Australia · 59 Days · 319 Moments · November 2016

Heather Robinson

Heather's Gargantuan Trip of Nerdiness


13 January 2017

Most brilliant bread in the world! Yummmmmm
Jumeirah Creekside.

12 January 2017

Dubai at night.
Jumeirah Public Beach and my HAT!
Spice Souk. Orange stuff in the front that looks like saffron is actually sunflower petals. (Much cheaper)
Water taxi across Dubai Creek. We had a race with the other boat that took the other half of the tour. We won!
Dubai Museum. Terrible toilets!
Al bastakiya. One of the original settlements in Dubai saved from demolition by an intervention by Prince Charles.

11 January 2017

Walking the streets of Dubai trying to find an ATM that would give me money.
Taxi ride from Global Village to Deira. Normal 30 minute ride took 1 1/2 hours due to a multi car fatal accident on motorway. Taxi driver took me the long way around. Witnessed 2 other accidents happen as I looked out the window because Dubai drivers are MENTAL.
Global Village
Biggest groin in the West!
Global Village, Dubai. Great fountain show to 80's music. Interesting culture shock to see all the world exhibits, USA, Turkey, Russia, Iran etc all staffed by Filipinos.

9 January 2017

She said her uncle lived in CHEAPSIDE!
The guide said that this modern art work is called 'Life is really, really good!' #youmustbekidding

8 January 2017

London tour.
As a confirmed republican, I refused to go around the front of Buckingham Palace. These are less popular bits. Loved the Zoidberg on the top of the gallery though.
Random London
Spending a Sunday afternoon in a large plastic bag does not look inviting.
Tower of London and Tower Bridge. I do not understand the need to put random lions everywhere.
Random London

7 January 2017

Harrods Luxury afternoon tea in the morning. Pianist was great and progressed from smiling to winking at me. First waiter was from southern Italy and was hilarious. Second one was a dour bastard. There were security guards everywhere. Toilets were nothing flash though. Very disappointing! Nice tiling but PLASTIC containers. Not nearly as nice as the cool old fashioned ones at Camelot Castle Hotel near Tintagel.

6 January 2017

Giant hippo and GIANT baby!!
London streets

5 January 2017

Coventry: Heart of England Conference Centre. Funny place. Played with the pirate boat to break up the ice on the lake. Most random place with the statues etc. Made me laugh. Took videos of me standing on ice puddles.
M1 busy skies

4 January 2017

York. Caught the bus from the B & B because I am a badass! Walked around in the freezing cold. Found things.
York

3 January 2017

Bunnies of Edinburgh
Portobello
Arthur's Seat. Hundreds of people on their way up the walking paths. Looked steep. Note to self: Google view and say I walked up!
Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh
Perfect weather, Edinburgh. Kept getting asked why I wasn't wearing a coat by complete randoms walking past me on the street. It was 4 degrees but perfectly still and sunny. It was just easier to reply, "I'm Australian!" Knowingly understanding nods always followed.
Random Edinburgh shots from inside a tour bus and really just too tired to care.
Edinburgh Castle. Doesn't look like a castle. Looks like an army barracks, which is useful since it is. Nice rock it sits on. The rock distracted me.
How artsy fartsy am I??? Actually accidental reflection of bus window but I shall pretend I ooze creativity.

2 January 2017

Christmas market rides. Looked scary

1 January 2017

Kinloch Rannoch. Took my breath away! I only knew that this location was somewhere outside the village. I was starting to stress about how I could find it when I came around a curve in the road and my breath hitched. There was also a huge new metal gate indicative of letting large tv trucks through.
Snowing
First determination of Newton's Gravitational Constant and done in the Scottish Highlands! Suck it, England!!!
Road between Fortingall and Kinloch Rannoch
Fortingall Kirk
Fortingall Yew. Considered the oldest living thing in the United Kingdom, if not Europe. ~5000 years. Lovely old couple were coming out of the Kirk after service. The old gentleman asked if I was going to visit 'our yew' and gave me some quick fun facts. His wife was on a walker and after a quick chat they went on their way. After a few minutes, he had obviously put his wife in the car, he was back and giving me a guided tour of tree and kirkyard. Hopefully, he cracked the window for his wife.
Menzies Castle. Menzies was a shit castle builder. This is NOT a castle. Castles have turrets and drawbridges and moats and princesses.
Aberfeldy: Home of phallicly symbolled bridges.

