Dunoon – Part 2, the High Street, etc

Cowal Kirk, High Church of Scotland

Following on from the boat trip from Gourock, the High Street is short, sweet and with the sun almost idyllic. And thought, as the screen shot below from Google Maps shows, that there is a preponderance of Churches! With the above, Cowal Kirk – High Church, being the most impressive.

They’re Everywhere!

After this, we meandered down the High Street, or should say correctly, Argyll Street, where there was everything one would want on a short day trip; cafe’s, restaurants, sights (the Churches, Promenade), etc.

Argyll Street (the High Street)

And we found some “cute” things, such as mini-kilts for your wine or whiskey bottles, and some “designer” tea pots!

Equally, we also entered a “modern” type of tourist shop, which had an affinity for both Tunnock Tea Cakes and the Scottish artist JoLoMo.

Worth a visit.

And even though it’s April, found a Christmas shop, presumably open year round?!

Christmas year round anyone?

Worth it.

CB

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This Week – Germany, Cafes, Dunoon, various – How do you buy a German train ticket?

Here’s one of them, and that’s right, they’re in German!

Ticket to Nurnberg

First of all, even if German is not your strength, the ticket machines for the mainline German trains (though still a little confusing) can be set to English:

They ALWAYS look the same!

The above is for tickets for Deutsche Bahn, NOT for the U-Bahn or city trains.

The ticket was for a single, and the distance travelled was about 20km; all for about £4.50. Not cheap, but certainly not expensive. IMO, about the same price as for an equivalent distance here in the UK. The distance would be like going from Glasgow to Johnstone in Renfrewshire (As a Scottish example!).

If the machines are not for you, most of the major cities will also have a Travel Centre (Reise Zentrum) for you to buy them using English. I’ve also found most Germans are both helpful and speak very good English as well.

CB

Dunoon trip and other things this week

What a day it was this last Saturday, so decided to take a trip to the lovely city(?) of Dunoon on the West Coast of Scotland.

We decided not to drive, due to the distance, but instead to take the passenger only ferry from Gourock, on the West Coast also.

At Gourock port

From here we had a lovely walk at the pier, that appears to be in a state of renovation, though am not too sure. If it is, then in the sun, this would be a sensational place to have a high tea or meal.

Old Pier in Dunoon

From here, around the pier, there was many things to take a shot at, like the panorama, the church nearby and the coast.

Looking south and east

Shots near the pier

More later on this lovely place (in the sun!)

CB

More from Germany (Bavaria) trip last month

More from a recent trip to Germany, and what I instantly noticed (ED; again!), is the number of different bike stands / bike racks / etc, in addition to the sheer volume of bikes – everywhere.

My favourite was this one:

Simple, but Effective

Though with the amount of rain we get in Glasgow, Scotland, they would all fill up with water quite quickly.

You can take you pick from the others:

CB

A welcome sign to help Bicyclists – An air station in Glasgow

Coming from a recent trip to the cycling mad country of Germany, it was a pleasant surprise, to see the below “Wee Repair Station” outside of Gartnaval Hospital, in the west side of Glasgow.

Wee Repair Station

I’ve yet to see these elsewhere, though of course they no doubt are, but find these to be both needed and an encouraging sign that help is on the way for any struggling cyclists, in need of air.

Even instructions!

But what is strange, is that these are not by the Glasgow authorities, but, I believe, installed by Sustrans?

If so, more please.

CB

This Week – Reminiscing from Bavaria / Germany and More!

One of the things that I see on my many trips to Europe, is the quantity of cheaper, as in MUCH cheaper, alcohol.

Not wanting to get into any debate or arguments here about the nanny state in the UK, but to state facts – the alcohol has much less tax on it in Germany than here in the UK; and it seems to work out just fine.

Europe’s Excise Rates for Alcohol

The excise rates can be seen here. And above in the graph, with it not taking a genius to see that this merely confirms what I said above.

And this is what I saw again the past month. Please look at these two photos that I took in a hyper market in Bavaria.

And your eyes are not deceiving you here! That’s correct, bottles of wine from €1.49, or to state in pounds, about £1.15!

Jawohl!

CB

First Few Days in Franconia, Bavaria –

You know, at times, the same problems that we endure in the UK, are very present in modern Germany.

The “day trip” here, from Glasgow to Franconia (via Frankfurt) was a fiasco, with delayed and missed flights, and cancelled trains, but in the end I got to Bavaria.

But several things were noticed:

* Free COVID test centres for the “schnell Tests”

Quick Test cabin for COVID – Free of Charge

* Elaborate directions on how to stay safe.

“Help us to stem the further spread of Corona” or something like that!

* And as very often here, two twin beds, that are put together to form a double.

More doubles made from twins – Very Practical

I’ll blog more this week and next from this great “Land”.

CB

St Andrews – Part 2

Following up my first part, it was actually quite nice to have a long walk around the place, and not to think only of golf!

St Andrews has a wonderful beach if that’s your thing, and an old, ruined cathedral, that happened to be closed to the public on the evening of my walk. Equally, I’ve always wondered why they can’t try to restore (at least partly) some of these ancient monuments? Who knows, it could make a delightful lecture theatre!

What I also discovered, are some quads that rival Oxford and other yoonis, and considering that St Andrews is on the small side, I was surprised there’d be enough room.

St Salvators Quad

Looked lovely late in the evening.

St Salvators Chapel

There seemed to be a lively buzz about this place, with the smallness, golf, students and compact town centre.

Projection

And although this was a Sunday, January night, it was most pleasant, though if you are in town at this day and time, reservations are key for a restaurant! We literally could only find one place that would have us, with the resultant meal being both dreadful, but also “on the house, as they had run out of pizza dough in a pizza restaurant!

18th Hole and Royal and Ancient golf club

What a shot on the way back to the hotel!

CB

The Week Ahead – Cafe’s, St Andrews and Various bits of Culture

Hey, still to show you more of my exploits in the delightful town (or city?) of St Andrews. Check this out, what a cool wee pub by the 17th Hole:

The Jigger Inn

A great place for a late night pint. The pub has been there for some time and is now run by the Old Course Hotel.

As said before, will show more snaps of St Andrews, but not really about golf, as it is just SO self-contained, with culture, a university, theatres, etc.

I personally love the architecture and noted that there are some small similarities with other universities such as Oxford!

CB

A drive along the Ochils, and a visit (short) to Dollar, Scotland

On the way back from St Andrews, managed to sneak in a lunch in the delightful, at the foot of the Ochils village of Dollar.

I’ve been here before, and it’s literally a one town road, at the base of some very nice hiking possibilities, and which contains a very famous and respected private school.

View of the Ochils leaving Dollar

The small village of Dollar, is at the foot of the Ochils, and home to the prestigious Dollar Academy.

Have been here before and at the SAME exact restaurant – Café des Fleurs – one that is of a superior quality, with a queue outside, mainly for coffees.

Where the food was both rustic and delicious, even with proper bread, for the huge portions. It seemed to be a real hub of activity for such a small place, with the bus stop in front of it, having its very own library! 4.5 / 5.

CB