Category Archives: Scotland

To the caravan park

“No vacancies” means this B&B is fully booked. Don’t bother to knock!

We drove round and round looking for a hotel/B&B to stay the night but all were fully booked! Luckily we came across this Caravan Park just outside Ayr, parked the car…. and slept in the car! Remember, we had no sleeping bags nor blankets so we slept with up to 4 layers of clothing! At least, we made the right decision to take winter clothing with us. They came very handy

holidaypark.jpg
The Holiday Park (or campsite)

Notice the park. A glorified version of a car park since it has full toilet and shower facilities. Caravans and cars are parked closely side by side …..to maximize occupancy!
Our bill that night: ten pounds!

harbor.jpg
Dunure Harbour

girls-1.jpg
We were so lucky to chance upon a mini-concert going on in the Culzean castle. And these students look very dainty and well-behaved! They played old traditional scottish music.

band.jpg
another concert the previous night. we missed the genuine scottish playing band in just few minutes. we went home because i was falling asleep in my chair! so embarassing!

Robert Burns, son of Ayshire, Scotland

Oh, My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose

O my luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
My love like the melodie
That’s sweetly played in tune.
As fair art thou, my bonny lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.
Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only love!
And fare thee weel, awhile!
And I will come again, my love
Though it were ten thousand mile.
robertburns.jpg

robert4.jpg
Burns Cottage

robert6.jpg

roberttam.jpg
The Tam O’Shanter Inn.
A quaint thatched pub where Burns’ hero Tam enjoyed a few rounds before riding off on his beloved mare, Meg to Kirkoswald.
As you’d expect, the pub is decorated with tributes to Burns and is well worth a visit.

‘Tam O’ Shanter is Robert Burns’ epic poem and arguably his best. It relates the tale of the drunken farmer coming home on his horse from the public house in Ayr. On passing the ruined Kirk Alloway he disturbs a witches party and is chased by them over a bridge.

roberttam2.jpg
still part of the Inn

robert3.jpg
‘Souter Johnie’ was the drinking companion of ‘Tam O’Shanter’

Where have all the churches gone?

My husband and I were horrified upon seeing churches in Scotland being turned into pubs or theaters or simply as tourist attractions.

Modern Scotland, being a very religious country in the olden days suddenly found herself the custodian of so many of these religious edifices that are becoming emptier and emptier during worship services. The maintenance costs is astronomical and they have to give some up or sell them to private individuals. But the new owners are only concerned about profits, never mind the spiritual repercussions.

And so here now are a couple of churches we saw in Ayr that made us cry in shame

church1.jpg
Where’s the cross on the top?

church2.jpg
But this church is now a pub!!

church3.jpg
just one of the many churches of Ayr, the capital of Ayrshire

church4.jpg
..now doing all their best to attract the faithful

Even an atheist would protest at such utter disrespect of God’s house. Out of curiosity, we entered the ex-church now-pub and could still see the bygone glory through the stained-glass window, the majestically high ceiling, the still resplendent altar which has been turned into a counter and the nave, where members of the congregation used to sit, is now jammed with tables and chairs whereupon seated strange-looking men, women with mugs and mugs of beer between them. and btw, they also serve pub food! but personally, even if i am starving and it’s the only pub open, i will never never give them the business! shame on them

Ayrshire, Western Scotland

It was the perfect bank holiday weekend…. so we thought.
Packed the car with 2 sets of clothing..winter get-up: in case the winter cold sets in and summer clothes: if the sun does decide to shine.
Scotland, despite its breathtaking beauty that has inspired poets and writers as Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island, Kidnapped), Robert Burns (My love is like a red, red rose) and others, has the most variable weather even worse than the notoriously-acclaimed English weather. In Scotland – you could experience the freezing cold, howling wind, pouring rain, drifting snow and glorious sunshine all in one day! So miserable is the weather that the locals in the olden days fed up with getting cooped up indoors because of the freezing cold concocted a drink that would warm their bodies hence, the Scotch whisky was born.

Our plan was to explore Ayrshire with style, i.e., sleep in hotels so no sleeping bags this time.
As i’ve written earlier, this is the UK. Sleeping in the car is a big NO-NO not only because of the weather but it’s also possible that “we might end up getting stabbed”! well, i haven’t exactly said those words in my earlier post but i did mention “crime culture”!


the ruins of Dunure castle


the view from the castle

 ayrshire.jpg