Saturday, 26 April 2008

Random Edinburgh elements

Here are just a few random images
taken in various places in Edinburgh.

We visited a cemetary near the Modern Art museum.
I have never been to a cemetary with
such elaborate memorials,
I can only assume that the Victorians
who were buried here were very rich indeed.

The 'roof' element of one memorial.

A rather gothic memorial against the cemetary wall.

Another one against the wall,
the richest people and most elaborate memorials
seem to be placed around the walls,
with (mostly) lesser folk in the centre.

Just look at the detailed carving on this one.

And this, the angels are exquisite.

There was so much splendid carving
in the cemetary, I could have stayed
admiring the work of the stonemasons
for much longer,
but my husband can only
spend so much time in a cemetary
before wanting to return
to the land of the living,
so we moved on....

This is one of 2 urns decorating the sides
of the top of staircase up to the Modern Art Museum.

A plaque on the wall of a beautiful and
secluded public garden just off the Royal Mile.

A wall mounted lamp standard - there is so much
decoration on the buildings of this city,
the residents of times gone by
really went to town when they built it!

A proud Scotsman.

Even some of the street signs are pretty!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Animal use in 'art' - please read and sign

Please sign the petition:

which may make this and other artists think again about the use of animals in their work.

This is barbaric and completely unacceptable in my opinion.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh

The Royal Botanic gardens in Edinburgh are well worth a wander. Even in April, there was plenty to see, but I imagine that coming here in June would be fabulous.

The East Gate entrance is rather
splendid - this main gate is flanked by
two pedestrian gates, ina similar design.

I wish I could have photographed one of the gates
with a plain background behind,
so that you could see how beautifully
detailed they are,
but this flowery sculptural gate is about 9 feet wide,
so you can at least see the scale of it.
Absolutely stunning!

There are 2 Andy Goldsworthy sculptures on
site - this one is called 'Cone'.

If you don't know Mr Goldsworthy's work,
just Google his name.

He does the most amazing ephemeral
sculptures, using natural
materials - stone, ice, leaves... wonderful!!!

A banana bud...

I have finally found the macro button on my camera,
and spent time in the glass houses
learning how to use it.
I forgot to write the names of the flowers down,
so you'll just have to admire their beauty
without knowing what they are called.

This one is a Hibiscus...

I took about 12 shots trying to catch
the Koi - which were huge - about 2 feet long - and beautiful.

I tried with the polarising filter and without.
This shot is the only usable one,
and even now I think it will become something
much more abstract in photoshop
before I can call it beautiful!!!

This was an interesting plant.
I discovered that it is hard to take
decent photos on glass houses, where the light
behind the subject is often strong!

The Chinese Garden, with tumbling stream.
There was also a lovely pagoda,
and a couple of nice bridges.
We had missed the best of the spring azaleas
and rhododendrons,
and the Acers weren't out yet,
but the bamboos were splendid!

The vanilla orchid - the seed pods
produced by this orchid
are what makes our ice cream and
other puddings taste yummy.

It looks pretty good, too!

Another orchid - apparently there are more species of orchid
than there are of any other kind of flower.
Although I am pleased to have found
the macro button to be able to take close ups like this,
I want to run before I can walk,
and take ARTY close ups.

None of the arty pictures I took came out
well enough to share in public!

Strange flower - I have seen this plant as a house plant
many times in the UK,
but have never seen it flowering before.

The average UK home must be too cool
and not humid enough for it
to be happy enough to flower.

Wow, how about that for a splash
of colour!!! Red frilly orchids...

There were also unusually coloured orchids - several
green ones and this interesting combination
of rusts and yellows.

Sunday, 20 April 2008


Well, Leith, actually - which is the port a mile
or two north of the city centre,
which serves Edinburgh.

On the first morning of our visit we walked
for about 5 miles along the 'Waters of Leith'
riverside pathway from our lovely
bed and breakfast home to the docks at Leith.

This is the old port, once a busy place,
but now mostly surrounded by modern apartment blocks.

This was once a grand hotel for seafaring folk,
now a grand bistro, bar and brasserie for (mainly) tourists.

I love the sculpture in front of the hotel,
and took several photographs of it,
but every shot had such a busy background
that you couldn't admire the sculpture
properly - if I ever go back, I'll get friends
to hold a bedsheet behind it while I get a proper picture!!!

An old sign for The Ship Inn - on the Shore at Leith - where
my husband had the best fish and chips he's ever eaten,
and I had some splendid moules mariniere and chips!

The final Leith photo - this bronze bench was
commissioned by his friends as a lasting memorial to
the man sitting upon it, after his death.
Much better than a gravestone,
and giving pleasure to many.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Dolbadarn Castle, north Wales

This castle was built by a Welsh prince
- Llewelyn ap Iorwerth -
in the early 1200s.

It is built of slate and rubble,
and stands about 80ft above the nearby lakes,
guarding one of the main routes through
the mountains of north Wales.

The castle as seen from the main road.
It is very near the town of Llanberis,
which is where the Snowdon mountain railway trains
collect passengers to take them up to the top of Snowdon:

A closer view of the castle,
which is not in bad condition
for it's age of 800 years...
shame all the wooden floors and roofs are long gone.

This is Lake Peris, to the south of the castle - you can
see the huge slate quarry worls on the opposite shore.
Llanberis is famous for its slate,
and has a museum, where workers
demonstrate how to cut and split slate:

This is the view to the north,
Lake Padarn - from which the castle gets its name,
Dolbadarn means Padarn meadow.
You can see Llanberis town on the
lake shore to the left of the picture.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Rug Chapel, north Wales

Rug Chapel is a private chapel, which has survived
with it's interior decoration fairly intact,
and it made me realise that the past was
not ALL in black and white...


Well, who could tell from this plain exterior, the treasures within?

Below is an example of one of the panels where the wall and ceiling meet.

Above and below are pictures of where the wall panels
collide with the beautifully decorated ceiling

Death was talked about more frankly in times gone by,
and I LOVE this depiction of a skeleton.
Click on the image to see a larger version
and be able to read the text.
Ahem, the first 4 words are in latin, the rest is in Welsh...

Here is some of the detail of the painting on the roof trusses.
The whole chapel is just a little treasure.

If you visit north Wales, plan
a short stop on your route and go visit!

Please talk to me!!

Sometimes I feel as if I am talking to myself on this blog. I know you are out there, and visiting, because the map tells me how many of you visit each day. But, I don't know who you are, or why you come - apart from a couple of you who have left comments.

Please leave me some feedback about what you like of would like more of - I will have visited around 120 historic sites by this autumn, and I want to know if I am giving you enough information to go with the photos - or too much?