31 December 2016

Hollyburn B & B, Bankfoot.
Random wall, attached to nothing. Road goes through it. Weird!
Even toilets are pretty here.
Chocolate art!!! The Highland chocolatier
Pitlochry
Pitlochry dam, hydroelectric power station and FISH LADDER!
Forestry road near Pitlochry
Driving Aviemore to Pitlochry.

30 December 2016

Look at the itty bitty baby tonic bottle! Such a cutie. Yes, I drink G&Ts now.
Furnicular rail trip up Cairngorm mountain
Cairngorm Reindeer

29 December 2016

MacKenzies Highland Inn, Aviemore
Driving the back roads from Fort Augustus.
My doggie friend. He was shivering, he was so cold. His mummy thought he was scared. I made her take him inside even though it was against regulations and told her I would fight the crew if they said anything. He stopped shivering and just looked at me the whole rest of the trip. I love him.
Loch Ness boat trip.
Fort Augustus
Loch Ness. Quite big waves but pretty boring otherwise.
Loch Ness Exhibition.: you will have to be the detective, the scientist, the judge and the jury. What a wank!

28 December 2016

Loch Ness.
The only way to ingest whisky. Cranachan.
Pretty Scottish tea.
Culloden Moor Battlefield and war graves.
Culloden Moor
Season's Bleatings!
Skelton. Random.

27 December 2016

Thurso. No idea what it is except private.
Harrow Harbour
Scarfskerry
John O'Groats.
Morning near Dunnet Head
Dunnett Head
Morning in Brough

26 December 2016

Mull Head. 2-3 minute walk to get there. 25 minutes to get back. Bloody wind!
The Gloup: a collapsed sea cave. Eroded because it is red sandstone.

25 December 2016

Xmas with Shona and Ray.
Lovely Christmas Day Orkney
Houghton Pier
Orphir and the Viking Bu
Gooseseses

24 December 2016

Random
Birsay. Original St Magnus Cathedral built on this island by the Vikings. Evidence of Viking round houses still on island but the causeway to get there was underwater.
Near Skara Brae. I stopped here for a photo 2 days ago and the car park was clear. We couldn't get to where I parked due to rocks and driftwood thrown up by the sea.
Orkney 'snow'. Tiny round light hailstones.
Yesnarby
Truffle.
Seal friend!!!!
Gurness

23 December 2016

Orkney coffee at The Reel, Kirkwall. (A dram of Highland Park whiskey added) Edited later: this was fckn AWFUL. I HATE WHISKEY EVEN WHEN DISGUISED WITH COFFEE AND CREAM!
Accomodation rig for oil workers 'parked' near Kirkwall.
St Mary's. Got smacked by a wave out on the pier taking that water photo.
Statue of St George, Italian Chapel and view from chapel
Barricades. Ship wrecks are put either side of the causeways.
St Margaret's Hope and the selkie harbour
Stenness swans and stones

22 December 2016

The other houses at Skara Brae. Some have already been lost to the sea. You can see how close the village is to the beach. Skara Brae was built on top of the original village that dates to 3100 BC.
Artifacts of Skara brae. Circa 2500 BC. Bone bowl is made from a whale vertebra. Knobbly shot put things have no known use.
Bit rough
House #7 at Skara Brae. This is quite by itself and the best preserved. All houses had the same layout with hearth in the centre and beds to either side. A dresser was opposite the door with the floor water storage on one side. Shelves were next to the door. Entrances were a right angled corridor so the wind was stopped.
Heather
I think this is Loch Stenness. It was windy and there was heather.
Maes Howe ( the graffiti one )
Culveen Cairn. Up on top of that hill is the cairn, which is mainly thought to be a burial tomb. You have to crawl into it. The standing stones you can see are pillars that have been put there by randoms to trick tourists. This is where I got snow in my mouth because when I got out to see if I would walk up the hill it was so cold that I exclaimed and my mouth got full of snow. I took this photo instead.
Cold icky morning!

21 December 2016

A Clootie Dumpling.
Standing Stones of Stenness. I frightened the poor sheep as I opened the gate and they all took off. The noise that the wind was making as it whistled past the stones was magical. I think the sound was made by the wind hitting the lichen at the sides of the stones. 3100 BC
Close to Stromness, Orkney.
Ferry trip to Stromness. Old Man of Hoy (I think)
The difference 5 minutes makes.
Badbea is a former clearance village perched on the steep slopes above the cliff tops of Berriedale on the east coast of Caithness, Scotland. Situated around 5 miles (8 km) north of Helmsdale, the village was settled in the 18th and 19th centuries by families evicted from their homes when the straths of Langwell, Ousdale and Berriedale were cleared for the establishment of sheep farms. The last resident left the village in 1911 and a monument was erected by the son of former inhabitant, Alexander Robert Sutherland, who had emigrated to New Zealand in 1839.

