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    The Best of Scotland – Argyll & The Isles: Bute & Cowal…

    Mosaic brochures VisitScotland 2012 and three Scottish Teddy Bears 1 © 2013 Scotiana

     

    Dear readers,

    This post introduces a  new series of articles which will lead us to some of the best places of Scotland.  We’ve visited a number of them during our seven trips there and we’ll share with you a selection of our photos focusing on what we love best.  Our last travel to Scotland dates back to September 2012 but we’re already busy preparing the next one which will take place in May and June 2015. It will be a 45-day trip and we’re looking forward to our new Scottish adventures.

    There are 32 ‘council areas’ * in Scotland. You can see the list at the end of this article but I will use  Visit Scotland‘s division into 15 regions which suits my purpose better.

    • Aberdeen City and Shire
    • Argyll & The Isles
    •  Ayrshire & Arran
    •  Dumfries & Galloway
    •  Dundee & Angus
    •  Edinburgh & The Lothians
    •  Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley
    •  The Highlands
    •  The Kingdom of Fife
    •  Loch Lomond, The Trossachs, Stirling & Forth Valley
    •  Orkney
    •  Outer Hebrides
    •  Perthshire
    •  Scottish Borders
    •  Shetland

     

    Visit Scotland Argyll & The Isles Brochure 2012

    Visit Scotland Argyll & The Isles Brochure 2012

     

    Our tour of Scotland begins with Argyll & The Isles,  still following Visit Scotland subdivision of this region into three areas, focusing first on Bute & Cowal today.

    • Oban, Mull & Lorn
    • Mid Argyll, Kintyre & Islay
    • Bute & Cowal
    The Rough Guide to Scottish Higlands & Islands Rough Guides 2006

    The Rough Guide to Scottish Higlands & Islands Rough Guides 2006

    Cut off from centuries from the rest of Scotland by the mountains and sea lochs that characterize the region, Argyll remains remote, its scatter of offshore islands forming part of the Inner Hebridean archipelago. Geographically as well as culturally, this is a transitional area between Highland and Lowland, boasting a rich variety of scenery, from lush, subtropical gardens warmed by the Gulf Stream to flat and treeless islands on the edge of the Atlantic. It’s in the folds and twists of the countryside, the interplay of land and water and the views out to the islands that the strengths and beauties of mainland Argyll lie.

    On 15 May 2004 we visited the small island of  Bute but it would have been worth to devote more time to it. We only stayed  half a day driving along the A 886 up to Garroch Head.  Our tour was a “parcours du combattant” to see all what we wanted to see: the picturesque little town of Rothesay with its old castle, the fascinating Mount Stuart House with its magnificent gardens and St Blane ruins in the south of the isle. All along the road the scenery is very beautiful with boats sailing on the Firth of Clyde and views to the mainland and the island of Arran.  We had arrived around midday via the ferry which sails from Colintraive, on the Cowal peninsula,  to Rhudobach, on the isle of Bute. The crossing is very short for the distance between Colintraive and Rhudobach is only 300 m.

    We plan to go back there in our next trip to Scotland in Spring and also to take time to walk on the peninsula of Cowal which is a lovely place to spend a holiday. We only passed through it on our way to Colintraive and Bute following peaceful little roads: the A 885, the B 836 and the A 886. The weather was cloudy and fresh but as it didn’t rain, we could take a few pictures of the countryside covered with carpets of wild flowers: broom, bluebells and ‘Stellaria Holostea’, a beautiful and lavish white flower I’ve just found the name. The air was vivifying and we enjoyed very much our short but frequent stops  in front of a loch, a beautiful house surrounded by colourful rhododendrons, big old trees standing amidst carpets of bluebells. Once a pheasant crossed the road and sheep and lambs were bleating in the distance…

     

