Tuesday, 28 June 2011

We're all going on a .........

.....Summer holiday, ha funny ha have you seen the rain!!

We have decided this year that we want a few days away, last "holiday" we had will be ten years ago this November when we had two days away after we got married. Did not bother me so much when we lived on the farm as we cold have peace and quiet in  a nice rural setting and spend a few days doing nothing, but not so relaxing in a busy town and housing scheme.

Like a lot of you we live on a very limited budget and do not have a lot of money to spend so have to be practical as to what and where we could afford. Looked around at various options, fancied a caravan in the middle of nowhere, but too expensive for what they are, cant do posh hotels or B&B's as we have a dog to consider and I live in £5 joggies and £3 t-shirts, and didn't really want to pay for a breakfast most of which would be no use to me due to food allergies so we decided to go to The Metro Inn  in Polmont, just outside Grangemouth. Have done a posting on this  and there is a competition on there if you want to enter.

We put some thought and planning into what we wanted to achieve and where we would like to go whilst away. My OH is into photography and we both like to look round historic building and old graveyards and decided we would make the most of our National Trust and Historic Scotland memberships. So we left home on Monday with enough time to drive over leisurely and see some sights on the way.

Linlithgow Palace

Our first port of call was Linlithgow and we took a walk round the pond in the park as well as up and down the hills around Linlithgow Palace  as we wanted to get the dog a walk before we left her in the car, (safely park in the shade with windows open ans a bowl of water to hand) whilst we went exploring. So we went of into the Palace and had a nice wander round and up and down and took a lot of pictures and video footage.

Blackness Tower
Our next port of call was Blackness Castle .  By the time we got here the sun was well and truly out, and the weather had turned out beautiful. So we popped the dog onto her lead and wandered round the castle, along the pier ( the dogs best bit as lots to sniff at), and wandered up to the top to get the full benefit of the views.
We then went into the shop and bought ice-cream which dog says was very yummy and refreshing after her walk.

on the trees at Callander Park
We decided at this point to make our way over to the motel and get booked in and unpacked. We then toddled of to Callender Park in nearby Falkirk where the dog got to chase squirrels and we finished the night with a trip to McDonald's for our tea.

the ceiling of the church inside Stirling Castle
Tuesday morning dawned dry but overcast and time we had been and had breakfast it was raining, but we had a itinerary made and we decided to stick to it, what a mistake that was. First stop was Stirling Castle as it has just been revamp and newly opened back up so we had to go and look. Initially we were riled by the fact that they expect Historic Scotland members to pay to park, (National Trust supply members with free parking), and then proceed to squash you into parking spaces so small  and tightly packed together you need to have eaten your weetabix to enable to pick your car up and lift it out when you get back to it. Took me the best part of ten mins to inch backwards and forwards literally inch at a time to get out.

Then we had to queue for approx 15 mins in the rain to get our tickets as the fast track booth for members was shut. But once in the wait had been worth while and it was very interesting and the revamped building was stunning, and the ceilings were amazing.

We decide at this point as the rain was now so heavy and the views were obscured by rain and mist that there was no point in carrying on with our day out as we could not possibly let the dog out the car or enjoy what else had been planned so we headed back to the motel, with the rain so heavy I could barely see to drive, and the amount of idiots doing 70mph plus with no lights on on the motorway was unbelievable. So here I sit typing up Monday, Tuesday and some about the motel itself. It is now 7pm and  and my feet have turned webbed, it is still bouncing down out there and I do not think there will be a walk with dog apart from the essential at all this evening.

The Church organ insie St Michaels

Wednesday dawned wet but slightly brighter, and by 10am  we felt the rain had stopped enough to go out and not get too drenched. We went back to Linlithgow and our first stop was a walk round the pond with the dog before we went into St Michael's Parish Church. This was for a good look round and for oh to take some photographs. It was very peaceful and relaxing, and it made oh's holiday as the organist was practising playing Burns songs for a funeral that was being held there on the Friday, my oh is a huge Burns fan, well we do live in Burns country ourselves, and for him to hear them being played on the church organ was an amazing coincidence.

dog at Blackness Castle
We then went back out to Blackness Castle as the dog particularly enjoyed there and it got her another walk and ice-cream before me moved across to Fife, but whilst we were there it was lunch time and the ice-cream shop was shut.

Dunfermline Abbbey

We then went over the Forth Road Bridge to Dunfermline Abbey. We had a quick walk round the church there first but there was a wedding starting so we found the abbey and went for a toddle round it. I found that quite traumatic as it (like many other of the places we had visited,) had a spiral staircase, but this one was very tight, and I have a middle ear disorder that makes any stairs uncomfortable for me, but circular ones are the worst imaginable. Going up is fairly easy, coming down is a different story altogether.

a panoramic view of the two Forth Bridges
We had planned to go onto somewhere else at this stage, but time was getting late and we thought time we drove there we would not get enough time to do what we wanted before it closed. So we went back over the Forth Bridge to South Queensferry and spent some time at the bottom of the bridges taking video footage and photographs.

By now the poor little dog is exhausted with all this walking, well she has turned fifteen earlier in the year, so we went back to the motel for a cup-a-soup and an afternoon nap, and then went back out to visit my younger brother who I have not seen for far too long, and we took him a copy of a disc of photos that we had scanned from my childhood photo albums as he comments about the ones on here. We hit the chip shop just after 10pm, back to our room and bed time. Poor dog was so exhausted during the night I didnt even need to take her out, so that was handy.

The Falkirk Wheel

Thursday dawned pretty much the same as Wednesday, and again by 10ish it was dry and brightening up. We made the decision to leave the dog behind today as we wanted to go on the Falkirk Wheel, and we were worried if the sun came out whilst we on the boat ride for an hour the dog might roast in the car. 

It certainly was a different experience and a bit nerve racking at a few points, but the views were lovely and it had a running commentary of the history etc which was interesting, if a tad annoying.

 Thursday night we packed the car back up, holiday nearly over.

Callander House

On Friday we diverted round to Callender House to see what it had to offer, not allowed to take photos inside so oh soon got bored, he has got to the stage he cant walk round anywhere and enjoy it for what it actually is , everything has to be viewed through a camera leans these days.
 There were approx 1000 photos taken, plus video footage whilst we were away so the camera certainly earned its keep.

So into the car and off home we came, but I must admit just to get a break away from the dull boring routine that is life and to do something different to what we normally do is nice, and also to get to spend some quality time with each other was well the time away, even with the strange route the sat nav brought us back  with.

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