20 December 2016

Staying with Leslie.
Brora. The beach, the coast and the church next to Pandora's.
Dunrobin Castle
Golspie.
Ardgay. Near Bonar Bridge.
How you can tell there are moles!
Between Ardross and Tain. A beautiful sunny morning. Watched the sun rise over these hills at 9:15am.

19 December 2016

Holly Lodge, Strathpeffer. Built circa 1895.
Sunset at Strathpeffer. Finally! Didn't realise how much I missed it.
Not my friend!
Deep dark forest where I went look for heffalumps.
Pooh's stump for thinking and humming and Piglet's stump for keeping Pooh company while he thinks up the hums. (Tiddly Pom)
Eagle Stone. An ancient Pictish standing stone.
Strathpeffer. Quite beautiful.
Enough to fill even a large Scot's tummy!
Another old bridge near Loch Carron
First image (and one other) is of the Fairy Castle and the others are the Fairy Hills.
Visit to The Black Sheep Croft and Shop

18 December 2016

Neist Point Lighthouse. What I saw and what I was supposed to see.
Dunvegan Castle; this is another what other people have seen and what I saw when guided by the lovely Rob.
Various landmarks around Skye.
Views up towards the Fairy Pools and surrounds. The stepping stones were way under water so the trek to the pools had to be abandoned.
Old Bridge at Sligachan

17 December 2016

Portree Harbour
Finally!!!! Hairy highland coos.
Old Man of Storr
Kilt Rock
Around and about Staffin.
Dinosaur footprints Staffin Beach
Staffin Beach. Rock pools are not very interesting.
Ferry trip to Raasay
Isle of Raasay from the ferry.

15 December 2016

Road from Fort William towards Skye
Isleornsay
Drumfearn road.
First cafe open between Fort William and Skye. Also a candle shop.
Castle Maol in Kyleakin, Skye. 15th century building on the site of a previous MacKinnon castle that controlled the strait between Skye and Kyle Lochash. The original MacKinnon set up a heavy chain across the passage then levied all the ships who wanted to pass. He married the daughter of the King of Norway (nicknamed Saucy Mary) and with this Viking connection allowed various layer Viking fleets to gather here prior to undertaking various raids. (Circa 900)
Welcome to Skye
Eilean Donan Castle
One thing SCOTLAND has is lots of water. Hydro schemes are everywhere.

14 December 2016

St Mary and St Finnan Catholic Church, Glenfinnan
Does this one look more familiar? Bloody viaducts!
Glenfinnan Monument. To signal the rebellion that would attempt to restore the Stuarts to the throne, Prince Charlie raised his glad here at the head of Loch Shiel in 1745. In 1746 his cause was defeated on the battle grounds of Culloden and the English went about systematically dismantling the Highland ways of life killing 1000s and leaving the women and children to die from starvation.
On route from Ballachulish to Fort William on the banks of Loch Linnhe.
Church between Glencoe and Ballachulish
Across the loch from Glencoe.

13 December 2016

Glencoe
Ballachulish Hotel. That staircase creaked so loud! The hotel is situated on the shores of a loch just near Glencoe.
Afternoon sun in Ballachulish. Bright sunlight was a rarity. Not sunlight, because the weather was very kind mostly, but pale in a way that Queensland does not see.
View up the loch at Glencoe.
Ballachulish Slate Quarry.
Sandstone Obelisk at the entrance of Ballachulish Slate Quarry, depicting the four towns of the area and their history.
Ballachulish Hotel and views from car park. Got here WAY too early and the wind is gusting. Still 8 degrees but windchill is amazing. Fingers numb in 2 minutes.
View across Loch Linnhe to some sort of seafood farm.
Castle Stalker and Appin
The dark circle in the water was a seal that had just disappeared. It had been playing in the water.

12 December 2016

The banks of Loch Lomond.
Balloch at the bottom end of Loch Lomond. Bored photo taking. Got here too early.
Lochnell Arms Hotel. Views from my room.
The beginnings of the Highlands.
The road from Balloch towards Oban follows the shores of Loch Lomond.
Luss on Loch Lomond. A conservation village.
Loch Lomond cruise.
Whitelee Wind Farm. Largest on-shore wind farm in U.K. One turbine produces electricity for 1000 houses. The diameter of the blades is 93m. The noise they make is not loud, and changes depending on when you stand. Amazing to stand directly under the blades. Immediate reaction is to duck as the blade comes round.