    Cowal peninsula Dunoon ferry terminal © 2004 Scotiana

    Cowal peninsula Dunoon ferry terminal © 2004 Scotiana

    Hills and fields on the Cowal peninsula  © 2004 Scotiana

    Hills and fields on the Cowal peninsula © 2004 Scotiana

    Cowal tree bluebells jacinthes des bois jacinthes sauvages © 2004 Scotiana

    Cowal tree bluebells jacinthes des bois jacinthes sauvages © 2004 Scotiana

     

    Cowal loch Striven Stellaria Holostea © 2004 Scotiana

    Cowal loch Striven Stellaria Holostea © 2004 Scotiana

    Cowal peninsula Ardtaraig panel JC  © 2004 Scotiana

    Cowal peninsula Ardtaraig panel JC © 2004 Scotiana

    Colintraive ferry terminal Cowal peninsula Argyll & The Isles Scotland © 2004 Scotiana

    Colintraive ferry terminal Cowal peninsula Argyll &The Isles © 2004 Scotiana

     

    Colintraive-Rhubodach ferry Cowal peninsula Argyll & The Isles Scotland  © 2004 Scotiana

    Colintraive-Rhubodach ferry Cowal peninsula Argyll The Isles © 2004 Scotiana

     

    Bute beach boat race broom-covered hills © 2004 Scotiana

    Bute beach boat race broom-covered hills © 2004 Scotiana

     

    Bute boat race © 2004 Scotiana

    Bute boat race © 2004 Scotiana

     

    Bute Rothesay castle ditches © 2004 Scotiana

    Bute Rothesay castle ditches © 2004 Scotiana

     

     

    Bute Rothesay castle rhodos gun and rhodos © 2004 Scotiana

    Bute Rothesay castle rhodos gun and rhodos © 2004 Scotiana

     

    Bute Mountstuart route rhodos © 2004 Scotiana

    Bute Mountstuart route rhodos © 2004 Scotiana

     

    Bute Mountstuart House © 2004 Scotiana

    Bute Mountstuart House © 2004 Scotiana

    This big mansion is one of our favourite places in Argyll & Bute. We would have preferred our guide focuses on the esoteric side of the place rather than on the gallery of portraits ornating the house…

    http://www.mountstuart.com/

    Bute Mountstuart family arms © 2004 Scotiana

    Bute Mountstuart family arms © 2004 Scotiana

     

     

    Bute St Blane ruins hilll© 2004 Scotiana

    Bute St Blane ruins hilll© 2004 Scotiana

     

    Bute St Blane ruins © 2004 Scotiana

    Bute St Blane ruins © 2004 Scotiana

    I hope you’ve enjoyed  this first little ‘trip’ to Scotland. Maybe it will give you ideas when you travel there. But this article will be followed by many other ones. Stay tuned because it will be completed soon with many more details about each place of interest. Don’t miss our next episode in Argyll & the Isles. ;-)

    A bientôt.

    Mairiuna

    * The 32 Scottish ‘council areas’ :

    1. Inverclyde
    2. Renfrewshire
    3. West Dunbartonshire
    4. East Dunbartonshire
    5. City of Glasgow
    6. East Renfrewshire
    7. North Lanarkshire
    8. Falkirk
    9. Clackmannanshire
    10. West Lothian
    11. City of Edinburgh
    12. Midlothian
    13. East Lothian
    14. Fife
    15. Dundee
    16. Angus
    17. Aberdeenshire
    18. City of Aberdeen
    19. Moray
    20. Highland
    21. Hébrides extérieures
    22. Argyll and Bute
    23. Perth and Kinross
    24. Stirling
    25. North Ayrshire
    26. East Ayrshire
    27. South Ayrshire
    28. Dumfries and Galloway
    29. South Lanarkshire
    30. Scottish Borders
    31. Orcades
    32. Shetland
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    “We are Charlie” …

     

     

    "Je suis Charlie" slogan Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack

     

    Paris, 8 January 2015

    It’s a day of national mourning in France, all flags have been lowered…

    …………………

    On 7 January 2015, three gunmen opened fire at the Paris office of Charlie Hebdo, killing at least 12, and wounding 11, 4 seriously. Staff cartoonists Charb, Cabu, Honoré, Tignous, and Wolinskialong with economist Bernard Maris, and two police officers standing guard at the magazine were all killed. President François Hollande described it as a “terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity”. (…)

    The day after the attack, the remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo announced that publication would continue, with the next week’s edition of the newspaper to be released on the usual schedule, but with a greatly increased print run of 1,000,000 copies.

