27 December 2008

Scotland trip, day 2

(Click to enlarge)

On Tuesday we woke up, got ready and headed out into the centre of Edinburgh again. We really lucked out with the weather; it was cold but not too cold and milder than it has been lately, and more importantly it wasn't raining though it was overcast.


We found a place to park the car and walked past the foot of Castle Rock ...

Edinburgh Castle 8

Edinburgh Castle 7

... and through Princes Street Gardens where we stopped to admire some reindeer in a pen.


We made our way along Princes Street to McDonalds where we stopped for breakfast (because we are klassy like that). Noah chose pancakes for breakfast and I cut them up, drizzled syrup all over them and then watched him inhale them. I was laughing in amazement because I've never seen him eat anything so quickly and with single-minded attention like he did those pancakes!

I liked the decor which was quite snazzy for a fast food joint, all marble and granite and dark wood. I especially liked the chairs which had notches so your handbag doesn't slip off.

After breakfast we wandered back down Princes Street and then through Princes Street Gardens again - unfortunately we didn't get to see more of the city on foot (although we drove through it a few times over the course of our trip) because of time constraints and having the boys with us.

Entering the gardens ...

Princes Street Gardens 4

... we saw the floral clock.

Floral clock

I loved these buildings and of course the castle overlooking Princes Street Gardens - perched up high at the top of a steep hill.

Princes Street Gardens 1

Princes Street Gardens 2

Princes Street Gardens 3

Edinburgh Castle 9

Princes Street Gardens 6

(My dad took this one):

A fountain in the gardens (shut off for winter I assume):

Princes Street Gardens 7

We then made our way back to the car to continue our journey. We drove through Edinburgh and I took some photos along the way. My dad totally fell in love with Edinburgh. He says it's the most amazing city he's ever visited. I'm so happy we could give him that experience!

Edinburgh 4

Edinburgh 7

Edinburgh 6

Edinburgh 5

Edinburgh 8

Edinburgh 9

We soon left the city behind us and headed off for Dundee, about an hour and a quarter away.

We stopped along the way for me to take my turn at driving ...

... and I snapped some shots then and Grant took a couple through the back window. As you can see, we even had some sunshine! And as you can also see, Scotland is amazingly beautiful. Actually these pictures totally don't do it justice.

Scotland 1

Scotland 2

Scotland 3

Scotland 4

Scotland 5

Scotland 6

Scotland 7

Scotland 8

We stopped for lunch at another restaurant with a play area and the kids stretched their legs before and after we ate. Then it was onward for the most important part of our journey.

Where were we headed? To a little place three miles north of Dundee where my roots are. It's where my maiden name (Powrie) was first heard.

To quote a very distant relative who is tracing all branches as far as she can, "Powrie is an old Gaelic placename meaning "pasturage". It was spelled Pourie a hundred years back, and Purrie before that but most spell it Powrie now. Powrie is a place in Scotland, and the castle, and our family, were named for that place. The family never owned the castle."

I'm quoting her from an email I had from her when we chatted briefly in 2001, when I was talking about visiting Powrie Castle. In fact, I've wanted to go since I was in my teens and living in Cape Town. It was amazing to me to finally be able to visit this place and even more special to have my dad with me. (Okay, okay, the Scotland trip was for me as well as for my dad!)

We'd been chasing the light and managed to get there just before the sun set.

Here's the Wikipedia page on Powrie Castle, and the estate agent listing (it's for sale!)

Me crippling my dad at the little sign at the end of the driveway.

Powrie Castle 1

See the sign on the driveway gate? It says "Private". We totally ignored it and drove through the gate anyway. What can I say, we're rebels like that. We hadn't driven all that way to be stopped by a little sign and if trespassing was what it took to get some pictures of Powrie Castle, then that's what we were going to do.

Powrie Castle 2

At the end of the drive were more gates ...

Powrie Castle 3

Powrie Castle 4

... and beyond them the fortified house and castle ruins. Absolutely beautiful and if I could scrape together then £650k asking price I'd totally buy it.

Powrie Castle 5

Powrie Castle 6

Powrie Castle 7

Powrie Castle 8

Powrie Castle 9

Powrie Castle 10

The view from the castle:

Powrie Castle 11

We got back in the car and drove down the road a little to a parking area where we could look up at the castle on the hill. The sun was setting and the light going quickly.

Powrie Castle 12

Powrie Castle 14

Powrie Castle 13

It was a total thrill to visit this place. I can't describe it. I am glad beyond measure that I could be there with my dad and have this experience.

We drove back to Edinburgh as the sun sank.

Scotland sunset 1

Scotland sunset 2

We had waffles / pancakes / apple pie / bread and butter pudding for supper at a little restaurant, then went to bed.

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