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Leixões and Matosinhos Beach

This is a panorama of Leixões from the SS Black Watch’s bow:-

Leixões Panorama

On the edge of the beach near the harbour entrance lies this monument “Tragédia do Mar” or “Tragedy of the Sea” a sculpture commemorating the Shipwreck of 1947, where 152 sailors lost their lives:-

Matosinhos Beach Monument

Matosinhos Monument

Much further along the promenade, too far away for us to walk to as we were pushed for time getting back to the ship, was this sculpture, “She Changes” by artist Janet Echelman.

Leixões Sculpture

I found this better photo by António M.L. Cabral on the internet:-

Ferrera Park, Avilés, and Seaside Sculpture

Thee is a lovely park in Avilés, called Ferrera Park. It was well used by people strolling or jogging and had that essential for a park – water; in this case a pond by which there were not only geese but a black swan.

Black Swan, Ferrera Park, Avilés

Off to the side was a nice parterre garden:-

Garden in Ferrera Fark

Complete with fountain:-

garden in park 7 fountain

You know you’re not in Fife anymore when you see a tree like this:-

Tree, Ferrera Park, Avilés

Just behind the parterre garden was this painted building:-

Painted Building by Ferrera Park, Avilés

As the SS Black Watch left we passed this striking sculpture. It’s by Benjamín Menéndez and is called “Avilés”:-

Sculpture, Avilés

Face-on view:-


This interesting rock formation sticks out into the Ría Avilés estuary:-

Rock Formation, Ría Avilés Estuary, Spain

Further out where the estuary meets the Atlantic we could see loads of surfers riding the waves into Playa San Juan de Nieva but they were a bit too far off to photograph.

The Birks of Aberfeldy

The Birks (birches) of Aberfeldy is a local beauty spot lying just outside that Perthsire town encompassing the Falls of Moness.

They inspired Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, to write a poem/song called The Birks of Aberfeldy.

We dondered up there in February. The path is steep in places and there was snow and ice lying at the time.

The Falls of Moness:-

The Falls of Moness, Birks of Aberfeldy

The Falls of Moness, Birks of Aberfeldy 2

A statue of a seated Burns has been situated at the spot where he is supposed to have derived inspiration. I doubt it’s much of a likeness:-

The Birks of Aberfeldy, Robert Burns Statue

And this is said view:-

The Birks  of Aberfeldy

More falls:-

The Birks  of Aberfeldy

The Birks  of Aberfeldy

South Queensferry Again

On Saturday we took a wee trip to South Queensferry really just for something to do but also to check out an antique shop we’d seen featured on the TV. (We didn’t buy anything in the end.)

Just by the jetty from where the boat trips to Inchcolm island set off there is this sculpture. The plaque mentions there is a large grey seal colony on the island.

Seal Sculpture, South Queensferry.

South Queensferry is of course dominated by the two Forth Bridges but mainly by the original (rail) Forth Bridge. The trains seem to be every few minutes one way or the other. They look like toys against the Bridge’s sheer size. Here’s one coming off the bridge to the south. The photo captured the reflections in the water quite well.

Train Coming off Forth Bridge Onto Approaches

The local shops etc make great play of the bridge connection. This is the Rail Bridge Bistro and Gift Shop.

The Rail Bridge Hotel, South Queensferry.

I like the way the Rail Bridge motif is maintained on the fencing to the left front and also on the door handles on the entrance.

The Rail Bridge Hotel, South Queensferry, Fencing

The sculpture of one of the bridge spans is to commemorate those who built the bridge.

The Rail Bridge Hotel, South Queensferry, Sculpture close

This, I believe, contains the only commemoration to those who died in its construction, who are not enumerated individually anywhere. (Edited to add:- there is now such a memorial on the pavement opposite to this.)

A couple more pictures of South Queensferry have been added to my South Queensferry flickr set.

Chatsworth House. Some Interiors

Just a few shots from inside Chatsworth House.

The first is a stairway which you meet very soon after the entrance when you make the tour.


As a scientist this interested me. It’s one of two cabinets of minerals collected by Georgiana, first wife of the 5th Duke of Devonshire, the one they made a film about recently.

Mineral cabinet

This was an annexe off the small Library, complete with Steinway piano.

Library + Steinway

And this is the old chapel with a prominent keyboard instrument (spinet? virginal? clavichord? I don’t think it’s a harpsichord) and a sculpture whose subject I’ve forgotten. The sculpture has only recently been moved into the chapel but the guidebook isn’t forthcoming and neither are Wikipedia nor Flickr.

