I Have This Thing With Clock Towers

There are a few accounts and corresponding hashtags on Instagram, like #ihavethisthingwithfloors and #ihavethisthingwithlibraries, that focus on specific architectural features. My “thing” is clock towers – I absolutely love them. Whenever I’m out and about and I see one over the rooftops, I have an irrepressible urge to go find where it is and what building it’s on top of. So the other day I decided to indulge my weird passion and go clock tower hunting!

ACT Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

First up is ACT Aberdeen, formerly known as the Aberdeen Arts Centre. This one is in the city centre at the junction of King Street and West North Street, and as you drive along W N Street it gets framed against the spectacular Marischal College. I like the grand columns on the building and that this clock’s four faces alternate black and white on each side.

East St Clement's Church, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

In the nearby area of Footdee is St Clement’s Church. This lovely little old kirk is now disused, but the graveyard is still open to the public so you can wander round and read the collection of lopsided gravestones.

Aberdeen Harbour Board - Emma's Picture Postcards

Up close and at ground level, Aberdeen Harbour Board’s office blends in with all the other grey granite facades on Regent Quay. But from a bit further away its clock tower stands out as a focal point.

St Stephens Parish Church, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

Leaving the city centre and heading out towards the airport, you pass St Stephen’s Parish Church on Powis Place, with its cheery red doors, classy cupola and weather vane. Powis Place has been looking a little shabby the last few years as there were a few empty buildings, but they’ve been renovated and replaced now so the whole street is spick and span again!

Woodside Parish Church, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

Carrying on along Great Northern Road, you reach Woodside Parish Church, which is tucked away up a peaceful little side street. As you can probably tell, Aberdeen is very grey, so the little splash of colour provided by the green dome is always welcome!

St Machar's Cathedral, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

And last up is a favourite, the beautiful St Machar’s Cathedral, in Old Aberdeen. I arrived just as a wedding was finishing, but I managed to get a stealthy snap without getting in the way!

After I took these pictures the rain started so I decided to call it quits, but it was a nice way to get some exercise so I’m sure I’ll be back with a part 2 some time soon.

What’s your favourite? Do you have a #thingwithfloors, ceilings or anything else?

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Isle of Skye, March 2016 – Day 3: Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

After our hike up Storr on day 2, I was relieved that the other place I’d hoped to visit, the fairy pools, was a much easier walk!

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

The Fairy Pools are a succession of small pools and waterfalls, created by a stream coming down off the Cuillin mountains. The water is bright blue and beautifully clear, and it’s easy to see where the name comes from as the place feels very magical.

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Although the walk is a lot less steep than the one at Old Man of Storr, you still have to be nimble enough to navigate the stepping stones above. We saw a lovely little Westie carefully hopping his way across, with lots of encouragement from his owners 🙂

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

When we arrived back at the car, we discovered that it had made a friend…

Emma's Picture Postcards

We spotted this gorgeous little chaffinch from about 10 metres away and inched slowly closer, but he was completely relaxed and only flew away when he was finished admiring his reflection 🙂

Emma's Picture Postcards

On the way back to Kyleakin we stopped in at Cafe Sia in Broadford. They take pride in using local ingredients, hand-roast their own coffee beans and grind them to order, and have a traditional wood-fired pizza oven. I tried out the Traditional Italian pizza (mozzarella, basil oil and tomato) and a flat white, and both were delicious. With his pizza, James tried another tasty local ale (from Plockton Brewery), which was served in a frozen glass! Yum. Despite grinding the coffee beans to order meaning it took a while to prepare each one, the cafe was doing a roaring trade in take-away orders as well as people having a relaxed sit-down lunch, so I think that speaks for the quality!

Cafe Sia, Broadford, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Full up on our pizzas, we relaxed at the hotel for a while, before realising it was 7.30pm, on a Sunday, in the Highlands, in the winter season. Good luck finding somewhere open for dinner! Google informed us that the fish and chip shop in Kyle of Lochalsh was open until 8pm, so we jumped in the car and zoomed across, realising when we reached the village that we’d forgotten to take a note of where exactly the chippy was. We ended up driving past the Kyle Chinese Takeaway (on Main Street) and decided that would do nicely! Our meals were decent but apparently forgettable – I think we had chilli chicken – but the highlight was the ribs, which were fantastic.

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

And that was our weekend complete! We had such a lovely stay – Skye is a very peaceful and refreshing place. I’d recommend everywhere we visited, but most especially our accommodation, walks and lunch spots. Here are the links to Day 1 and Day 2 in case you missed them 🙂

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