11 December 2016

Trip along the canal at the top of the Wheel and the view heading back down.
Trip up the top of Falkirk Wheel. The Wheel uses the same energy required to book 8 kettles and loses only a minuscule amount of water from each canal. It can carry the weight of more than 100 elephants and a trip between each canal takes only 15 minutes. This is opposed to the series of locks that used to have to be used which took a single boat more than 7 hours to traverse. In summer canal boats would be waiting to use the locks for up to a month. Now the longest time waited is an hour.
The Kelpies, Helix Park, Falkirk
Falkirk Wheel. A Millenium Project.
Clyde Canal
The Kelpies, Helix Park. Kelpie, or water kelpie, is the Scots name given to a shape-shifting water spirit inhabiting the lochs and pools of Scotland. It has usually been described as appearing as a horse, but is able to adopt human form. Some accounts state that the kelpie retains its hooves when appearing as a human.
How cool! These guys just started busking in Glasgow City Centre when I got out of the taxi. Cute!
I think this is Glasgow University.
Kelvingrove Museum Glasgow

10 December 2016

? Home of the Daily Planet ?
Caerlaverock Castle home of the Maxwell clan. Originally extremely fortified with a heavy emphasis on defence. Archer holes, gun holes, cannon holes all are evident in the walls. In the early 1600s Maxwell, a devout Catholic) decided to make it more opulent and open. The Castle was promptly over run by the Protestant uprising.
Glasgow. Outside my apartment.
Kelvingrove Museum. I like revolving doors. The stags were part of the Scotland's Natural Environment exhibit. Christmas tree was in the area where they have the organ recitals.
Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries, Galloway. When I arrived there was a young couple putting a lot of time and effort into photos. I went to see the castle and after a while they followed. We were the only visitors and it was very quiet except for the pigeons in the walls. Turns out she was visiting from Brisbane and her friend was a Melbourne dude working in Cornwall. I suggested since we, alone, had the field that we claim it for Australia. They were not as enthusiastic about this as me.

9 December 2016

Dinner at The Gables
Gretna Green Blacksmiths. You can get handfasted at the anvil for £36.
Pooly Mill entrance that is a suspension bridge. On the road from Ullswater to Penrith.
Inn on the Lake. They do Christmas nicely in England. Exactly a year ago this entire village (and this restaurant) was under feet of water. The storm dumped over 30 cm of rain in less than a day. The water came down off the hills and inundated all of the area with water, mud and landslides. They are still rebuilding all through the Lakes District but particularly in these little places that hold on to a very narrow strip of land between hill and lake.
Lake Ullswater on the Ullswater steam boat. Really wet, really windy and why do they call honeycomb 'cinder toffee'?
Road between Kendal and Glenridding on my way to steamboats. Thickest fog so far with a sheep on the road at the thickest part.

8 December 2016

Lake Windermere. Widest part is 1 mile across. It is 10 miles long. For some weird reason the original ferry crossing was at it's widest part.
The house that George and I are going to live in with lots of dogs.
Ambleside. Not a bad Youth Hostel.
Very impressive.
The World of Beatrix Potter
Hahahahaha
Lakes District cruise; Bowness to Ambleside
Me with my homie! Well deserved Peter Rabbity morning tea.
Lake Windermere on a foggy, rainy day. You can queue but that doesn't make the boat go.

7 December 2016

Taxidermy collection (partial only). Freaky and freaking amazing!!
Penny farthing ( the front wheel is the same height as me ) and an old wooden bicycle.
Charlie Darwin and actual pepper moths, as well as a Victorian cast of a sabre tooth cat skull, a taxidermist dodo although it was not a complete specimen to start with.
The Dent Fault near Sedburgh. Each of these photos are taken from the information sign. The difference in the landforms is due to the different hardness of the rocks (limestone, shale, sandstone) and the effect that glaciers from the last Ice Age had on them. #rocksforMichael
Even the puddles are pretty. Near Sedburgh.
Kendal by night.
Views from Lower Fellside, Kendal. Lovely!
Limestone 'xylophone' and the animals that I must have passed in all of those hundreds of miles of woods I have driven past.
History of Kendal from 400AD. ROMAN authority collapsed after 400AD. England fragmented into separate kingdoms. It was then connected to King Arthur and a tribe called Cvmry. In Anglo Saxon times the area was part of Northumbria but in the 9th century was invaded by Vikings. Names ending in 'ton or 'ham are Anglosaxon. Viking names have 'by or 'thorpe endings.
The border between Yorkshire and Cumbria. The Hogwarts train bridge!!!!!!!!! No, it's not. The real one is in Scotland but I was so excited when I drove around a corner and found this.
Hawes. Home of Wensleydale cheese. Thanks Wallace and Gromit!
The road from Grassington to Hawes through the Yorkshire Dales.

