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    • Day 26

      Bonnie Blue Skies in Scotland

      May 22, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ 🌬 12 °C

      Today was mainly a day of travel to get us in a position to catch the ferry from Cairnryan in Scotland to Belfast in Northern Ireland first thing tomorrow morning.

      We left Keswick with a high overcast at about 8.45 this morning after an alarm-free night’s sleep to get us to Birdoswald Roman Fort / Hadrian’s wall right at 10am for their opening time. As always, we took the slightly longer scenic route around the western side of Bassenthwaite Lake - our last lake for the district - before heading north east.

      This fortress and section of Hadrian’s wall is the best preserved and longest intact section of the wall that spans the entire island in an east / west direction (approx. 135km in length) and marked the northern border of the Roman Empire in this area.
      We were fortunate to time it well so as to join a free guided tour by one of the volunteers who took us for a walk around the site and our guide explained a lot of detail that would not be easily grasped otherwise.
      Also of note is that while Hadrian was busy shoring up the strength of the Roman Empire in Britain, he also played a very significant role in scattering the Jews from the land of Israel. His edict in 135 A.D. forbad Jews to live in and around Jerusalem and he renamed Jerusalem Aeolia Capitolina in a further effort to erase Jewish links to the country and city. Interestingly, Hadrian’s edict was not rescinded until 1856 and this was one of the small steps that paved the way for the Jews to return to their homeland.

      While waiting for the tour to start we got chatting to a father and son who were walking the entire length of the wall. They were 3 days in, with probably 3 to go and were carrying very heavy packs with all their gear. The father in particular was struggling with sore feet and they were lamenting the fact that they should have more closely followed the age-old rule of ANY traveller - take half the clothes and twice the money to what you’ll think you need.

      We headed north for the Scottish border which was a bit of an anticlimax. Apart from the obligatory ‘Welcome to Scotland’ road sign, there was nothing else to really signify the fact we had passed from one country to another. No river or lake or significant natural feature nor any observable man-made structure. Even the surrounding terrain looked identical. Perhaps the only distinguishing feature was that once we left the main motorway, the secondary roads were in noticeably poorer condition in Scotland than in England.
      And the skies started clearing almost immediately once we crossed the border!

      Our first stop was at Lockerbie which was not directly enroute to Stranraer which was our final destination.
      Both Loriene and I were interested to visit the memorial park in Lockerbie which was the site of the UK’s worst ever aviation disaster in December 1988 when Pan Am Flight 103 enroute from Frankfurt to Detroit was blown up by a Libyan terrorist bomb (hidden in a cassette recorder on unaccompanied baggage - an act which changed aviation security forever).
      The aircraft exploded into thousands of pieces directly overhead Lockerbie, and a large section of the wings and fuel tanks crashed into a suburban street killing 11 people on the ground, as well as all 243 passengers and 16 crew. It was an act of terrorism that shocked the world and I’m sure I speak on behalf of all those who remember it in saying that it deeply affected us all.
      Our Belinda was just 6 months old at the time and as new parents we keenly felt the distress of the situation. Today we had a quiet moment at the memorial park situated on the site of where lives were lost and the houses were destroyed by the falling debris, reflecting on the need for our Lord’s return to eliminate the evil in the world.
      Sadly a young American Christadelphian brother was onboard that ill-fated flight.

      After this sobering time, we continued on further into Lockerbie to re-provison and then (again) took the more scenic and circuitous route to Stranraer. We headed south to intercept the coastline.
      Given the fact we were making realtively good time, while Loriene was shopping at Aldi I consulted a website which assured me that the coastal towns in the southwest were stunningly scenic. Based on this, we detoured via Southerness Lighthouse, Sandyhills Bay and Auchencairn Bay which, to be honest, were relatively unremarkable.

      Now it was getting late so we bee-lined it for Stranraer and got to our excellent self contained apartment just over an hour later. From our living room window we can see the ferry terminal across the bay where we need to check in at 6.30am tomorrow for our journey to Belfast.
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    • Day 3

      England und Schottland auf Durchreise

      February 20, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 12 °C

      Die Reise von der englischen Ostküste zur schottischen Westküste und durch die Landschaften Galloway waren super schön. Wir hatten nicht besonders viel Zeit rechts oder in unserem Fall, links ran zufahren. Das wird aber beim nächsten Mal ausführlich nachgeholt.

