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Post by halfwise Mon Feb 27, 2023 9:48 pm

The buildings look different too. I thought nothing changed much in 100 years in small villages in merry ole Scotland but I suppose not.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Feb 27, 2023 10:03 pm

{{ Some of its still original but sadly it was ravaged in a fire about 10 years ago and had to be rebuilt. If you want something old just a few miles further up the loch side is the Whistlefield Inn, originally a drovers inn on the cattle drive route towards the Rest and Be Thankful (the mountain pass you have to go over to get to the lowlands and where the cattle markets used to be). It was built in 1663.

Tales of Home - Page 24 Pic

A little more recent you can pop round to Inveraray and visit the George Hotel (1770) or the Inveraray Inn (1755)

Tales of Home - Page 24 Inveraray-Hotel-13

Interior of the George Hotel ( a personal favourite for atmosphere and food) its like visiting the Prancing Pony- }}

Tales of Home - Page 24 Caption

Tales of Home - Page 24 The-george-hotel

Tales of Home - Page 24 The-George-Hotel-A2390-116

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Post by halfwise Mon Feb 27, 2023 10:17 pm

I'm liking the George Hotel. Thumbs Up

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Feb 27, 2023 10:27 pm

{{ if you ever get the chance to visit Halfy Ill take you there, and you can buy me a pint Very Happy And if you fancy staying there you can get a deluxe suite for a mere £235 per night! Shocked }}

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Post by halfwise Mon Feb 27, 2023 10:37 pm

I was checking it out - seems like a moderate stretch from Dunoon, do you cycle it when you get the urge?

If you avoid the deluxe suite the rooms and food prices are quite reasonable for a night or two.  I tend to go for cheap digs but rooms for $130/night are not much of a splurge for an overnight experience.

You remember that lithe Russian friend I visited in Rome?  Well, now she's moved to London.  I'm booked up this summer, but next summer I'll be sweeping through, and we should try to get a few together for a Forum moot.  May meet the Brits in Oxford, then rent a car and swing up to Scotland, perhaps taking one or two in tow? If not take the train to Glasgow and rent the car there.  I'd happily buy more than a pint for a tour of local Scottish towns!

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Feb 27, 2023 10:54 pm

{{ sounds good to me. If you come here dont worry about digs, just crash at mine its very reasonably priced!

Ive never cycled all the way to Inveraray thatd be quite a cycle, its about 35 miles and most of it isnt very flat.
In my teenage years I used to eagerly cycle from Sandbank to Strachur (16 miles) I could do that in an hour going there as thats where my girlfriend of the time lived and there was sex at the end of it, cycling home took considerably longer as a result!
Fortunately you can get a bus direct from Dunoon to Inveraray, and from there you can go onto Kilmartin Glen which I recommend if you want to see some neolithic standing stones and circles and the cupmarked rocks which are about 5000 years old. Its about 2 hours away in a car from here but worth it (its 71 miles) }}

Tales of Home - Page 24 1488363387-image2

Tales of Home - Page 24 Kilmartin-jw-march-2016-129-2-1024x681

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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Feb 27, 2023 11:40 pm

wow the George is a what a proper pub should look like, it seems to be a 5 star pub for posh Hobbitses.
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Post by halfwise Tue Feb 28, 2023 4:07 am

Well below New York prices, even for my neighborhood. Shocked I could eat and drink myself silly for two weeks and if you add in the plane fare it may come out to doing the same at home. (there's a reason I mainly cook for myself).

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Feb 28, 2023 6:07 am

it seems to be a 5 star pub for posh Hobbitses.- Figg

{{ The hobbitses of Inveraray tend to come with noble titles and live in a castle!

Tales of Home - Page 24 Inveraray-Castle-small

Its a very Tolkieny sort of place, to get into Inveraray even the bridge you go over is ancient (Ive often thought the bridge over the Brandywine built by the old north kingdom before the hobbits came there probably looked similar to this)-

Tales of Home - Page 24 1035-aray-s0019549

Even has a signal tower on the hill behind if you note, in case of emergency. Im not sure about the rest of Scotland but the west coast is still hooked up with these old signal towers and as such if we ever get sent plummeting back to the dark ages we will still be able to shout abuse at our neighbours in smoke signals, this is the one in Dunoon its in Castle Garden, that simple looking brazer on the left of the castle.

Tales of Home - Page 24 Dunoon-castle-M67-NN3

It might not seem high enough up but unlike PJ's films these were built to actually work as signals so they are not on the high hills, and certainly not on mountains or theyd be in cloud most of the time, but if you look across the Clyde from Castle Gardens you can see its plenty high enough to reach the corresponding beacon above Gourock.

