A Travellerspoint blog

Lockerbie to Port Glasgow, Scotland

The coastal trip

rain 20 °C

We enjoyed our stay Lockerbie a nice small Scottish town. Most of us will never forget the town of Lockerbie for the Pan Am flight that exploded above the town resulting in 11 of the towns folk killed along with all 259 passengers and crew members. A suitcase bomb exploded Aboard New York bound Pan Am flight 103. Only one suspect, a Libyan intelligence agent, was ever convicted in connection with the attack and mystery still surrounds it. When the fuel laden wings and section of the main body crashed into one house, the subsequent explosion created a 155 foot long crater and sent a fireball shooting into the sky. Security at airports was improved from this time. Anyway on to more pleasant things. We enjoyed the drive up the west coast of the lowlands. The land in the lowlands quite flat or gently rolling. There was a lot of harvesting taking place. Not easy with one of Scotland's wettest summers for many years. So wet that it was effecting farming. It rained in places as we were driving. We enjoyed this drive lots of interesting towns and villages along the way. We stopped in Troon for lunch. Found a nice modern place for lunch. Yum, it was late and we were hungry. Usually we go for the old places first we tried the pub accross the road, this was a bit grubby, huge and unimpressive. It was busy though with it being Sunday and cheap meals. Actually we weren't that impressed by Troon, it looked like a place in decline. It probably didn't help that it was raining a bit as made the place appear gloomy. Onwards we went up the coast not sure where we would end up. Initially we had allowed more time for Scotland but sacrificed 5 days to cover Jersey and Guernsey for which we have no regrets. It just meant that we couldn't go to the Island of Skye. One day will have to come back and spend more time here. Could easy spend 6 weeks here. I was impressed by the seaside village of Largs. I could stay here. We didn't stay as it is the height of the summer season, busy and expensive. On we drove through lots of villages till tiredness started to set in. Geoff wasn't keen on going to Glasgow. We got to Port Glasgow and headed up into the hills. Alas the b&b didn't exist. We then spotted another place on Garmin and headed there. What a find. The Gleddoch House Hotel. This place boasts a golf course, swimming pool etc. We were thinking of you Pete, Rae, Lesley and Leo you would love it. This had been the home of a shipping barren. The room had two large beds. Had to lug our bags up lots of steps. It certainly converted well to a hotel. Very roomy and luxurious and not too expensive. As it was out of town we had a lovely British dinner here in the dining room. Fish and chips and mushy peas. Also had dessert. Naughty. Great views of the golf course and beyond. We watched some people finish the 18th hole. I would recommend Gleddoch House Hotel, especially great if you are a golfer. We had breakfast in the dining room. I didn't want to leave.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 14:30 Archived in Scotland Tagged siteseeing Comments (0)

Guernsey to Manchester, Manchester to Lockerbie in Scotland

Our Scottish Adventure begins

sunny 23 °C

Our plane wasn't leaving Guernsey till 12.15 pm so had time for breakfast in our hotel. Returning the car just drove straight in. A small airport so we were soon processed and had time for a coffee before boarding. The plane was aurigny. The flight was just over an hour so we were soon in Manchester. We got on the bus to transport us to the car hire place. We walked to where we had collected a car the last time in Manchester. That's strange, things have changed all the firm's were now back in the same building. They had also introduced a ticket system. We watched one man get to the front of the row only to be told he didn't have a ticket. They made him go back and get a ticket he then had to join the queau again. When Geoff got served the lady said our car wasn't ready and we would have to wait, he wasn't allowed to predo the paper work. We waited and waited. Geoff got up to check and found the car keys sitting on the desk, he waited while the lady gossiped on the phone. She did apologize as apparently they had been there for some time. Finally we were on our way in our little blue car. We headed up the motorway towards Scotland. For some reason Geoff wanted to be in Scotland that night. The first two places we had thought of going to proved to be quite small with no accommodation or accommodation we weren't keen on. We finally ended up in Lockerbie. We booked a hotel on line. It was very old in a Tudor style. We walked in to find the room had been let out 1/2 hour before we got there, he hadn't checked his emails. No problem he got on the phone and booked us a room at the second place he rang. We ended up at Somerton House Hotel. This was a very nice place just on the edge of town. It had originally been a private home and the interior was full of New Zealand kauri. The kauri had come from a ship that was demolished in Scotland. We had a lovely large clean room. We had dinner here which we enjoyed and breakfast was included in the price. The staff were friendly and the kauri interior a link to home. I would thoroughly recommend Somerton House Hotel.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 12:35 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged siteseeing Comments (0)