6 December 2016

Canal boat trip in Skipton. Usually goes past Skipton Castle but the canal is closed due to landslide. Lots of boats on the canal and there are signs at junctions just like big road direction signs. I don't know why I was surprised about this.
I went to Grassington because it is considered very picturesque and olde worlde. It has cobbled streets, which are hell on tires, and the roads are so narrow that they only just fit a van. You must park about 800m away from the main street. The photo of the sheep is actually in the car park. The ruined building was down a lane opposite some very escape to the country semidetached houses. I was being artistic but actually these are everywhere but I normally can't stop to photograph them.

5 December 2016

The view from my table at the Fountain Inn, Linton. I looked out a window into the bar. Yummiest Christmas pudding!
Staying in the Devonshire Arms, Cracoe, which the landlord has just informed me is haunted. Woohoo! They are moving out and the place is in turmoil. They have 4 dogs that each bark at a different stimulus. Hence, one is always barking at any one time. The landlord and his wife seem to detest each other and yell a lot! The pub itself is only open for trivia night so no meals.
Cracoe in the Yorkshire Dales.
Introduction to the Yorkshire Dales.
Bolton Abbey. Cheated and took a photo of a postcard. It was so foggy I couldn't even find the Priory. Sheep are real though. One on left had a broken leg, poor thing.
Hee hee.
Mr D'Arcy was getting some work done on his lawns today. Vans everywhere. The woods, of which I have heard so much from a certain aunt of Elizabeth's, must be at the back of the house. The grounds are nothing compared to Chatsworth. I prefer to think of him there.

4 December 2016

Eyam village is noted for an outbreak of bubonic plague which occurred there in 1665, in which the villagers chose to isolate themselves rather than let the infection spread.
Grouse Inn.
Nothing compares to the wild, untamed beauty of the Peaks. ( except most of it is tamed now)
Chatsworth House. Reddish building is a game larder which could house 1000's of pheasants.

3 December 2016

Nativity at Chatsworth Farmyard. Songs and small children and Shepherd Cheryl in the boom box. The sheep almost ate baby Jesus.
Afternoon tea in the Cavendish restaurant.
Things you find around Chatsworth House. No Mr D'Arcy though.
My buggy ride.
The scary things guarding Chatsworth House.
Chatsworth House
Calder Mill. This is where the Derbyshire Craft Centre is which is full of not handmade craft at all except for the jewellery. It had a lovely tearoom attached (well really, who doesn't ?). Lime and coconut iced loaf with glazed fresh currants on top.
Baslow. Car park was the prettiest I have ever seen with the sheep on one side and the brook on the other.

2 December 2016

Baslow bedroom
Bakewell tart in the home of the Bakewell tart.
Just passed through Lickpenny, home of 100s of Shaun the sheeps. Driving over rolling green pastures when passed a sign at a driveway announcing Kath's cafe. In the middle of a paddock. Couldn't resist and turned around. There are about 12 elderly people here, all locals apparently. The lady (not Kath) called me "duck". "What will you be having, duck?" New experience. Just met Kath. A large housewifely lady that called me duck. Must be a Northern thing. I like it.
Lickpenny sheep
Sam and Nigel's backyard and the view from my bedroom in Worcester.

1 December 2016

Church where Governor Phillip was buried. The Australian Ambassador comes every year to lay a wreath on his grave. Pity I couldn't find it in the graveyard but it was -1 and I was sick.
Worcester Cathedral
The walk up to Great Widcombe Roman Villa and the villa itself. Couldn't get down there as the grass was way to slippery.
Random on the road photos of today.

30 November 2016

Bath Abbey and Christmas markets.
Pump Room Christmas lunch and various bits.

29 November 2016

Bradford on Avon. Pretty village and parking was only 50p!
Tithe barn in Lacock. A tithe barn was a type of barn used in much of northern Europe in the Middle Ages for storing rents and tithes — one tenth of a farm's produce which was given to the Church. Lacock Abbey was well stocked if the size is anything to go by.
Lacock Abbey from afar as I was not spending £10 to walk for a closer look although my bakery friends said that if the cloisters were decorated for Christmas then it was worth it.