Sunday, June 13, 2010

To the Lighthouse

Had the best holiday for many years and not been so relaxed for a long time. After lots of faffing around because my car had a gearbox problem and getting extra insurance to cover taking out the garage courtesy car so far and for a week eventually got away. Were due to go to Scotland on the Whitsun Bank Holiday Saturday but due to the car problems and fact it was lashing with rain decided to leave on the Sunday.

It was a really good decision because we had a lovely relaxed drive up to Scotland with little traffic on the road. The 10 roundabouts with lots on the Dumfries by-pass made us thankful that we weren't driving our own car. Eventually got what was to be home for the next week.

Our cottage was the building on the left and is Kittiwake Cottage and was one of the Lighthousekeeper's Cottages at the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse. Our front door opened opposite the lighthouse door. Went up the lighthouse and could see over to the Isle of Man but unfortunately it wasn't clear enough to see out to Ireland. Although there was a small museum and RSPB visitor centre they were closed up at 4.00pm and we then had the whole place to ourselves. There was also a cafe within a stonesthrow which did good All Day Breakfasts.

Part of the reason it was so relaxing was that we were able to do good walks directly from the cottage. It was great being able to walk along the cliffs and watch birds and saw a small number of Puffin and Black Guillemot which were a new sighting for me.

Also had some good days out including Logan Botanic Gardens who provided good deep shaded parking, so could leave the dog in the car whilst we went around the garden. Due to the Gulfstream got loads of exotic plants, especially trees and shrubs and an especially good range of Eucalyptus
This is the Chilean Flame Tree - aptly named
It's amazing how these Himalayan Poppies start out this purple colour and then develop into
this bright blue colour - you can just see the first bits of blue on the above pic

This azalea was such a bright orange colour that it was almost painful but contrasted brilliantly with the bronze foliage
We have avenues of trees leading up to houses in this country but this avenue of palms was something else
Because of the Gulf Stream get lots of warm moist air so get loads of lichen developing on the trees and just loved the way this had developed on this branch
Loved these gardens and would certainly visit them again and the inclusion of a really good tea room where we had an excellent crab salad made the visit complete