      Die Nutzung der Fähre, ist nach unserer Erfahrung, eine voll und ganz einfache Alternative, besonders wenn man mit seinem eigenen Wagen auf die Inseln möchte.

      Wir kamen am Nachmittag im Hafen an und wollten uns dann vor Ort noch einen Pub für ein tolles Abendessen suchen.
      Nur leider war hier mal sowas von tote Hose angesagt. 😅 Wir haben uns dann nach neuen Geocaches Smileys umgeschaut und haben unsere Reste aus dem Kühlschrank zusammen geschustert zu einem doch ganz schmackhaften Abendessen.
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    • Day 3

      Pizza with a side of ketchup

      June 17, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      We went to an Italian restaurant.

      I got sea bass with marinara caper sauce, roasted potatoes, and seasonal veggies. 10/10

      Andy got a goat cheese, onion, and chickrn pizza. He asked for extra tomato sauce on the side and got ketchup instead 😆Read more

    • Day 45


      June 27, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Étape 39, je suis à Stranraer, Wigtown.
      l'Écosse, c'est quasiment terminé pour P'tite Mule et moi. Demain, nous restons ici le temps de remettre un peu la garde-robe en état (ça ne sera pas un luxe). J'en profiterai pour aller faire un tour de Stranraer.
      La journée n'a pas été malhonnête avec moi. Elle a joué franc jeu dès le matin. En fin de nuit, la pluie s'est installée, donc le démontage du camp a été un peu humide. Ensuite, j'avais à parcourir une étape conséquente. Pas énorme, mais respectable. En particulier je devais traverser le Galloway Forest Park. Donc une montée assez longue (plus de 2 heures). Bien sûr le temps a rajouté le vent de face à la pluie pour m'aider un peu. Ensuite, pas grand chose en fait. Ce parc est une sorte d'immense désert écossais, magnifique mais impossible à photographier avec ce temps. Le programme à été simple : avancer, faire attention à mes réserves d'énergie et penser à ceci et cela, et continuer d'avancer. Une journée où la volonté était la principale qualité à avoir. Évidemment, dans ce contexte, point de rencontres pendant la journée. Cependant, ce soir au camping, j'ai discuté avec un jeune belge parti de Narbonne il y a 2 mois et en route vers l'Écosse. J'ai aussi papoté avec une mère de famille française qui voyage avec son mari et leurs deux enfants à vélo. Ils arrivent aussi d'Irlande et vont aller en train à Inverness, puis redescendre le Grand Glen.
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    • Day 1

      Day 1 Portpatrick to Castle Kennedy

      July 11, 2017 in Scotland ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      The first stage of the walk was along the cliffs to the Killantringan lighthouse, which involved descents to Two coves where we picked up a stone to throw in the sea. In Dunbar. Nothing too dramatic in contrast to the SWCP.
      From there we turned inland for about an hour on Tarmac. Not too happy.
      Today's walk was a 2 bog day which we encounter for about 1/2 hour. It must be funny watching us tip toe through it. It did not compare to the Pennine Way.
      Two Scots cowboys on buggies were rounding up sheep and for a moment we thought we would be trampled in the stampede.
      Then a considerable section of Tarmac walking. During this stage we were stopped by a lady who invited us in for a bit of Scottish hospitality. Tea, cheese and chocolate bickies. We spent an hour with Jannis and Ian. As we left another couple of walkers arrived and received the same hospitality. Really lovely moment.
      More Tarmac walking until we entered the forest.This change was too much and we got lost.
      We reached Castle Kennedy in time for our pick-up and our overnight stay in Stranraer.
      We would not recommend this stage.
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    • Day 12

      Food so good I didn't take a picture

      June 26, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      We are VERY tired of eating out, and our airbnb had a kitchen today. We had homecooked burgers with aged cheddar, mushrooms, onions, and butternut squash 😋🤤

    • Day 1


      August 30, 2023 in Scotland ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      Quick overnight in Stranraer before taking the ferry from Cairnryan to Larne tomorrow morning. Views overlooking Loch Ryan and the route out to the Irish Sea plus the 'retired' Lifeboat put to good use.Read more

    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Stranraer, Странрар, An t-Sròn Reamhar, Stranrawer

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