This long weekend we were tempted by cheap £12 flights to Dublin but after the past couple of weeks we did not think we had the legs. We also thought it would be good to wait for Becca so we can visit her mate Derbleaahhh’s family’s castle.
Instead, Dad took the kiddies to Eloise’s catch up Gymboree session. It had been a few months since Liam’s last Gymbo session, he could not believe how much more confident Eloise was zipping about.
To stick with the firefighter theme of the day we went to the Scottish Firebrigades Heritage Trust display at the Riverside Museum, sadly no Curious George this time. There were enough cool looking vintage fire trucks to make a little girl happy. Coupled with the drizzle there was a low chance of fires here.
The rain did not phase Eloise, she made sure that we all stayed in the line with her so she could have a shot driving the firetruck. Although, by the time we got to the front of the line, she was a wee unsure about the height.
On Saturday, “for the first time in two years, South Australians no longer need to isolate for seven days if they’re deemed close contacts of a COVID-19 case”. Scotland went one step further and full BoJo announcing that “people with Covid in Scotland no longer need to self-isolate”.
Unfortunately in the evening, Liam did not make the cut due to his erratic freeze shot. However, this made way for teammates, Scotland’s Bobby Lammie and Eve Muirhead to win the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.
On Sunday, Lachnado ate a rare candy and levelled up to Lachnado level 4.
After a nice leisurely start to the day, we found the motivation to make the longer than expected drive to the start of the 397m (1302ft) 2 boot climb, Meikle Bin. Lachnado was eager and ready to climb. Eloise was enthusiastic to start the walk herself. It was a bit tricky as she insisted her hiking stick had to be longer than Super Mum’s.
After a solid start, Eloise decided to conserve energy for the steep climb. It was nice and peaceful making our way through the trees. Lachnado remembered that he does not like peace and started yanking Super Mum’s hair, much to Eloise’s amusement. Eloise was saying how she is looking forward to Grandma Nicholls visit so she can carry her up the hills.
After making it through the trees we turned off the path and it started to get serious. Dad was feeling it. This was the highest climb we had done in Scotland yet. We would like to say the view was spectacular, but it was not as rewarding as Conic Hill or Ben A’an. We are going to have to do more training if we want to do a three boot hike or dare I say a Munro. They are not getting any lighter. We think we need the Vine’s help!
Dad’s legs were quickly failing him so we deployed the Heffalump and charged to the summit.
After a late start, a longer than expected drive and a longer than expected climb, lunch was slipping away. Luckily we had brought up Linda M’s Vegemite Shapes to help us on the way down. Saved the day Linda!
Full of Aussie spirit Eloise was bounding down the bin.
It was then home for an early dinner as lunchtime had well and truly been and gone.
To celebrate making it to May, today was May Day, yah. What can I say? Hooray! It was time to play, we made our way…
… to Ardrossan before driving onto the roll-on/roll-off. Eloise could not believe the car was driving onto the boat! Before we set off you could just make out the Isle of Arran across the Firth Of Clyde.
The ferry had lots of room for the kids to explore. Lachlan was working on his sea legs on his first ferry adventure.
It was a short trip from the small island to the even smaller island, also referred to as a “geologist’s paradise”. Definitely one for the new Mr and Mrs Kochy. The water was glass smooth, even aunty Liv and Amy would have been comfortable. Lachnado sensed that his hip parents were too relaxed after they decided he was in a safe spot, so persisted for the second half of the trip to wedge himself behind the couch while giggling his head off in true Lachnado fashion.
On arrival at Brodick, we were welcomed in by a pod of porpoises. Don’t worry Nathan, it was not the Mercedes variety. You could also see Goatfell, an 874m (2867ft) 3 boot climb. There was no chance, especially after yesterday’s struggles.
It was a short drive to another Paul L castle, Brodick Castle. The entrance hall was not lacking deer heads that’s for sure. Eloise was not a fan.
It was a mid-sized castle with lots of delicate antique chairs that we had to make sure Eloise did not sit on.
Brodick Castle is a castle situated outside the port of Brodick on the Isle of Arran, an island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It was previously a seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, but is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. A fortress has been on the site since at least the fifth century, when Gaelic invaders from Antrim expanded their kingdom of Dál Riata.