Old chapel

Part of the ceiling in the old chapel, typical of the elaborate painted ceilings in the house.

Old chapel ceiling

Chatsworth House

Unfortunately when we visited last week Chatsworth House was swathed in plastic and scaffolding so we never actually saw the frontage. They don’t miss a trick though. For an extra contribution you could go on a scaffolding tour. (We gave that one a miss.)

This is the stable block – which is big enough on its own.

Stables,Chatsworth House

There’s a quadrangle inside the block with buildings all the way round with shops, eateries etc. The only selling opportunity missed was that there was a lack of a decent plant sale outlet. The only plants they had for sale were pretty poor specimens. It’s difficult not to get other folk in the photos. The place was stowed.

The grounds and gardens are huge. You could spend the whole day doing them alone. This is the Emperor Fountain and Canal Pond, complete with sculptures. The Cavendish family, whose home it is, seem to be very fond of their art. The house and grounds are liberally sprinkled with works old and new.

Fountain,Chatsworth House

I especially liked these rock formations – probably artificial; Capability Brown landscaped the estate.

Rock formations,Chatsworth House

I suppose this one shows off Brown’s handiwork.

Parkland,Chatsworth House

This pond was up a hill. You cannot see the house from it at all. More of Brown’s efforts I should think. The photo was taken from a grotto perched like an eyrie above it.

Pond,Chatsworth House

As we were leaving a couple of Morgan cars pulled into the car park. I waited till the drivers had left before taking the picture.


More Gormley Men

I don’t know exactly how many Antony Gormley statues there are in total in the Water of Leith, though I have now seen at least four.

The latest two I photographed last Saturday.

This one is in the water by St Mark’s Park and was taken from the footbridge you can see in the next one.

Gormley man

It’s quite a nice footbridge. Pity about the plastic on the bank. They’re doing some shoring up work I think.

Gormley man's back

The last is right at the end of the Water of Leith. The pier is hard by Ocean Terminal shopping centre. The Royal Yacht Britannia is 90o to the left of where I took the photo from.

Gormley man on pier

More Edinburgh

These photos were taken about a month or so ago.

This is a panorama of Edinburgh from the Botanic Gardens with Arthur’s Seat prominent towards the left and the Castle to the right.

Edinburgh panorama

This heron was in the Water of Leith as we walked back from the Botanics. It may or may not be the same one we have seen before.

Heron in Water of Leith

This is one of Antony Gormley‘s sculptures. It is embedded into the tarmac in the middle of the pedestrian entrance from Belford Road into the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

Gormley man at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Newburgh, Fife

Last Saturday we had a trip round Fife and stopped off in Newburgh.

This is the War Memorial. There are only First World War names on it; I saw no sign of a World War 2 Memorial. It is just possible no-one from Newburgh died in the second conflict.

Newburgh War Memorial

Down by the River Tay there is a nice grassed area which can be used for picnics etc. There was an unusual sculpture showing leaping salmon (I suppose) in the middle of it. And some nice yachts on the river. The reed beds in the background are apparently the biggest in Europe.

Newburgh. Fish sculpture by River Tay

On the way back home we went via Cupar. This is the former Woolies there. It had been turned into an Allworth’s but that was having its closing down sale’s final day! Looks like replacing a Woolies with something very similar isn’t viable either.

Former Woolworth's in Cupar, Fife

Edinburgh Again

We took another stroll along the Water of Leith yesterday and there was the heron again. (I assume it’s the same one we saw before.)

It was quite undisturbed while we were going past, standing stock still, making the photo easier. It only moved up on to the bank after we were along the path a bit.

We browsed the book and charity shops in Stockbridge for a while but I came away empty handed. The good lady picked up two books to add to her to be read pile.

This time we came back via the town and so passed the Dene Bridge at the upper level.

There’s no idea from here of how high above the water the roadway is nor of the immensity of the pillars.

Later we dropped into the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art off Belford Road.

There are sculptures outside; including an unmistakable couple of Henry Moores.

One is at the front.

There is another beside the path which leads down from the car park to the Water of Leith.

Much of modern art leaves me cold but Moore’s sculptures are interesting.

Most of the stuff inside is a bit meh but the figurative paintings by the Scottish Colourists are an exception. (I’m used to these though as the excellent Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery has a fine collection of Peploes as well as some others.)

There were too some pictures by Alasdair Gray on exhibition in the Gallery to tie in with the newly published book of his art work, A Life In Pictures.

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