we explored the mountains and beaches of Assynt.
On the ancestral lands of the MacKenzie Clan, the brilliance of Achnahaird Beach's blue waters and white sand is matched only by the magnificent highland mountains sitting comfortably behind the beach.
Unfortunately, because we visited on a Sunday, there wasn’t much of Lochniver open to explore! We stopped at the traditional fishing village for lunch and a break.
Next stop, through the chilly wind and light Scottish rain, was the white sand secret beach of Achmelvich Bay. Apparently used in many TV and film sets, the secret beach was a little hard to get to and magnificent despite the icy winds.
Below shows the 15th Century ruins of Ardvreck Castle – stronghold of MacLeods' of Assynt.
And in the distance the 18th Century Calda House, the Laird’s house of the Mackenzie's of Assynt.
(YES the grass was that fluorescent green)
By this time, Michael, the tour guide had gauged what we are interested in and the next stop was the Knockan Crag geological site. Stunning views over the nearby loch and mountain ridge. The walk around the mountain would take about an hour, however we didn’t have the time and looked only at about hundred metres of the sculpture track.
We had an early night back to Ullapool, arriving around 4:30pm allowed us to sneak a quick look around the galleries and shops before closing hours.
We also saw a seal begging for fish of the wharf.
It was particularly cold that evening and we soon retreated to our cosy B&B.
OVER THE SEA TO SKYE:
The morning was filled with coast views of Skye and the Hebrides, complimented by the Scottish weather systems.
Past the mountains of the Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve and along the coast line of Loch Torridon.
We stopped a few times of the way to Skye: Shieldaig, on the side of the road to see highland coos, and Applecross.
Bealach na Ba was described as a high and exhilarating road! In a mini bus, one lane, needing to pull off to pass any cars, cliff edge one side, wall rock on the other.. I’d say terrifying?
However, once we came out of the cloud and down the other side the view was extraordinary.
Eilean Donan Castle: My third ever castle! After Edinburgh and Ardverck, and Eilean Donan definitely goes on the list of favourites. Translates to the Island of Donan, the Castle sit on the junction of three lochs and was built in the 13th Century to protect Kintail from Vikings. Although it was occupied from much earlier on. It had been elaborately restored in the 1930’s and some parts of the castle are used as private apartments.
The highlight for me was the hand written and signed letter from Bonnie Prince Charlie calling the clans to a meeting. There was also a lock of his hair!
The Isle of Skye:
The Black Cuillin Ranges, partnered with the Red Cuillin Ranges to the left out of frame, on the Isle of Skye.
In Celtic creation mythology this landscape was formed by the fighting of two giants. One giant came to Skye from another isle, hearing the giant on Skye on strong and wanting to prove his power. However the woman giant on Skye was fierce and they fought and crashed around the landscape forming the Cuillin Ranges.
After a truce was called, the giant from Skye was walking near this river when some faeries commented on the cuts and bruises marking her face. They said, hold your face in the water for 7 seconds and your face will heal, and so she did and within a day her face was smooth and her youthful looks never faded.
Yes, I did put my face in the water for 8 SECONDS.
Only time will tell!
We then arrived late in Portree to our cosy B&B not far from the town square.
THE SIGHTS OF SKYE:
A quick morning walk lead to discovering a path down to the bay and this heavenly view!
Old Man of Storr is another story involving faeries, although there are many versions and variations. We learned never to whistle, swear or put your hands in your pockets around faerie prone locations such as waterfalls. They like to play tricks on humans and particularly when we annoy them with the above listings.
Magic waterfall, where the faeries helped Mum slip on the mud!
Kilt rock- named because it looks like the pleats on a kilt, showed stunning basalt cliffs and blue water.
And then Quiraing. WOW. Absolutely drop dead stunning. I need to come back here to do the hike or even just to soak up the beauty some more!
The Kingdom of the Faeries aka Faerie Glen
Here shows the Faerie Castle, portal and miniature glens.
