The Europe a la Carte Summer 2010 Blog Tour took placeÂ 6 – 10 August 2010 with accommodation provided by Premier Inn.
Loch Faskally, Pitlochry, Perthshire
My first night was spent be in my city of birth Dundee.Â I stayed at the Premier Inn Dundee Centre which is right on the waterfront at the Tay Estuary. I paid a visit to Discovery Point, the home of Captain Scott’s Antarctic voyage ship RRS Discovery.
RRS Discovery Dundee
I also visited the Sensation Science Centre.
The Magic Mirror at Sensation Science Centre Dundee
Enroute to my next overnight stay in Aberdeen I had a few stops.Â In Arbroath I had a walk around the harbour where I ended up smelling like an Arbroath Smokie due to smoke wafting out from the traditional fish smoke house.
Abroath Harbour (with fish smoke house at back left)
Then I had a walk along the beautiful Arbroath cliffs, where the path was bordered by wild flowers.
I had a quick visit to the Montrose tidal basin.
There was no way I was passing through Montrose without saying hello to Bamse, the WW2Â Norwegian canine hero.
I had intended to drive straight to Aberdeen from Montrose but I noticed a sign for the Johnshaven Fish Festival and decided I should go to this event.Â I just caught the tail end of the festival but was in time for a bit of Scottish music from the pipe band.Â I also had another smoking from the mobile smoke house which had travelled up from Arbroath for the event.
I went to Kilau Cafe in Aberdeen, where I enjoyed a spicy spinach and mushroom soup and a goat’s cheese and apple salad while uploading photos and videos in their wifi.Â I finally arrived at the Premier Inn Aberdeen Central West around 9pm.
Crathes Castle Garden, Aberdeenshire
I decided to take a circuitous route from Aberdeen to Elgin.Â My first stop was in the village of Alfrod, around a 40 minute drive west of Aberdeen.Â I went to the Alford Valley Railway station to take some photos and videos the the narrow gauge train.Â I was given a personal tour around small exhibition telling the history of the railway by Ed Stannard, the station master.
Alford Valley Railway train
I thought that the carvings on the pink granite boulders just outside the railway station were lovely.
Eagle and rabbit carvings in Alford
As I drove into the village of Lumsden my attention was drawn to aÂ large rusty construction at the road side, which I realised was part ofÂ the Sculpture Walk when I saw the sign for the walk.
Lumsden Sculpture Walk
I parked the car and had a wander along the Sculpture Walk.
A piece on the Sculpture Walk
There are lovely views from the Sculpture Walk and some Highland cows were feeding just behind the fence.Â In fact I thought that their feed container would’ve been a possible addition to the Walk.
Highland cows feeding close to the Lumsden Sculpture Walk
I had another unplanned stop at Craigellachie Bridge over the River Spey.Â The pedestrianised four turreted bridge looked so majestic that I had to stop and take some photos.Â The bridge was designed by Thomas Telford.Â It opened in 1810 and carried traffic until the new bridge was constructed in the 1970s.
The turreted Craigellachie Bridge (2 turrets at either end)
Just across from the Cathedral is the very colourful Biblical Garden.
Biblical Garden Elgin
Next morning I was heading south for my final night in Stirling in central Scotland.Â The weather forecast for that day wasn’t very good but I did have some breaks in the rain.Â My first port of call Grantown on Spey where I had a look around the museum.Â The Bell Tower stands just outside the museum.
Grantown on Spey bell tower
After a very wet drive down the A9, I managedÂ a walk around Loch Faskally in Pitlochry.
The wooded path along Loch Faskally in Pitlochry, Perthshire
I was really swithering whether to stop in Perth or just head straight to my abode for the night, but it was such a lovely evening that I stopped for a short walk along the River Tay in Perth.
River Tay walkway Perth
I spent my final night at the Premier Inn Stirling.Â The next morning the rain was so heavy that I decided to just head straight home.
You can see all my Summer 2010 Scotland Blog Tour photos and videos on Flickr