Time to have a look at what the Japanese call a castle and this is it. Hikone Castle, more walking as usual, a twenty minute trot from the train station on achy feet is more than enough until you realise that you then have to march up a load of stairs. It’s not a bad sight and is in pretty ground with much Cherry Blossom again but it does make it look all the more better since the sky was grey. Nothing much more to do today except for stop at Kyoto and get some Shinkansen tickets for the trip back to Tokyo for our airport hotel.
Oh I just couldn't think of a funny pun for this. I must be loosing my touch.
So for Valentines day we went off to Castle Howard. Lodging in Kirkbymoorside which appears to have more pubs than houses it was almost like being in Ireland, or at least the Ireland that I have been used to just with no Irish people but no pubs for me, we hit the local Tandoori house, needless to say with Castle Howard on the agenda I hung back on the chilli lime pickle.
The weather was at least kind to us for the first half of the day. The day before wasn't so good and in the afternoon it was variable but now it was good and this is the house with a fountain of Atlas in the foreground.a
On a very rainy Sunday it was time to do something. We set out not so early in an attempt to see a little bit or perhaps a lot of Piel Castle. As you can see from this picture, we didn't exactly see much of it. The weather was dreadful and several flooded roads and a car accident (not us) later we ended up at Roa Island which isn't an island at all, but the only bit you can get to close to Piel Island without getting the ferry. I suspect Roa Island might have been an island at one point as it's possible that the road to is was man made, but who knows.
Unfortunately we would have had to ring for the ferry (it was the wrong time of year surprisingly) which wasn't going to happen purely because we walked the bridge to the lifeboat station and the horizontal rain in that short walk was bad enough let alone a trip several times longer on some sort of boat yet to be seen. Somehow I got the feeling that this ferry would have been rowed and open, I don't know why I thought that because it's totally illogical, even so I had been put off.
So there you have it, here's Piel Island and Castle in the background as I stood on the beach being hammered by sideways rain and wind. One day, yes one day I shall visit Piel Castle and perhaps visit the comfort of its Pub.
After getting here last time to find that my Wife and Daughter refusing to enter because it was raining, we turned up today to find it... raining. With grit and spirit they left the car in readiness to climb the hill to the castle. The journey in felt like a Top Gear “Buy a £1000 car challenge” with a one wheel bearing trying to give up and a few Instrumental Rob Dougan tracks ringing out on the stereo.
Beeston Castle is alright but nothing special and there wasn't that much info and nothing about the investigations into the well which I remember being on the regional news recently. The views from the top are sort of impressive if you like very little to obstruct your view for miles apart from flat farm land. A better trip all round this time as we did see Beeston Castle this time and last time I popped the bumper out of my car when I misjudging a verge on a narrow lane. All was well this time... apart from the wheel bearing of course and I can't blame anyone for that... oh hold on.
Similar to a picture taken in Florence this is a picture of the sun in a window of Skipton castle. This time I had to wait less time. From what I remember of the Florence picture I camped out there with my girlfriend waiting for the sun to come back out from behind the clouds. Also this time I had my QTEK and not a decent camera to counteract any underexposure that could be caused by the sun being directed straight into the camera.
With no hope of taking any decent pictures with the bad weather here's an archive pic of St. Andrews castle. I did make an attempt to take go out to take pictures, unfortunately after driving to the Lowry with my camera bag I decided half way that the weather wasn't with me on this one. I could take pictures so long as I didn't mind everything (including me) getting wet. I decided otherwise.
This is what is left of the castle on St. Andrews. I would recommend the place as it's very pretty and almost appears to be a place apart from anywhere else. It also has a public toilet that has been just been sold for £750,000. They must be nice toilets.
Coming up to the second anniversary of Zamyatin I'm getting a little weepy. So I thought I might add a picture or two from the archive that sort of started it all. I'm not saying that the Scotland holiday two years ago prompted the website but the first pic was from the holiday two years ago. And instead of chucking the holiday pictures live two years ago (which I think was a good idea) I started on a weekly quest to see as I saw. Here is a Peacock in at Drummond Castle that I waited for ages to get. The bird paraded and then stopped at which I took interest so I waited for a bit, then a little longer and then, snap, I got the picture I was looking for.
Another picture of the walls though you can't make them out too much with the contrast. As you can see the tide was out so you can see the footprints of animals taking advantage of the lack of water. On the left there's the castle and in the middle the town.
Here's a picture of Castle Walls in Conway, it's a strange place, the town is still surrounded by the walls and very little overspill, also on the way in it almost looks like the walls are still there to fortify the town with the main road running straight at the castle with water on each side. Unfortunately getting a good picture of the castle from the road is impossible (for me as I tried several times).
Two Christmas parties have taken their toll, so I am left with little time to take pictures, so it's again regrettably back to archive pictures. Here's a picture of a Peacock in the grounds of Drummond Castle. Too a while to get the snap, the bird kept on running off or taking down it's plumage, but finally after stalking the poor thing it relented and we got the result you can see here.