Exploring Guernsey

A day to explore

sunny 24 °C

The township of Saint Peters Port was very attractive. Some buildings with beautiful colourful co-ordinated hanging baskets. Apparently the council had recently spent money on the watering of these to encourage businesses to make their buildings more attractive. The waterfront gardens were attractive as well. Off we headed around the Island in a anti clockwise direction. We soon came across a large golf course. Thought of you Pete and Rae, Lesley and Leo, could picture you out on this course. We found some beaches then spied a fortification that looked like it needed exploring. These are all around the waterfront on the Island. Guernsey was more strategic for the German army than Jersey because of its closeness to England. We enjoyed exploring the houses a mixture of French and English designs. These Islands popular with French visitors, also a lot of French people living here. The accent is unusual. Mind you as else where there are lots of different nationalities living on the Island. We had lunch at a quaint English styled pub. Very rustic. The bangers and mash that arrived was enormous, I could only eat half of mine. We then decided to visit the German Occupation Museum. One man had the forsight to save things from the five years of occupation as it was a big part of Guernsey's history. When the Germans arrived they bombed the Island killing around 30 locals. They didn't realised that the military had already left the Island. For the first year of occupation the Germans found was like being in a bit of a holiday camp. Things changed as the war progressed. Jews were sent to camps in Germany, along with people doing things that didn't please the Germans. Some died in the camps. One lady was jailed on the Island for 6 months until the occupation ended because she made a joke about what Hitler might eat. One item was a suitcase containing the original clothes of one of the children evacuated to England at the beginning of the war. Guernsey evacuees were sent to places like Weymouth or Oldham where they were given clothing and shelter. Some had families they could go to. There was lots of war machinery, guns and vehicles. There were also lots of newspaper articles telling interesting stories. Always enjoy these human interest stories. At one stage during the German occupation it looked like the Islands would starve as food became scarce. The Germans allowed the red cross to ship food parcels over to the Island. Because the Island was mined some people lost their lives by stepping onto them. In one sad case the little girl was only 3 years old. The Island was taken back after the Germans signed a surrender treaty in 1945. We found the underground hospital, which would have been a depressing place for patients. That night we walked around down town then decided to come back and eat in the hotel. The waiters here very friendly this place has a good atmosphere. I am not sure the nationality of the waiters they could have been Indonesian or Malaysian. Good to see happy staff. A great place to stay would highly recommend.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 14:34 Archived in Guernsey Tagged siteseeing Comments (0)

Jersey to Guernsey

We travel by Ferry

sunny 24 °C

Our sailing on the Condor Ferry in the afternoon so we had plenty of time for breakfast and packing. We returned the car with no scratches. There was a small place that sold food here. Would you believe that there was only sweet stuff to eat. He had no savoury food. I think normally he does have some. Were hungry as was now the afternoon so had something sweet then had an enormous coughing fit as it was dry and crumbly. Bought a newspaper and read it to catch up on some news. Check out the Herald page on the cell phone each day so we can keep an idea of what is happening back home. We certainly are pleased we missed one of the coldest wettest winters. We got some savory food on the ferry. This crossing didn't take very long. To get on this ferry you walked through long tunnels, good if it is raining. It was a pleasant crossing not rough at all, just as well as Geoff not a good sailor and myself still trying to get over the sinus infection. It was just making me a lot more tired. At least the doctor gave me plenty of antibiotics. We collected the car and had explained the give way system at crossings where you stop and let people through. Driving politeness needed as narrow lanes etc. The top speed only 35 miles an hour. Boy racers would get frustrated here. Our hotel was the Duke of Normandy right in the Centre of Saint Martin's. The drive in entrance to the hotel was a tight squeeze then there were no parks. They were quite happy at the hotel told us to double park and they would move our vehcle if necessary. When you looked at the front of our hotel there was a small dar sales area bung in the middle of the building. We enjoyed coming into Guernsey by Ferry. An attractive Bay. We liked this hotel very clean, it seemed to attract a young clientele who spent a lot of time at the bar area. We had another good sized room, very clean. After resting we walked down town exploring the shopping area and waterfront. There was a large enclosed marina. We found where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert landed in Guernsey. Queen Elizabeth and King George visited Guernsey 5 years after the German occupation ended. We found a nice restaurant on the harbour so sat outside for dinner.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 13:45 Archived in Guernsey Tagged travelling Comments (0)

