One night on Arran

Before we headed to Glasgow for New Year, our friend K asked us whether we would like to spend a night at her mum and step-dad’s place on Arran. Having never been to Arran, we jumped at the chance. After taking a train to Glasgow, eating lunch at the train station there and then jumping on another train to Adrossan Harbour, we were finally on a ferry to the island. The sun was just starting to set as the ferry left. (The photos below were taken with sunset mode… it wasn’t actually that dark ;-))

I didn’t get any decent photos as we approached the shore, so I’ll just skip ahead a bit…

After a lovely evening with K’s family and a good night’s sleep, we were up bright and early so we could see something of the island before taking the ferry back across to the mainland. We went for a nice long walk with the dog. Check out the gorgeous scenery!

My camera couldn’t do it justice… in real life it’s even prettier!

After a lunch of pancakes, made by K’s lovely mum, we were dropped back off at the ferry port for the trip back over to the mainland (and on to Glasgow). Here are some photos from the ferry crossing:

In the interests of fairness, I should mention that the last set of photos was taken by Jan… I chose staying cosy inside the ferry over going out in the wind.

Arran is stunning and it’s a shame we only got to spend a short time there. I would definitely like to go back some time, preferably in summer when it stays light for longer in the evening.

Have you been to any Scottish islands? What did you think?

New Plymouth, New Zealand

Yes, I’m still going on about New Zealand! Nearly finished now 😉

When I left off before, we’d reached the end of the Forgotten World Highway. From there, we drove to our B&B in New Plymouth, which was lovely by the way! I wish we could have had more than one night there. Before going out for the evening we admired the view from the window and took some photos of the birds out in the garden. We were later told that these are Indian Mynah birds.

Our B&B wasn’t directly in town, so we got back in the car to go down to the coast then parked up and went for a walk.

This sculpture is called the Wind Wand:

DSCN7687

Apparently it cost more than 300,000 NZ$. Worth it? 😉

We walked along the coastal path for a little way. It was nice to be by the sea.

Apparently I took a lot of photos of rocks? I liked the way they looked with the sea in the background.

The sun eventually started to set, so I played around with my camera settings trying to get some good photos. I should probably know what the two rock formations/small islands are but I don’t. Sorry! *Bad blogger*

We were hungry by that stage so we headed back to a restaurant near where we parked the car. It’s called Arborio and the food we ate was delicious! We even indulged in some nice wine and had desert. We must have been feeling rich 😉 I took zero photos of said food though. Again, bad blogger.

The next morning, the sun was rising when we got up for breakfast.

From New Plymouth we drove up to Auckland, stopping at the Waitamo Glowworm Caves on the way. I have no photos from there because you aren’t allowed to take photos in there (and I left my camera in the car so I couldn’t have sneaked any ;-)), but I can highly recommend it! There are glow work experiences of up to 3 hours(!), but we didn’t have that long so we did a 45 minute tour, which involved walking through one cave with a guide followed by a boat ride through the dark to the exit. During the boat ride, you can see all the little glow worms glowing away… like millions of stars on the roof and walls of the cave. A truly awesome experience that was over way too soon!

Again, I’m linking up for Monday Escapes, and I remind you that New Zealand was my #Take12trips destination for March (yes, I’m that far behind on posting!)

Travel Monkey

A Day in My Life: 18 March 2014

When my work reopened after Christmas, I still had one day of last year’s holiday left over. My initial idea was to use it on a Friday or Monday and go away with Jan for a long weekend, but he ruined that idea by saying he wouldn’t have time for anything like that until at least April. The holiday had to be used by the end of March so that was no good, so instead I decided to take the day after St Patrick’s Day off, knowing it would be a late night at the pub. As it turned out, I had to go to England in February so I had none of last year’s holiday left after all, but by that time my day off had been put in for and approved so it seemed easier to still take it off anyway. And that was my very long-winded way of telling you why I had yesterday off.