A bagpiper from the local village used to practice down in the Faerie Glen, and one day when he was so good, a faerie appeared to him and invited him to play at a faerie wedding. This, would of course require him to past over to the Faerie Kingdom through the portal, he thought what a great opportunity! He passed through the portal with ease and the wedding went fantastically, so much so that the faeries invited him to stay. However, with a family at home he insisted he go back and the faeries warned that nothing would be the same if he returned.
When he returned home and tried to enter his home he discovered that his family no longer lived there. For, every minute that passed in the faerie world, a year had passed in the human world.
Just a quick stop near Dunvegan Castle for a photo opportunity of both the castle and the local seal residents.
As the final event of the day, Michael managed to score us some free whisky tasting at Talisker Distillery.
Returning late from our group dinner, we discovered we had mistakenly been given only the key to our B&B room and not the front door, Luckily, we weren't out in the cold for too long!
Mostly a day of scenic travel, with one last photo op of Eilean Donan Castle.
Down the rugged mountains of kintail, a quick stop at Glencoe, through Glen Garry, past Ben Nevis, and Fort William for Lunch.
The eerie Glencoe: famous for the massacre of the MacDonalds of Glencoe, the regiment under command of Captain Robert Campbell. The regiment stayed with the MacDonalds for weeks, accepting their highland hospitality and eating their all their meat. However, on February the 13th of 1692 the regiment murdered the Clan Donald men, burned down the village and left the women and child to die of exposure in the winter. And hence came 'never trust a Campbell'...
Home to Edinburgh.. then onto Bonnie Dundee!
A SCENIC SOUND TRACK:
Rabbies had collected a playlist of Scottish songs, with some telling the story of the landscape, and social or political history.
At times the songs were profound without prior knowing the history. Our guide would then tell us the stories and history layered in the land and replay the song. This stunning mechanism allowed us to see further than the encompassing mountains, cleverly giving an insight into the importance of the land .
Some that stood out to me:
'I Voted Yes' by Stanley Odd:
'Pride' by Amy Madonald
'Skye Boat Song'
'Outlaws' by Capercaillie
'Throw the R Away' by The Proclaimers
All in all I would recommend Rabbies tours, we had a fabulous time, learned a lot of history and experienced an excellent introduction to Scotland. I am very excited to stay on as I study at the University of Dundee this Semester and experience much more of this wonderful country!
The hot sticky air confronted us as we stepped out of the airport. The relief of the humid environment dissolved as we thawed from the 8 hour flight, and we set in for a hot 3 days.
YAYOI KUSAMA: Life is the Heart of a Rainbow
We purchased an e-ticket online before we left Australia – which would ordinarily help to avoid the ques, although our session starting at 10am meant to was fairly quiet at the National Gallery of Singapore.
We both loved Kusama’s exhibition, spending the first half of the day exploring her colourful take on the world.
The 5th floor of the National Gallery has views over Marina Bays Sands, an absolute must see! We even came back after dinner to finish the exhibition and see the view at night.
The way to Arab Street had stop overs at an art supply shop, a cat themed quirky shop (with real cat) and the ‘Tales of the Malay World’ exhibition at the National Library.
We also found a tailor to copy my much loved 1950’s vintage dress and had dessert for dinner!
At the beginning of day 2 we made our way over to the Art Science Museum at Marina Bay Sands via taxi.
Our favourite exhibition on display was the Future World: Where Art Meets Science. The exhibition explores the themes of nature, town, park and space by using digital and inactive technologies. The immersive art was vibrant and intense, I would recommend the exhibition.
We then wandered around Gardens by the Bay and saw the Cloud Forest Conservatory and the Flower Dome. Both were overwhelmingly beautiful and curated to create to unique environment.
And rushed back to the city for a dress fitting!
Singapore Zoo and the Great Escape
The highlight from Singapore Zoo was watching to Patas monkeys escape! A branch had fallen on the electric wire and shorted it out- one of the young Patas worked it out a swam across the water, out of their enclosure and up a tree- 2 other Patas followed. The zoo keepers must have had fun trying to get them back!
