Monday, 19 May 2008

A trip down to London city

I must have lived a fairly sheltered life so far. Nobody can believe that my trip two weeks ago to London was the first time I'd been there. Well it was and here are some photos to prove it!
Westminster Cathedral
As part of my job, I deliver software training to mainly new clients. This particular client was based in Victoria, Westminster - right in the heart of the tourist part of the city. Above, Westminster Cathedral, located just along from Victoria station. Below the very impressive (and unbelievably huge) Westminster Abbey, together with a close up of the carvings above the entrance.
Westminster AbbeyWestminster Abbey Carvings
I was just down for a couple of days, so only had the overnight stay to work my way round the countless sights. I soon ran out of sunlight however, so apologies for some of these darker shots. Below, the first glance of Big Ben across the House of Lords, whereas the next shot is the familiar sight of the houses of parliament. Nope, didn't see anyone famous - just a lot of police!
Big Ben

Couldn't make up my mind about the London Eye. It's a great landmark yes. Certainly catches the eye. But is it really neccesary with all the other fantastic sights around? Still, the Thames was impressive and I couldn't get over quite how busy it is on the river.
London Eye
Nelson's Column, Trafalgar Square
So after wandering around the River, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey I headed up to Trafalgar square. Nelson's column above with the moon behind. Then from further afield in the dark, a slightly blurry shot of the night skyline where I had been earlier.
Sky at Night

The following day I got back home pretty late after a delayed flight (blame easyjet), but after a bit of a lie in, I decided to head out to the hills. Pictures of the very pretty Ben Lawers soon - although it was again unfortunately not ideal for photography. Must stop making excuses, and blog more! And start including some GIS related stuff!

Oh, better give sis a mention. She's now away out in Colorado on a course. Read all about it on her blog. If you can stand the colours of course! Gray!?

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Sunday, 20 April 2008

The views from Schiehallion

This weekend I needed to get out of the city so I went for a clamber up Schiehallion (1083m) up in Highland Perthshire, just North of Aberfeldy, overlooking Loch Tummel & Loch Rannoch.

Views across Schiehallion's ridge back to Loch Tummel

I'll leave the route description and map to Walk Highlands, although provided you find the Braes of Foss car park, you can't really go wrong on this one! It's a single path up and back down, quite direct and not too bad all around. The only slight obstacle facing us was the prospect of some snow and ice. I wasn't really equiped for dealing with ice, so I went up with the intention of just going as far as I could manage. As it turns out the snow was fairly fresh and soft and really wasn't too hazardous at all, and was only really an issue for the last 500-600ft of the climb.

views North with the River Garry below

While Schiehallion is one of these slightly annoying mountains where you never get a good view of the summit, except from right at the start, you do absolutely stunning views back behind you to Loch Tummel, and better still South towards the Ben Lawers massif. Once you hit the top, Loch Rannoch also reveals itself, with the high peaks of the Cairngorms in the distance to the North (above), and those of Glen Coe in the West.

The Ben Lawers massif looking South from Schiehallion

Ben Lawers can be seen in the photo above, whereas Loch Tummel can be viewed below. I also did a quick KML, that should have the photo locations embedded. Or see a 360 degree movie from the summit!

Views across Loch Tummel
Below, roughly the view from Google Earth.

Views across Loch Tummel

Away from the photos, there is some prominent history behind Schiehallion. It was used by Nevil Maskelyne to calculate the mass of the earth, on the basis of knowing the mass of the mountain (it could be accurately calculated being such a conical shape) and the first mountain to be mapped using contour lines. General info on wikipedia and Munro Magic as ever. Better still, its name is used by a brewer for a rather tasty ale.

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