Eloise made her way through the castle to find her favourite room, the gift shop. She found a longsword which she was quick to pick up “Mum, look, on my list”. “On my list” is Eloise’s common expression which means ‘Nali and Grandma Nicholls should buy me this’. We are not sure about this one.
After picking up some sweet merch we convinced Eloise to put down the longsword before she went searching for more firepower.
To celebrate Scotland’s World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship win and Liam signing up to the local curling club midweek we picked up a wee curling stone made out of Ailsa Craig Granite.
“Curling is back in the spotlight at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics – and all the stones used by the competitors originate from an uninhabited Scottish island. They are hand-crafted at Kays Curling’s workshop in Mauchline, Ayrshire, using granite from the island of Ailsa Craig. The company’s stones are the only ones used in competition by the World Curling Federation. Kays Curling was founded in 1851, and has been providing curling stones for the Winter Olympics since the Chamonix Games in 1924”.
Scotland National Trust does not only have spectacular castles, they also have impressive playgrounds.
After letting Eloise have a good run around we moved on to explore The Silver Garden. How is she still running?
After trying to befriend everyone on the ferry and everyone in the castle, level 4 Lachnado finally met someone who could keep up with him.
After a piggy lunchbox and Lachlan’s pouch, it was a quick drive to Drumadoon Point. The kids had fallen asleep on the way and there was not too much to see so we deployed Darryl.
As the kids started to wake up we made our way North to the Machrie Moor Standing Stones. It was out with the hiking carriers again. Although this time the student had become the teacher.
Eloise started to complain that Foxie was too heavy and that her legs were tired. It was into the carrier, although after yesterday she was over Dad’s carrier and persuaded Super Mum for a ride.
Not before long Eloise was ready for round two. It was an out the bag in the bag kind of afternoon.
Machrie Moor Stone Circles is the collective name for six stone circles visible on Machrie Moor near the settlement of Machrie on the Isle of Arran, Scotland. Six stone circles are visible on the moor immediately east of the derelict Moss Farm. Some circles are formed of granite boulders, while others are built of tall red sandstone pillars. The moor is covered with other prehistoric remains, including standing stones, burial cairns and cists. The stone circles are positioned over previous timber circles. A radiocarbon date of 2030 ± 180 BCE has been found for the timber circle at Machrie Moor 1… The six stone circles are situated below a prominent notch on the skyline to the northeast where Machrie Glen divides into two steep-sided valleys. At the summer solstice the notch is intersected by the sun at sunrise, and this may explain why the circles were sited in this location.
After a big day, it was back to Brodick Ferry terminal. All this talking about Ferries confused poor Eloise who had been searching hard for Fairies all day, “me no see no fairies”. We were relieved to see the ferry arrive as there had been a lot of news recently about “CalMac’s main Arran ferry resumes sailings after repairs” and people trapped on the island and struggling to cross for the past month.
Just before Eloise’s second ferry ride back to Cape Jervis from Kangaroo Island, we were waiting for the ferry at Penneshaw Beach when she decided she had had enough and got up and took her first steps. We wondered if Lachlan would do the same, but he was more than happy zooming about on all fours while trying to shove his fingers into power sockets. In his defence, he is still a month and a half younger than Eloise was.
The Isle of Arran is an island off the west coast of Scotland. It is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde and the seventh-largest Scottish island, at 432 square kilometres (167 sq mi). Historically part of Buteshire, it is in the unitary council area of North Ayrshire. In the 2011 census it had a resident population of 4,629. Though culturally and physically similar to the Hebrides, it is separated from them by the Kintyre peninsula. Often referred to as “Scotland in Miniature”, the island is divided into highland and lowland areas by the Highland Boundary Fault and has been described as a “geologist’s paradise”. Arran has been continuously inhabited since the early Neolithic period. Numerous prehistoric remains have been found. From the 6th century onwards.
This ferry was a bit smaller which cramped Lachnado’s style, although he was still trying his darndest to make friends with the friendly locals.
The kids had been excellent and the ferry service was much better than we had expected. We grabbed a happy meal on the way home for dinner on the road.