My other favourites where the Hamadryas Baboons and the White Tiger.
After the zoo and three days exploring we were pretty tired and made our way to the airport for as soon as check in opened- leaving lots of time for airport shopping at Changi!
one 13.5 hour flight + 1hr flight later, hello Edinburgh!
As there are only a few days before I head off for the year, we have come to Bulimba, Queensland, to visit family.
4am Wake up Call
As always, cheap flights to Brisbane involve Jetstar and a 6am departure. Luckily the early wake up call was made up for by the brilliant sunrise in the clouds!
I am happy to report that Jetstar got us off the ground at the right time and we arrived before our lift did!
Riverbend Cafe and Bookshop
The Riverbend Cafe breeds a bubbly, contagious atmosphere. We found a table on the deck next to the greenery; a cool morning breeze easing the rising Brisbane warmth. Long shadows and cool light contrasted the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen.
Here, we ordered a delicious soy latte and I was not disappointed. The coffee blend is unique and scrumptious: definitely one of my all time favourite coffee spots!
Now we eat don't eat gluten and dairy due to dietary requirements and The Riverbend Cafe absolutely conquered this task! The staff were friendly, helpful and understanding of our dietary restrictions.
Above: Fried Polenta with field mushroom, roast baby beetroot and fresh asparagus with poached egg. Verdict = Scrumptious
Below: Two poached eggs with bacon and homemade relish on toasted gluten free bread with added roast tomato.
Verdict = delicious
Riverbend Books embodies everything I enjoy about book shops. Intimate, quaint and eerily personal. With lovely, helpful staff
Soon the Adventure Begins! Please comment suggestions and must dos!
Leaving: 17th of August 2:50PM Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport
Passengers: Daisy and Mum.
First stop: Singapore
With 3 days in Singapore there is such much to fit in!
We are staying in the CBD are arriving very late on our first night...
On the to do list: ArtScience Museum, Gardens in the Bay, National Gallery, Little India, Arab Street, Suggestions please!
Next Stop: Edinburgh
Arrive: 8:20AM wow jet lag.. 5 Days in Edinburgh with a view of the Castle!
Special events in Edinburgh: the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Joshua Bell in Usher Hall.
On the to do list: City tour, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Arthur's Seat, National Gallery, National Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Calton Hill... Food: The Dogs, The Chophouse, The Milkman, Contini Cannonball restaurant.
Highland Explorer tour by Rabbie's
Commencing the 26th of August, returning on the 30th.
Main Sights! 2 nights in Ullapool and 2 nights in Portree.
Day 1: Village of Dunkeld, Cairngorms National Park, Rothiemurchus estate, ruins of Loch an Eilein castle, Loch Ness and the village of Dores,
Day 2: Explore the far northwest Highlands and the mountains of Assynt, the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle, Achmelvich Bay, and the traditional fishing village of Lochinver.
Day 3: Visit the Corrieshalloch Gorge, Beinn Eighe nature reserve and coastline of Loch Torridon, Applecross, Bealach na Ba, Plockton, and Loch Carron.
Day 4: Full day on Skye: Quiraing mountain pass, Kilt Rock, Neist Point, Dunvegan Castle, and the village of Portree.
Day 5: The Return: Eilean Donan Castle, The mountains of Kintail, Glen Garry, Ben Nevis, Fort William, Glencoe, and returning to Edinburgh.
Last Combined Stop: Dundee
Arrive late 30th of August: 2 Days before moving in to the University of Dundee's Student Accommodation and Freshers Week begins!
To do list: The Mcmanus: Art gallery and museum, Broughty Castle Museum, Botanic Garden, city square...
Monday 4th September: Mum flies out from Edinburgh and the real adventure begins!
Countries and Places to Visit:
Germany - Stuttgart and Münster
Switzerland - Zurich
France - Paris and South France