Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Scotland Adventures

Again- we're recapping 2014 today on Caledonian Road... and today's adventures take us to the bonny hills of Scotland! The hubs and I snuck up for a long weekend away... spending a day in Edinburgh before staying with some extended family of friends from church. It was amazingly wonderful of them to welcome us in their home, and the highlands of Banchory (I think we were right on the border of the highlands, honestly) were breathtaking! Loved it!

Edinburgh... a city of ups and downs, winds and alleyways... just breathtaking!

The hubby took me for an early morning coffee, and then up to Calton Hill to watch the sun come up over the city!

Then we hired a car and began the drive to Banchory.

Our friends took us for an afternoon walk up Scolty Hill. It doesn't even count as a mountain in Scotland, but it had me stopping for breath, and the views from the top were incredible!

The afternoon sun still lit the hillsides, while a wall of rain travelled down the valley between.

We even got to see a rainbow!

Remnants of August's heather still dotted the hillside, though we were a month too late to see truly purple hills!

And the stone walls were covered in moss unbelievably thick! Such a contrast of stark, barren hillsides with rich, overgrown valleys. Breathaking!

And not bad for a wig too! Especially if you're going for the chia pet look!

On the way home, we drove through high altitude, dry wind-swept valleys. Honestly, parts of it reminded me very much of my old home in Colorado... driving over Monarch Pass on the way to Gunnison, no guardrails between you and the drops, the fog lower than the treeline, and a barren beauty all around.

We loved Scotland!

Saturday, January 3, 2015


Well, again, I find myself needing to make up for mass amounts of missed posting opportunities. The last couple months have been full of lovely experiences with plenty of photo ops, just not the time (or discipline) to follow through and post about them. So I'll take January to catch up from 2014 and post the pics I have left.

Here are a few days worth of being out and about.

Every September (yes, I'm so far behind, I still have pictures from September!) London hosts and 'Open House London' event, where buildings around the city, normally closed to the public, open for one day. Though there are tons of buildings available, the more famous structures have long queues to get in- meaning you have to pick one, maybe two to see in a day. This year, the hubby and I chose to see Lloyds of London (i.e.: the inside-out building!) It was equally as impressive on the inside-- though the 2 hour wait took its toll! :-P

The view from the bottom:

The views from the top:

I can't believe how packed in everything is, and as you can see, there's still more going up!

Though frankly, at the end of the day: it's still a desk job-- at which you share a 4x6 desk with four other people. Not my cup of tea!

From the outside- the 'guts' of the building look pretty cool. Elevator shafts on the left, ventilation on the right.

Right next to Lloyds is Leadenhall market, a covered arcade where parts from Harry Potter were filmed! :-)

They had a display of books that I kind of loved, kind of hated for how they ruined so many books!

And we found a 'mini' Gherkin... though it's not really very mini at all...... and its made out of Legos!

Up the street, about halfway between Lloyds and our home, is Bunhill Fields, a cemetery for non-conformist (ie: not Church of England) pastors throughout history. Here is John Owen (who the hubby is studying for his ThM and hopefully PhD and John Bunyan!

Right across the street is John Wesley's chapel and home.

I love that we live here, right next to so much history!


All right- enough of London for now! I took a day trip with a friend to Manchester. She was looking at the university there so I had the day to tour Manchester myself. Quite frankly, I wasn't too excited. I mean, what's in Manchester? But actually- it was a lovely little city. Reminded me of some of New England's small cities--- maybe Philedelphia?

And I discovered the John Soanes Museum... a little museum with gorgeous historical reading rooms!  I mean, LOOK!

Ah!!!! Look at these libraries!

 And the sunset lit up the arches of this church so beautifully, I considered it a lovely end to my day.

I still love my London-- but Manchester's all right too!