Some of the best village ramparts in France
After a busy day in Perth we had a complete change of scene this evening by driving the 18miles from Perth to Loch Leven.
We had a good night last night at the Park & Ride. We chose a flattish place at the far end of the carpark guessing that most people would be coming and going at the other end. We were aware of some activity around us but nothing serious and it went quiet after about 10pm (well I did not hear anything and was soon asleep).
We were rudely woken at 6am by an alarm clock going off unexpectedly. This turned out to be the little weather station and clock attached to the glove box and thus directly below the bed. This required both of us to get out of bed so that I could lift the bed back up and then deal with the offending alarm which was still buzzing away. Grrrrr!! We went back to bed and suddenly it was almost 8am and slightly later than I had meant to get up. We wantedto get the bus in to the city for 10am so decided to be up at the bus stop at 09:30. It was all very easy and we had loads of time.
The venue we needed was the Perth Theatre which is a mix of old and new, a smart modern extension having been built alongside the old Victorian theatre. We enjoyed the two talks especially the fascinating overview of the history of Perth & Kinross from Mesolithic to Modern by the Director of Perth & Kinross Heritage. We have got so used to hearing a very Moray centred view we had almost forgotten that in fact most areas of Scotland have similar historical credentials!
However the tour de force was Dr David Bowler’s guided walk around Perth. Dr Bowler has been closely involved with all major archaeological work in Perth for over 30 years and there is not much he does not know about the history of the city. He took us around Perth for 2 hours (and 2 miles) telling us all about how the city developed from an early medieval river port at the lowest bridging point on the Tay, through the Tudor period (Margaret Tudor is buried here) to the expansion in the 18th century and up to the current time. He would walk us down a street pointing out new buildings and telling us about the excavations that were done before the redevelopment.
Finally he took us to the site of the Dominican monastery where King James 1 (our King James 1 not the English King James 1 who was our King James 6!) was murdered and then took us to the remains of the Carmelite monastery where he was buried. The actual site of the royal burials is not known but several other Stuarts are buried there including Margaret Tudor who was married to King James 4. She was the sister of the English King Henry 8 and it was through her that King James 6 of Scotland became King James 1 of England on the death of Elizabeth 1.
We returned to Bertie at 5pm and as the weather was still fine but looking like it might turn wet we decided to get on to Kinross at once. We arrived at our lovely parking space at 17:30 and put the kettle on! Fortified with coffee and panetone we stepped out to enjoy the sunset across the loch. Within a few minutes we heard some geese flying and then realised that there were a huge number flying quite low over the lake towards us. Several thousand geese flew quite low over our heads, the noise was impressive both the loud calls of the geese but also the rush of so many pairs of wings beating. The geese flew across the little spit of land where we were and on to the middle of the lake where they all settled in huge flock. A few minutes later another large flock arrived to join them. Later we heard yet more groups of geese go over. We have seen large skeins of geese flying over Forres and Findhorn but never so many or so close to us. It was a truly awe inspiring sight.