Tales of Home - Page 24 The-pier-and-the-clyde-dunoon-with-douglas-park-as-seen-from-the-castle-K06-M1-B

They are still lit up for special occasions, the last being the Jubillee, this is the Gourock one-

Tales of Home - Page 24 Beacon-on-Lyle-Hill-Greenock-to-mark-HM-The-Queen-s-90th-birthday-3

If you do visit Halfy I'd recommend driving from Glasgow if possible and that way you come down the edge of Loch Lomond through a national park,

Tales of Home - Page 24 Hero-Loch-Lomond-1800x1080

then over the Rest (the mountain pass) along Loch Fyne(with a 10 minute detour to Inveraray if you want)

Tales of Home - Page 24 Isle-of-arran-loch-fyne-scotland-1280x540-1

through Strachur (i'd recommend visiting the Strachur Smithy, bit of living history with all traditional smithying)-  

Tales of Home - Page 24 10636495-1506721739571184-960678895875843418-o

and so past the mirror loch, Loch Eck

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and the along the Holy Loch (where the US base was) through Sandbank, the village I grew up in, then finally youll arrive in Dunoon.

The only problem with this route is the Rest and Be Thankful, the mountain pass and only land route in and out, its not the safest road in the world and its frankly a miracle no one has been swept to their death yet, as you can see from this picture the mountains here are steep and prone to massive landslides, its an ongoing issue of much contention here-

Tales of Home - Page 24 P1000143-Copy

as you can see its been pretty close to disaster at times, this women's car got hit by about 100 tons of mud coming down off the hill and it very nearly put her over the roads edge, she was very lucky, its not a huge distance to the bottom of the glen from the road, but its far enough youd have time to think about it on the way down!-

Tales of Home - Page 24 JS79581999

if it had been one of the bigger landslides, with boulders she'd have been a goner, or buried under it-

Tales of Home - Page 24 114372490-rest2

Still at least its a trip you wont easily forget!

You can just drive from Glasgow to Gourock and get a ferry over, its about same amount of time all in but much less spectacular, and if you want a ferry you can always go back that way (though if youve time, money and inclination Id recommend booking a trip round the isles on the Waverely, the last ocean going paddle steamer in the world).

Tales of Home - Page 24 106906131-getty-waverley

You get a tour of the engines too which is really cool, those old engines are beautiful.




When I was a kid and you were on the beach and out swimming it was always a joy to see the Waverley come along, with the distinctive sound of the engines and paddles, plus you get the best big waves off it compared to modern vessels. Nod

}}

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Post by halfwise Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:08 pm

So the question is, should I have a pint before Rest and be Thankful in order shore up my courage, or be safe and wait to celebrate after I come over? I'm thinking it must be the latter.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:21 pm

{{ If I were you leave Glasgow about 9ish in morning, take leisurely drive down Loch Lomond side, and then get over the Rest, and once youre over youll be at head of loch Fyne, you go left there to get to Dunoon, but go right for a few miles youll be in Inveraray and you can have lunch in the George- Id not recommend a pint as their brew is strong and our drink/drive laws very strict, but youll get the atmosphere and high quality food, especially if you go for seafood as it'll have been caught that morning on the loch, youll not find fresher. Then in afternoon head back to head of the loch, take left for Dunoon, visit the Smithy at Strachur on the way and youll be in Dunoon a mere two hours after leaving Inveraray (plus however long you stop at Strachur for). The drive itself is a good day out.}}

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Post by halfwise Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:39 pm

If the drink and drive laws are so strict it looks like one must spend a night there to truly enjoy the pub.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:45 pm

{{ From Dunoon you can just get the bus up and back, but a nights stay would be the ideal, although Ive never actually stayed in it myself. Trouble with the bus is the times are terrible, you can leave at about 9- arriving about half 10-11 but you have to leave Inveraray at 2 in afternoon and pubs cant sell alcohol until 12, so not much drinking time. Mad }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:49 pm

{{ When it comes to the drink/drive laws its -

22 microgrammes (mcg) of alcohol in 100 ml of breath

50 milligrammes (mg) of alcohol in 100ml of blood

67 milligrammes (mg) in 100 ml of urine

which effectively means none at all as even a pint would most likely put you over. }}

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Post by halfwise Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:50 pm

I'd have to work out the percentages, which I'm not sure are by mole, weight or volume.  Over here it's 0.08 percent blood alcohol.

