Left bank, River and Firth of Clyde

Roundabout wind

Mostly, today’s theme was windy. With rain. Not mist. The big drops—Rain with a capital R.

We have used Miss Voice and blue-dot navigation throughout our trip. The way G**gleMaps is set up, the voice informs of a pending roundabout, with which “exit” to take. This is almost always accurate (unless there’s new construction), but the thing that confounds us is that when you are in the roundabout, you are told to exit on a certain named street. It is a rare roundabout that has a street name. Route numbers, towns, yes; but no street names. This custom/programming choice introduces confusion….

Outlander sound stage antonine wall

This morning we had an unexpected two-fer. We set out for the soundstage where Outlander (Starz version) is being shot. It’s in that grey-blue building in the center-background. The trucks area gate was open, but the walk-up/reception gate was locked up tight. There was a special instruction sign for people who came for costume fittings.

Here’s the two-fer part. We tried an escape out the back of the industrial park that became a dead-end, and…found a sign…for the Antonine Wall! (I said no more Romans…oops.) Yup, I could see the wall ditch, etc. extending each way from the sign, left and right at this angle. A fine surprise!

Kilsyth market street

We also made a fast stop to see the market street of Kilsyth. This is another town where the Livingstons of a dozen generations back in my ancestry lived. It was then called Monyabroch (ca. 1500s).

The bar—excuse me: pub to the right is called the Scarecrow. Would sometime love to hear the story behind that! (Another pint, please!)

Regarding the sign to the left, how confusing is it for a butcher shop to list a cut of meat for XYZ pounds per pound (that is £XYZ per pound).

Kilsyth UP lane

We parked just off Market Street at Market Square, very lucky to find a space on a rainy morning…. Note that this alley leading upward is named U.P. LANE. It leads up to U.P. ROAD. Both may refer to United Presbyterian (church). No one making internet entries seems to be sure. I took it as a ghostly link to descendants of the Livingstons with connections to way northern Michigan….

Let’s wrap this with some architecture bits….

Glasgow bridge

Unusual bridge in Glasgow…a single arch that crosses over the carriageway deck.

Red sandstone facades

More red sandstone…like St. Andrews Cathedral, and many, many more buildings. I haven’t seen any quarries identified as for this stone, but there must be big holes out there where it all came from…. I don’t know if I’ve been seeing façades etc. of Old Red Sandstone or New Red Sandstone—or both. I think both are common outcrops….

Lighthouse du jour

Fine lighthouse…we bagged joining the locals spending their Saturday at venues we had some interest in, and visited a mall (Starbucks) and drove along the Firth of Clyde, then more of the Firth of Clyde…. So we saw many navigation features on land and sea, breaking waves (splash!), and even a spot of sunshine. It came out when we were just past this lighthouse…brilliant for maybe four minutes….

Just one more of those “original” or “first place in Scotland” comments…. We’re overnighting in Ayr. Scotland’s first parliament was held here in 1315, lead by Robert the Bruce (aka Robert de Brus, in Norman), who ruled from 1306–1329. He’s the one who won at Bannockburn, where we began our day, in 1314….

Also, Ayr is often listed as the birthplace of the poet Robert Burns. It was really in Alloway, but that village is now in the Ayr metro area…so I guess it’s all the same….


  1. Pooh says:

    Another UP connection. Much of the architecture in Sault Ste. Marie of a certain age was built with red sandstone dug from the power canal.
    (At least that’s what the guide claimed on the trolley tour we did when our kids were young.)

  2. Rebecca says:

    Love the lighthouse! As a kid I devoured the Enid Blyton mysteries, and that looks like one of the covers.