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Monday, 2 April 2012

Scotland in the twilight

Scotland is a dark place in winter. But a full moon or red skies at dawn and dusk give some reprieve from the drabness. Here the full moon... action lighting the region from the Mither tap to the North sea coast. On the horizon the lights of Aberdeen and the North sea.
South of Aberdeen is Dunnotar castle. Its shilouette contrasts the reflections on the North sea.
Here the full moon again.
Further down is St. Cyrus Nature reserve, one of my favourite viewpoints. A full moon and a lonely ship anchored on a calm night.
A bright night with views towards Montrose in the distance.
Same spot but another night.
Night gives way to dawn with red skies just before sunset. Near Broughty Ferry.
Even more red in the skies here at St. Cyrus.
In Dundee the best viewpoint is Dundee law here at dusk with a view towards Broughty Ferry. Only two of the high rise buildings are still standing and the oil rig is in the North sea now.
Later with a view towards the West. An opening in the sky allows some light to shine through.
Earlier in the evening swans on the Tay...
... and here Broughty Ferry castle a wee bit later with the moon above.
Finally the river Esk near the stones of solitude.
Dedicated to DL who loves the Scottish full moon than few others.

Limekilns, Elie chain walk & spring!

Spring arrived in Scotland last week with temperatures above 20 degrees. At the weekend it started to drop but still looked fine and so Robbie and I decided to visit a place where I have never been before: Limekilns. It is essentially two large, presumably quarried limestone blocks. Here a photo of the Western side in the shade with good VSs and HVSs. This photo was taken with the EUMC out in force.
 Here is Robbie earlier on climbing DTs. 
 After cruising two HVSs I felt good enough to try Elgin's Crack E2 5c. The start is bouldery and the foot holds are polished so whilst I got to the first break I realised that it was too much for the first trad outing of the season.

After that a lunch in the Elgin hotel and onwards to Elie with Scotlands only (?) via ferrata. Here is Robbie tackling one of those stainless steel chains.
Quite exciting for via ferrata newcomers in places. Back on a path with good views over Elie and the golf course...
 ... shown here...
 ... and with the daffodils already out.
 On the way to Dundee and in Broughty Ferry I also took a few photos to document the first foray of spring. Two trees on a ploughed field near Fettercairn...
 ... swans in Broughty Ferry ...

 ..., Broughty Ferry harbour...
 ..., and the castle on the banks of the bonnie Tay.
It all makes the sudden end of winter with all its adventures more bearable. And all of a sudden I saw a giraffe swimming in the Tay (hang on, the 1st of April was yesterday).