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Driving through Galloway

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Friday 24 May, driving through Galloway

Our last day in this area and I still have some roads to drive but Elisabeth is a bit fed up with it. And I have to admit that we have not seen many surprising new things. There are quite nice and interesting things to see but when you want to see everything, the majority seems a bit boring, at least here.
Sorbie Tower Sorbie TowerFirst we go to Sorbie tower, a 15th or 16th century tower that was built by the Hannay family and replaced a nearby wooden motehill. But here too, there is little left more than a ruin. A sign at the tower claims that all people with the last name Hanna, Hannah, Hannay or Hanney should search for their roots here.
The castle was inhabited until 1740 and is now managed by the clam Hannay Society.
Fishing village Galloway Fishing village GallowayThen I follow the unmarked roads on the map and try to drive of them as much as possible and that brings us along a few nice coastal villages where we walk around but that is as spectacular as it gets today. No, this is not an area where we could stay for another week. Maybe it is different if you like hiking, but we are not such walkers.
According to our notes we have done and seen much more than we here describe, but alas, these pictures are lost also. So we have also been to the gem rock museum at Creetown and visited some gardens but we didn't write down which ones.
Last evening in our houseToday we get home not too late and someday in the future I will need 1 day to drive the last roads in this area and that day will (hopefully) come once. Elisabeth sits inside, safely against the midges and I sit outside on the porch for quite some time enjoying the setting sun.

25 to 27 May, through Galloway going back home

The last days of the holiday have already arrived and we are also leaving this area behind us. We have seen beautiful landscapes like everywhere in Scotland and nice villages but actually very few special things or things that surprised us. And we always do that elsewhere in Scotland. So, spoiled as we are, we call this a 'boring' piece of Scotland. Now we have limited ourselves to the area from Newton Stewart to the south and west coast, but we before we have driven 10 kilometers to the east and we are already surprised by a hidden turret / monument along a forest road. And a few kilometers further on an unknown castle. We look at each other: we were so close to the real surprises!
But of course I also went for all the roads that I could mark on my map and in that respect I can be satisfied, I have driven most even though it meant that Elisabeth had to admire all windmills from all sides (well, there were some complaints about that...). But due to roadworks a number of roads were closed and we will have to come back for the last 50 kilometers.
Dundrennan abbey Dundrennan abbeyWe drive as much as possible along the coastal road of Galloway but most of the photos of today are lost. For example, we only have proof that we visited the Dundrennan abbey. The abbey was founded in 1142 and had to be destroyed during the Reformation (it was already largely ruinous by war violence), but the then administrator refused. Of the original tower that would be 65 meters high, nothing is left.
Dundrennan abbeyIt seems that Mary I, Queen of Scots, spent her last night in Scotland at this place (1568). The year before she had been forced to abdicate and was imprisoned. After she escaped, she stayed in this abbey after which she sailed to England, was captured again and was finally beheaded. The whole story is especially interesting if you want to know more about the battle between Catholics and Protestants in Scotland and England, but also between the two countries themselves. Fortunately, there is a lot to find on the internet.
After this visit we slowly head to Gretna Green, the border between Scotland and England. We already had our last night in Scotland because our next room is at the Pinegrove hotel in Carlisle on the English side. And after that there is little to tell: the next day we drive to Canterbury where we spend the night in the Travelodge (and again no pictures of that nice place!) And the next morning we take the boat from Dover to Dunkirk and the last drive home.
And, even though the trip was a bit duller than usual, we have had a lot of fun and are glad we went to Scotland again. Next year again!


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