Friday, 28 May 2010

22 May 2010 - South Shields

Following a meal at Starters and Puds in Newcastle and with evening approaching our road trip took us to the coast at South Shields. I'd been here before many years ago - but that time I'd made the journey via the metro.


More sunset.

Was anyone aware of Anges large bird like feet?


22 May 2010 - Angel of the North

Next stop was the Angel of the North. After a slight miscalculation in driving and working out which exit to leave a couple of roundabouts, we got there.

Can you see Ange & Amber?

Another view.

22 May 2010 - Newcastle

After Blyth, we headed in to Newcastle and parked on the Gateshead side of the Millenium Bridge. We didn't get to see it rotate unfortunately but if you do its very impressive.

This it the "Baltic Mill" which is now the centre for contemporary art in Newcastle.

Another view of the bridge.

This is the "Sage" in Gateshead.

A Yoshitomo Nara girl stencilled onto the inside of the Baltic. It was HUGE (as you can tell with Amber only coming up to the stencils knee).

A view along the Tyne.

The bridge from the Newcastle side.

Side view of the Baltic.

One of the sculptures along the riverside.

Another view.

The steps down from the Sage.

22 May 2010 - Blyth

First stop of the day was in Blyth by the coast, it was a bit windy so we didn't stay long.

22 May 2010 - Morpeth

Last night we'd driven down to Morpeth as we wanted to go to an art exhibition today. After spending quite a bit of time in the gallery we had a quick walk round the town of Morpeth. These baby swans were trying to battle their way up the through the water.

What looked like a castle, it would do as my house.

Strange little house for parrots.

A massive bull in front of the shopping arcade.

15 May 2010 - Robert Smails Printing Works & Harmony Garden

Today we headed over to the Robert Smails Printing Works in Innerleithen where we learned all about the print works and even got to make our own book marks.

Next we drove over to Melrose to see the Harmony Garden.

And as we were in Melrose we took a wander round the perimeter of Melrose Abbey - it was late and not worth paying the entrance fee for the 10 mins we'd have been allowed in it.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

09 May 2010 - Peoples Palace

Today we headed in to Glasgow to see the "Peoples Palace. This was the rather impressive fountain at the front.

Above the entrance was a birds nest - which had rendered the entrance shut. Luckily there was another door only 2 foot to the right allowing you in.

Stone at the front.

When you go through the building you get to the large glasshouse at the back. As well as having all the foliage its got a great cafe - but it is very warm in there.

Sculpture in the glasshouse.

Another view.

"And through the round window"

Billy Connollys boots.

Billy Connolly.

How life was when I was a boy.

The glasshouse from the top.

How the old Buttercup Dairy shops used to look in Glasgow.

The palace from the green.

09 May 2010 - Hamilton Mausoleum

I was intrigued by this building. I liked it's simple shape. It's also alot bigger than you imagine. Such a pity they had to fence it off because the vandals kept spray painting it. Typical eh?

It's the burial place of the Duke of Hamilton who obviously wasn't going to be satisfied with your standard headstone.

We never got to go inside it but apparently inside the chapel two people can stand at either end of one of the curved interior walls, facing away from each other into the niche of the wall, and hold a whispered conversation. Such are the great acoustics of the place.

03 May 2010 - Crathes Castle

I thought Crathes Castle was built in a very similar style to Craigievar. Both castles were built within a few years of each other. This one isn't however bright pink!

There are beautiful gardens next to it to which we loved exploring.

One section of the garden was called the camel garden. I swear we hunted high and low for any sign of a camel. We were then told it's because that section of the garden undulates a bit; like 2 humps on a camel! Well that would explain.

And now for a spooky story from the castle. On the top floor there is a room which has a mirror hanging above the fireplace. If you move close to it on the left hand side, and stare across it side aways, there is the face of a woman in it. Not everyone experiences it. They were all synical about it and I admit so was I until I stood and looked and there it was the face of a woman!! Blimey!

There was also the strange story of the smell of pipe tobacco whafting around the house. One of the guides smelt it and went in to the room where it was coming from, ready to give the person a row for smoking in the castle. Nothing! Other staff have experienced it too.

i thought these hedges were nicely trimmed and looking like aliens from another planet! And guess what? They wobbled too when you punched them! Can't take that child anywhere!

A little bird takes a leisurely stroll round the garden.

A last look back at the castle before resuming our trip.

03 May 2010 - Duthie Park

A trip to Aberdeen isn't complete without a wander round Duthie Park. It is also home to a very special bench/seat that's inside the glasshouses, in commemoration of Andrew's dad. This is the entrance to the glasshouse areas.

Amber has a facination for cactus so we headed to that glasshouse first of all. Makes for a great game of hide and seek.

And I so hate this big ugly plastic frog but every time we have to go take a look at it and throw pennies in his pond. There's a mechanical movement in the frog which makes it rise and fall out of the water at set intervals. Great for kids to see for the first time but totally so predictable and boring for us adults!

It's a bit early in the season but in the summer you can hire a rowing boat in the small lake in the park. We did that last year with Andrew and Amber getting soaked.