You come over, we spend some time drinking, then go hiking around a bit and then I eventually drive you back home.  Then I go back to the pub...

Edit: looked it up.  It's mass/volume.  So we allow 0.8 mg/ml in blood. 0.5 mg/ml is considered impaired but not yet illegal.


Last edited by halfwise on Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:53 pm

{{ Sounds good, well maybe...apart from the bit where I get driven home - along narrow country lanes, windy loch side roads and beside huge drops - by a UShobbit who is used to driving on the other side of the road! }}

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Post by halfwise Tue Feb 28, 2023 1:58 pm

Well, you can do the driving, and I'd be happy to have you do so.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Feb 28, 2023 2:02 pm

{{ That could be tricky as I never learned to drive, never had a need to, I always cycled or walked, and if it was further field a bus, or more commonly when going exploring, camping and hiking was doing so with friends and one of them would drive and everyone else just chips in for fuel. Got to bear in mind in terms of going to work, going shopping, visiting family and friends - its all been in walking distance my whole life.
Thats thing with America, its so vast you need a car, here its optional.}}

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Feb 28, 2023 3:36 pm

wow Inverary is stunning and loving all of it, apart from falling off a cliff Shocked , its all fabulous. Thumbs Up
particularly love the pier and the steam boat thingy.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Feb 28, 2023 3:51 pm

{{ Aye, she is a bonnie boat alright. There is something of art about those old designs, same with like a spitfire, it was both functional yet somehow the shape and design, the way it moved through the air had poetry in it. Waverley is like that in the water, there's something magical about her when you see her and hear her paddles working the engines as she goes by. Some majesty of design I dont get when some ten storey cruise ship goes by, I'm awed by their scale but I'm never moved by them. }}


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Post by halfwise Fri Mar 03, 2023 3:00 pm

So I made it to the Scottish pub in my neighborhood yesterday, and not sure why I hadn't gone earlier. They have half pints of beer available, which I like because then I can taste more, especially when combined with happy hour prices. And I also struck it rich because unbenowngst to me it was also a live music night, and happy hour overlapped with the music. This is unheard of: normally the plan is to rope people in with happy hour, then start the music just when the prices run out so you can keep 'em there without the lower price bribery.

The food was decent, though I couldn't bring myself to try the deep fried pizza. Didn't try anything particularly Scottish, but may do bangers and mash next time, or the "meat" pie.

The music was a folk singers club, but it was all American style folk, even from the Brits in the line up. Quite enjoyable though.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Mar 03, 2023 3:06 pm

{{ Bangers and mash is more English than Scottish- Scottish sausage is different and a perfect example of applied crabbit. Link sausages are fine, but if you want to make a sandwich out of them or stick them on a roll they are completely the wrong shape and fall out, or you have to go to the trouble of cutting  them half longways. This obviously made us Scots crabbit trying to grab our sausage roll of a morning only for all the sausages to roll out onto the floor before youve had a bite - thus, the Scottish sausage- which is flat and square and solves the entire problem!
So if you want Scottish sausage ask for 'square sausage' (for full experience add red or brown sauce plus fried onions).

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Post by halfwise Fri Mar 03, 2023 3:39 pm

Don't seem to have scottish style sausage. I was planning on trying some cranachan for dessert, but after the soup and the burger figured I was filled up.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Mar 03, 2023 6:34 pm

{{ No square sausage, you sure this a Scottish place? Tell me you at least got a drop of a nice smoky peaty single malt from the islands? You can of course still get a half pint in pubs here, not really sure why I've never seen an adult with them, and these days they are stricter on youngsters in pubs. When I was a kid thats what your Dad got you from when you were about 12/13 up on rare occasion you got to go, but it'd not be beer, but shandy, a third beer, 2/3 lemonade in a half pint glass.
Maybe American women drink from half-pint glasses, mind you if you gave that to your average Scottish lass she'd have your face off for doing her out half a pint, so maybe not. }} }}

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Tales of Home - Page 24 Empty Re: Tales of Home

Post by halfwise Fri Mar 03, 2023 11:12 pm

Actually the half pint glasses are a fairly new idea around here. Quarter pints have long been used for tasting flights, but I only noticed half pints showing up as an option a few years ago. For these brewpubs with a dozen taps or so, it's a really smart move! And of course you are charged slightly more than half price, so the pub makes out just fine even if you reduce your drinking somewhat just because you can.

I didn't see anyone else drinking the half pints, but normally they're consumed at lunch. The lassies may be more likely to get them, but I don't think there's a large differential.

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