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Getting sunburned on the beach of Girvan

Home -> Europe -> Scotland -> Travelogue Scotland -> 11 to 13 June 2007

Monday 11 June, getting sunburned on the beach of Girvan

Paddling in Girvan On the beach of GirvanAfter our pancakes and egg breakfast we quickly drive to the coast. Today is a resting day: it is beautiful weather, the temeprature is quickly rising to 28 degrees and we are looking for a spot along the beach. Food, drinks, books, we have everything with us. We drive to Girvan where we have a long sandy beach for us alone. The water is still on the cold side, but we were not really planning to go swimming. But it is so hot that we regularly have to cool down in the sea, great, we enjoy it.
Alisa Craig from GirvanFrom the beach we have a view of Alisa Craig, the top of an extinguished volcano 16 kilometers away that is more than 300 meters high. During the Scottish Reformation in the 16th century it was a refuge for Catholics. In the 19th and 20th century there were quarries where a rare form of microgranite was extracted. Among other things, curling discs are made from it and in 2002 the Scottish women's team seems to have won Olympic gold with curling discs from this island. Now the island is a bird sanctuary and people no longer live there.
Horses on the beach, Girvan Horses on the beach, GirvanIn the course of the afternoon more people appear on the beach, most of them to take a walk with the dog. But also some people with horse trailers who think that the horses are also entitled to an outing. In any case, they enjoy it, alternately splashing in the sea and then running another way across the beach.
After about 5 hours on the beach, my skin has already turned red. Nothing serious, I think, that's how it always goes with me: after the first day in the sun a red skin that is a little itchy and the day after it is colored to a sunny tan. I have never really been burned, so that will certainly not happen in Scotland ...
At the end of the afternoon we tour around in the hilly surroundings and every time we drive to the sea we see Alisa Craig dominate the background. The rock (translated means Alisa Craig Elisabeth's rock) seems to lie exactly halfway the route from Dublin to Glasgow.
Dundonald castleOn our return trip to the hotel we are still looking for a number of castles, including Dundonald Castle near Kilmarnock. Like many castles, it has been destroyed several times, burnt down and rebuilt. The oldest parts of the current castle date back to 1371 built by Robert II who then became king of Scotland. It is already after closing time so we can not go inside anymore.
So we just look for a nice spot in the sun before we prepare for the return journey tomorrow. You do not go to Scotland for the weather, but we both enjoy a couple of such warm days. We have almost forgotten the rain at the beginning of the journey.
Meanwhile my skin is getting more and more painful, I have never had that from a few hours of sunbathing. Tomorrow it will be over again, I am sure. Now first we pack the car and especially clean it up a bit. After 2 weeks driving around, it is like a house which has't been cleaned for a month!

Tuesday 12 June 2007, through the Borders going home again

It is hard to believe, but Teije really has a sunburn! He slept very badly and everything hurts. I have had a sunstroke once, so I know how uncomfortable that can feel. But he has lived in Africa for years and has never been burned. So now for the first time and it happens in Scotland, no one will ever believe that. Well, that old skin can not bear everything anymore...
Hotel room TravelodgeA little melancholy we clear the last room we have in Scotland this year. Have you forgotten anything? No, nothing forgotten. We are happy we still have a whole all day before us and we are going to tour around. Soon we have crossed the barren area of eastern Ayrshire via the A70. Today it is cloudy and a lot less pleasant than yesterday.
We (I mean Teije of course) have again chosen many roads that we do not yet know, but until we reach The Borders the landscape is not really that fantastic. But yes, of course we are spoiled this trip so many beautiful Scottish views.
Victoria Lodge, Talla Dam Victoria Lodge, Talla DamUnnoticed, we arrive at a part of the route that we also traveled the first day, but we only notice it when we realize that we have made the same photos before. Of course, we are at Victoria Lodge at the Talla reservoir.
Talla DamThis environment surprised us then, we always thought that The Borders, the southernmost province of Scotland was pretty boring. But this road proves the opposite, it is a mountainous landscape full of surprises.
Tibetan monastery Samye Ling at Johnstone Tibetan monastery Samye Ling at JohnstoneThe next surprise is the Tibetan monastery Samye Ling where we drive past unexpectedly. It is on the map, but we had not paid attention to that. Who would expect a Tibetan monastery in Scotland?
It is the first Tibetan Buddhist center in Europe, established in 1967 and is in such a quiet place because, as they say on their website, you can find the inner peace best in a peaceful environment.
Tibetan monastery Samye Ling at JohnstoneAnd it is certainly peaceful here and a pleasure to walk around for a while. Too bad we have an appointment with the boat, otherwise we would have stayed a bit longer. But that is always possible next time. There is a Buddhist temple and a beautiful garden. You can also stay overnight here, even if you do not participate in the workshops that are given. What an idyllic place, those Tibetans have chosen well. And they live a much more peaceful life than the Scots have done in their bloody history.
Lockerbie LockerbieIn Lockerbie we make a short lunch stop and we quickly get into a conversation with a man who wants to take us to the monument of the plane crash in 1988. We definitely want to go there someday, but we are running out of time and after a short walk we continue out trip to Newcastle.
Naworth castleThe weather is not getting better and sometimes there is some drizzle. At Gretna Green we cross the border with England and then take the road to Carlisle and from there the A69 to the east coast.This route leads right past the wall of Hadrian, once the northern border of the Roman Empire, but instead of a fast connection it is a largely two-way road where traffic is slow. At Brampton we stop to look at Naworth Castle but after that we only drive on.
And the closer we get to Newcastle, the slower it goes. The rain is now pouring from the sky and the landscape is barely visible. Because we are late, we can immediately board the boat and quickly nestle in a warm spot in a bar.
The car is on the parking brake (this time), so we do not have to worry about anything. But just like every previous time, it feels terrible to have to say goodbye to Scotland, even though we know we will be back next year. What a fantastic country where, after so many holidays, we are still being surprised almost every day!


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