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Bolton - Castlerigg - Lockerbie - Cambuslang - Falkirk

An ancient stone circle, the Air Disaster Monument, lots of hot firemen and a couple of impressive horse statues

View A wee trip to Bonnie Scotland with my Dad 2015 on Grete Howard's travel map.

The restaurant is a different world this morning.: the friendly, chatty manager goes some way to make up for the disinterested staff last night. We leave in a better frame of mind, and head for Scotland.

But first:

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Down a narrow country lane, in the middle of nowhere, atop a small hill with far-reaching views of the Helvellyn mountains sits the 4,500-year old Castlerigg Stone Circle. Popular with walkers, sightseers and families who are picnicking on this beautiful site; we are unfortunately not alone. This is one of Britain's earliest Neolithic stone circles , from around 3000BC. That is an unfathomably long time ago.


With the misty valleys and the rolling hills in the background, the site is incredibly atmospheric despite all the other tourists.



However, with lots of patience (and a little bit of Photoshop to remove a man in a pink T shirt who didn't look as if he was about to move away any time soon) I finally manage to get a couple of tourist-free pictures of the stones.






Lockerbie Air Disaster Memorial

On 21st December 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was destroyed by a terrorist bomb on its scheduled flight between London and New York, killing all 243 passengers and 16 crew on board, in what became known to the world as the Lockerbie bombing. Large sections of the aircraft crashed onto residential areas of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 11 more people on the ground.

The lady in the Visitors Centre here is a mine of information and incredibly sweet, offering tissues and hugs to distraught visitors.

The Air Disaster Memorial is part of Dryfesdale cemetery and remembrance garden on the outskirts of town. Seeing the list of names on Memorial I am acutely reminded that these are people whose lives were cut short, long before their time, in a cruel and 'spectacular' way.


These are the names of the victims whose remains were not found following the crash – I feel so bad for the families who never got any closure.


The whole thing is even more poignant for us, as we had actually met one of the victims, Siv Ulla Engstrom, a couple of times. I remember hearing about the terrible crash in 1988, and reading that she had been working on that fateful Pan Am flight.


If the list of so many names isn't enough, the individual memorials are too much for me as it brings home to me how each and every one of those names was someone's wife / husband / daughter / brother / child …...


Thank goodness for tissues.

Hippie Cows

On our very first visit to Scotland in 1974, my mum was captivated by the Highland Cattle with their long wavy hair covering their eyes; and promptly named them 'hippy cows'. The name has stuck ever since.


Highland cattle are one of Britain's oldest and most distinctive breeds, raised primarily for their excellent meat. They are also seriously cute.



Our hotel in Cambuslang, near Glasgow, is a vast improvement on last night. The surroundings, the clientèle, the staff, the food – everything is far superior to yesterday's offering. In fact, I am delighted to discover that the hotel is in fact full.... of firemen who are here for a conference! Always nice to have a bit of eye candy with dinner.

Sorry, no photos.

The Kelpies
After dinner we drive off to see the Kelpies, said to be the largest equine statues in the world. They stand at 30 metres tall (100 ft) and are the brain-child of sculptor Andy Scott.


Modelled on heavy horses, the Kelpies are 'mystical water-borne equine creatures' (they stand on the Forth & Clyde Canal near Falkirk) and are a tribute to working horses, once the powerhouse of the canals. Falkirk is also said to have been home to the worlds biggest horse: in the 1930′s Carnera hauled wagons laden with soft drinks around the town. Soft drinks? Scotland? Surely not!


As the largest public artworks in Scotland, the Kelpies attract huge numbers of visitors. Coming at dusk seems to be a good idea, as although we are not alone, it certainly isn’t crowded.


As we wait for the sun to go down and the lights to come on inside the horse statues, we walk around the sculpture for different angles.




I also try out different White Balance settings on my camera, coupled with the changing colours inside the horses, to see how it affects the results.


This red one is my favourite:


Posted by Grete Howard 07:00 Archived in Scotland

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