Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Dundee and Brechin

It has always appealed to us as a family to have a night or two away from home when the opportunity arose. This week, with me being on holiday, and Matthew still home we took the opportunity of escaping these four walls and heading north of the Tay to the City of Dundee. We booked online using a website that I'm not seen before: and easily secured accommodation that was simple but comfortable. The weather both days was hazy but bright and gradually getting sunnier as the day wore on. We left home around lunchtime and arrived in Dundee less than one and a half hours later. We checked into the hotel and after the obligatory cup of tea, dozed for an hour or more! In the evening we took a drive up toward Brechin along the A90 which is an excellent road, but, watch out for the speed cameras! I've wanted to visit here for a while as there is an old Celtic or Pictish round tower dating from between the 9th and 11th centuries. It's intact and although the Cathedral that is next to it was closed (and I don't think access is permitted to the round tower) we got some good photos from the outside. Et viola:

There are only two round towers left in Scotland, but, quite a few in Ireland. The ones, apparently, that show similar carvings to the one at Brechin are from around the ninth century so, I imagine, that's why this tower is sometimes called 'Pictish' - I suppose we'll never really know.

Today, we simply had breakfast and after returning to the room to rest a bit, we went to see the Discovery - Captain Scott's ship that left for Antarctica in 1901 - and ended up ice-bound for two years, eventually 20 miles from the open sea! It got free after a major thaw and the use of explosives to break up the ice. The exhibition is very good and the ship is impressive, if a little difficult to navigate with a walking stick!

Some photos below. The other project I and my good friend Colin, have begun is to build a computer. I'm hoping to get it finished tomorrow - I'll keep you updated on whether it works or gives out some blue smoke all of a sudden!

Matthew at the helm and the Discovery from the starboard side.

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