    (Source Wikipedia)

    I am Charlie" slogan Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack

     

    Patrick Pelloux columnist at Charlie Hebdo

    Patrick Pelloux columnist at Charlie Hebdo

    «Le jour­nal va conti­nuer, ils n’ont pas gagné»

    (Patrick Pelloux, méde­cin urgen­tiste et chro­niqueur de Char­lie Hebdo)

    Patrick Pelloux arrived late at Charlie Hebdo for the weekly meeting because of his work at the Hospital Emergency and that saved his life. Sadly enough he was one of the first people to arrive on the place after the shooting and to give first aid to his fellow-workers at Charlie Hebdo…

    Willem cartoonist at  Charlie Hebdo

    Willem cartoonist at Charlie Hebdo

    «Comme je suis dessi­na­teur, je ne sais faire que ça donc je conti­nue oui

    sinon ils ont gagné».

    (Willem, dessinateur à Charlie Hebdo)

     

    Willem didn’t like the weekly conferences which take place weekly at Charlie Hebdo. It saved his life. He was in the train when he learned the news…

     Charlie Hebdo cartoonists montage photosAFP

    A combination of file photos shows (from L) French cartoonist of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Jean Cabut, aka Cabu; cartoonist Tignous ; newspaper publisher Charb;  Georges Wolinski;. (AFP)

     

    We’ll miss these talented artists… their smile… their

    courage…

     

    Cabu dedicating books at Salon du Livre 2008

    Cabu dedicating books at Salon du Livre 2008

    Tignous dedicating books at 'O Tour de la Bulle' in  Montpellier 2010

    Tignous dedicating books at ‘O Tour de la Bulle’ in Montpellier 2010

     

    Charb dedicating a book...

    Charb dedicating a book…

    Cartoonist Wolinski at fête de L'Humanité 2007-02

    Cartoonist Wolinski at fête de L’Humanité 2007-02

     

    Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Honoré

    Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Honoré

     

    Their cartoons have become part of our everyday life, bringing the note of humour we all need so much to live on.

    So many thanks to them who gave their life to make us more free.

    But they will live forever as heroes in our collective imaginary,  as martyrs in the fight for freedom of expression, for democracy and liberty.

    We are Charlie.

    I am not a reader of Charlie Hebdo, but next Wednesday I will buy the special issue published in memory of the 12 people fallen under its banner. Its staff have been decimated but a new team is already at work and, like the Phoenix,  Charlie Hebdo will soon be born again…

    Je suis Charlie.

    Mairiuna on behalf of the team of Scotiana.

     

    18h50  Place de la République à Paris : une foule silencieuse...

    18h50 Place de la République à Paris : une foule silencieuse…

    Toulouse est Charlie

    Brisbane Je suis Charlie gathering 2015-01-08 Wikipedia

    Brisbane Je suis Charlie gathering 2015-01-08

     

     Cologne: candles shining in the night for the victims of Charlie Hebdo shooting


    Cologne: candles shining in the night for the victims of Charlie Hebdo shooting

     

     

     

     

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    Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année 2015!

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    [Gaelic pronounciation: "noll-eg cree-yel ugus blee-anna vah oor"]

    Alloway – Burns- Weathercock Clinking glasses © 2012 Scotiana

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    Young woman decorating the Christmas tree – Marcel Rieder 1898

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    Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe 145 Canongate © 2012 Scotiana

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