Exploring Jersey

A coastal trip

sunny 26 °C

Was feeling a little better, though still lots of coughing happening. We decided to do the coastal tour as only one full day to tour. We were also going to find jersey cows so maybe not all coastal. We enjoyed the drive and our first stop was to Mont Orgueil Castle. This was at an attractive little waterside village and marina. This Castle was more about fortification and armies than Kings and Queens. This Castle for over 600 years protected Jersey against French invasion. The castle was first mentioned in 1212. Mont Orgueil was superseded by Elizabeth Castle off Saint Helier in the 16th century. Walter Raleigh rejected a plan to demolish the castle. For awhile it was used as a prison. The Germans used some of the rooms during occupation during World War 2. The castle is now managed by the heritage trust. There was lots of interesting things to see here uncluding some unexpected modern sculptures and art. We always have to check out everything which involves endless steps. A lady dressed in old clothing was playing an ancient musical instrument. Geoff had decided that he wanted to go to Mad Mary's for lunch. Geoff happy to be back driving on the left hand side of the road again. It was crazy but when we first picked up the car it felt strange to be driving on the left after a month of driving on the other side of the road. Also had to get uses to using gears. Lots of narrow roads to negotiate all over Jersey, houses and solid fences right on the edge of the road. Hire companies check for every little scratch, so far so good. Mad Mary's was in Bourley Bay. It was hard to find a park. In the end sat and waited till someone returned to their car. This turned out to be a little kiosk and Mad Mary was on duty, very busy it was, right beside the seaside, we sat under umbrellas and ate toasted sandwiches. We headed off. Lots of fortifications all around the coast. We went a little inland and spied some very well conditioned jersey cows so stopped to photograph them. Later we stopped at Plemont Bay that all the tourist buses stop at. Lots of people swimming here, eating or buying. There was a museum here and a historic pub. We spied the big snow freeze everyone was eating. They call them jersey cream. They tasted as good as they looked. I would go back to Jersey just to eat another one! Geoff then wanted to find Jersey Pearl, this only ended up being a hotel, restaurant and large shop that sold jersey pearls. We then headed onwards and discovered the Corbiere light house so walked over to this to take photos. It would be good to be here when the seas are stormy. Quite amazing rock formations here. Off we headed then came across the fisherman's chapel, church and grave yads. We stopped and spent time here looking around. Took photos quite a nice setting right on a Bay. We then headed back to our hotel. Had dinner in the hotel. Meal was not startling. They need to give this area a bit more personality. This hotel interesting, the sort of place some of the tourists just spend the day sunbathing by the outside pool. There was in inside heated pool as well. The dining areas had no real atmosphere. The best place was the bar area a bit more atmosphere here. The waiters didn't have a lot of personality. The girl manning the towels at the pool very friendly and the receptionits were very efficient. The tourists were friendly always saying hello. The only place you could get WiFi was in the dining areas, reception or the bar area. One night I was going to catch up with my blog in the bar impossible as people kept talking to us. Enjoyed our stay in Jersey even though I was coping with a sinus infection.

Posted by kiwiscanflyto 12:34 Archived in Jersey Tagged siteseeing Comments (0)

(Entries 36 - 40 of 106) « Page .. 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 12 13 .. »