Not long after I got up, I read this blog post by Manda of Break the Sky, which reminded me that it was the day of her Day in the Life linkup. I decided it was still early enough for me to join in, mostly because the alternative would have been to do a post about today instead, and honestly one post that follows a day in my working life is enough! So here’s how I spent my random day off work…

I had originally planned to get up at 10:30, but after checking Facebook on my phone for a while, I ended up falling back to sleep for half an hour. Ooops! It was 20 past 11 by the time I got up, then I headed straight for the computer to catch up on some blog reading (Manda’s being among them… which is the entire reason for this blog post). Not wanting to get dressed yet, I made sure to put on my nice fluffy socks to stay warm!

Socks

Before I could go for a shower, I obviously needed a cup of tea! While I drank it, I decided to put BBC News 24 on and see what was going on in the world. Unsurprisingly, all they could talk about was the Crimea. Even the disappeared Malaysia plane barely got a look in with Putin’s address going out live!

TV remote

At 5 past 1, I was considering going for a shower when I realised I was hungry… not surprising considering I hadn’t actually eaten anything yet! I shoved some potato croquets in the oven and did some cross stitch while they were cooking. I then ate the finished croquets with some yummy brown sauce.

Lunch eaten, I decided it was finally time to go for me shower. Then, once I had showered, dressed and briuhed my teeth, I had no more reason not to get on with what I’d been putting off all morning… the dishes!

Dishes

No sooner had I started washing up, than I was saved by the bell! The door bell, that is. A man from DHL had turned up bearing packages for me. Inside those packages, I found this:

Bridgewater

A long term blogging friend, the lovely Katyboo was recently selling off some Emma Bridgewater stuff and I couldn’t resist snapping up some Toast & Marmelade items to go with the things I already had. The above photo shows a gravy boat with plate and, behind that, two soup plates wrapped in bubble wrap.

Once the excitement of the parcel opening was over, it was back to dishes, kitchen cleaning, etc. No photos because housework just isn’t that interesting! 5 p.m.meant time for a tea break and some more TV though.

tea

After some more messing around on the computer, at 20 past 6 I decided it was about time I headed out to do some shopping. I wanted to make something similar to this for tea, which meant I needed chicken and potatoes. (My version is chicken, bacon and leek pie though and it’s delicious. Maybe I’ll post a recipe some time). On my way to the supermarket, I snapped this shot for you:

sunset

Back home, I unpacked the shopping then quickly logged on to my work’s system… yes, on my day off! I needed to check that something had been delivered ready for me to finish the job first thing this morning. At 7:45, I suddenly realised that if I wanted to get dinner ready for 8:30 I should really be getting on with it… somehow, I always seem to remember too late that meals involving mashed potatoes take ages!

potatoes

Jan arrived home early, at 10 past 8, which was surprising but nice. It also meant he could chop the leek for me while I continued to struggle with the potatoes! Our food was finally ready at 9 p.m., and we settled down to eat while watching a couple of episodes of Farscape.

Pie

time the second episode of Farscape was finished, it was time for bed. Jan actually decided to join me for a change (usually he stays up much later!) so we spent some time reading to one another before going to sleep. Yes… we read aloud to each other. Currently we’re on Terry Pratchett’s Snuff. Once we reached the end of the current paragraph, it was time to switch off the light ready for my 6 a.m. start this morning.

And there you have it, another day in the life of me. You can join in with Manda’s linkup too… it’s open until the end of March. Just click on the picture below!

A Day in the Life: A Linkup by Break the Sky

Look Up, Look Down – The Vierordtbad Tower

For today’s look up, look down entry, I’m using an old photo that was taken right here in Karlsruhe. It shows the tower of the Vierordtbad swim baths at sunset.

Karlsruhe Vierordtbad tower

The “tower” is actually a chimney, and all that remains of the former thermal power station, which provided heat for both the Vierordtbad and the neighbouring Tullabad. The rest was torn down in 1989 when the Gartenhalle was built – that green roof that you can see in front of the tower on this photo is the Gartenhalle, which is part of the congress centre. Here’s another photo of the chimney/tower taken on a different day and from a different perspective:

Krlsruhe Kongresszentrum + Vierordtbad

Got a photo that would be perfect for the theme? Check out Travel With Intent’s blog post to join the challenge and view everyone else’s entries.