Tag Archives: Scotland

Edinburgh Caching – Geocaches 78 and 79

My friend Aimee was visiting from Austria, and happily she made it to Edinburgh so we could catch up! We had no real plans in the city until we could meet friends at 6pm, so we just wandered about and I had a go at a few caches because, well… it would be rude not to. Our first success was with a new type of cache for me – a webcam cache. You go and stand in front of a webcam at the specified coordinates, and then use software on your phone or ask a friend to log into it from their computer at home. Jon took this picture for us “Wolfing it in the West End” (GCHWAP).

Webcam Cache
Webcam Cache

This was lots of fun to do – I don’t really know why but it really appealed! We arranged to see Luke, another friend of ours, and decided to get the tram to a lovely restaurant across town – an excellent excuse for a go on the new trams, and a great opportunity to grab a mystery cache that I had already worked out the answer for. I quickly found the right spot for Tramspotting (GC5359Q) which has a funny description (probably even funnier if you’re an Edinburger) and is well worth a look.

A quick and cheeky multi!
A quick and cheeky multi
Elementary
Elementary

After this quick find we jumped onto the tram and went for a well deserved pile of Chinese dumplings at Chop Chop. Yum!

Later, the three of us attempted Greyfriar’s Bobby (GC3B3R2) but had no luck! We had a hunt around for a bit but couldn’t see where the cache could be. Happily, we did meet a nice German family who were doing the same thing. We left before they did, but happened to bump into them while crossing the road to Waverley Station a few hours later – they didn’t find it either!

Maybe next time…

Geocaches 16-20

I spent some time in town today finding some lovely caches around St Andrews. Seeing as I had a travel bug to drop off (my first one) I was glad to find a large container near town to send it off!

We set off to find this one first seeing as it was a little way out of town. We took a breezy walk up the hill and got there only to see a car parked right by where the cache was hidden! Luckily the car pulled away and while Caroline played with a ladybird she also spotted the suspicious pile of rocks hiding St Andrews Travel Bug Motel (GC32HE6) a purpose-built cache for the swapping of travel bugs. I exchanged mine for a geocoin (Schnapszahl Geocoin) whose mission is to reach Germany.

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The next cache, Heroic Honey’s Harbour (GC19ZPP), was in the harbour and told the story of John Honey, who had taken part in a daring rescue. The small cache was in a very appropriately themed spot and was quickly discovered due to process of elimination!

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The next cache, East Neuk – nooks and crannies – Lane (GC4N9WD) was in one of my favourite hidden spots in St Andrews. The container was brilliant and it was only found due to some puns in previous logs! It was the first natural cache of this type I’ve found…

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After that awesome find there was an intermission…

…then came GW to GZ (GC1WVJX) which stumped me for ages, despite being in the exact right location. A different perspective finally led to the find.

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I tried in vain to find The Stakes were High (GCVKVA) but was overlooked so the search was abandoned…

There was another ice cream filled interlude, after which I went to How’s the weather! (GC25EHQ), which is placed near a barometer in town, which many residents are surprised to come across!

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What a successful day!

Geocache 15

Geocaching in one of my favourite places was a great treat and I enjoyed exploring St Andrews from a totally new perspective. Many of the caches I found listed were in favourite spots of mine and I enjoyed visiting them again.

I used to cross the bridge over the burn and see the ducks every day, so I was very happy to see there was a cache (GC19ZQ0) there. It was a quick find once I read the clue, and in fact I had my suspicions about the location even before setting off.

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Of course, the ducks were their usual charming selves!

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The Night of the Doctor

After the usual morning routine and lunch, I spent some time writing and doing some origami, taking a look at Sellappan’s dad’s coin and stamp collections (British and American) and watching TV.

At about 4pm The Doctor¹ called to take me to meet his friends and family. First we flew the TARDIS² across town to Ragu’s place (another of Sellappan’s many friends). Ragu is the MD of a rice mill on the edge of town, and is a big fan of green technology. His house water is actually rainwater collected on the roof (though it very rarely rains, when it does it pours) and is powered by solar panels (now this, I can definitely see!) also on the roof. He also rents a second place with similar technology installed. As an added bonus the 360 degree view from his roof comprises the hills of Salem, lots of greenery and the rice mill itself. After meeting Ragu’s lovely family and having snacks and tea we looked through his wedding album, much to the Doctor’s amusement.

Next we went to the Doctor’s place and I met his family, and his tenants³ and we had yet more snacks and tea. Vijay’s mam asked me about my lack of jewellery and showed me her wedding jewellery which she always wore. She wears a necklace and silver rings on both feet every day. She also asked me how often I went to church and showed me the house’s puja room and lit some incense for the gods. Vijay’s parents were both maths teachers before they retired, and his mam was keen to learn some origami.

Vijay, his wife and his mam made a lotus flower each, after I had made a talking crow for Vijay’s son, who has tons of energy. He is top of his class in abacus and drawing, and loves animals just as much as his vet parents do. He also treated us to a dance show with his friend – another of his passions.

After the dancing I took the chance to teach a couple of ceilidh moves to the assembled family, with poor Vijay volunteering to help. I think it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed that, just judging by the giggling. I also learned some more Tamil words and phrases from Vijay, who was a keen teacher. Watch out Sellappan is all I can say…

Vijay’s wife was feeling tired, so rather than eating at home we went out for dinner, and I had the spiciest dosa I’ve had so far, as well as French onion soup which was packed with chilli powder. The TARDIS materialised again back home, though a few hours later than when we had set off.

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¹ Sellappan’s friend Vijay, Casper’s vet. Sellappan calls him Doctor.
² He drove the Honda Civic.
³ Pun forcibly inserted, Whovians.

Seaglass Studs

I have been making some very simple seaglass jewellery to give as gifts on my travels. I have a decent-sized stash of seaglass that I collected while living in Fife, and a friend recently road-tested this simple stud design for me and gave it the thumbs-up.

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You have to use a special adhesive for the glass/metal combination, and this cures in sunlight. I don’t yet have a drill, and I think I’m going to stay away from drilling the glass as much as I can – I prefer to keep the glass in its “natural” state if possible.

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This pair have already been chosen by my mam!

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I wonder if I’ll find any seaglass in India…

Sugar and Spice Tearooms

Arbroath is a small town by the sea in Scotland. Among other attractions, it has a spectacular coastline and clifftop walk. On a recent visit to Arbroath I was lucky enough to be treated to tea at Sugar and Spice Tearooms. If you didn’t know that the tearoom was there you’d be forgiven for missing it, as it is tucked in the back of the sweet shop of the same name. Once inside, the tearoom offers a traditional style and a comfortable place to sit, along with a conservatory which is beautiful in the late afternoon sunshine.

The portions are ample, and I went for the self-proclaimed “GINORMOUS Meringue”, which definitely lived up to its name. The whole thing was probably the size of my head, and I certainly appreciated the help I had in finishing it. It was fantastic, and you certainly aren’t left feeling hungry. I wouldn’t recommend attempting it alone unless you can handle a lot of whipped cream and sugar!

I was also impressed by the range of cakes and treats on offer. There was a reasonably-priced cream tea and a high tea was also on offer. The scones were equally impressive – huge – and there were plain, fruit and “special” scones on offer. I tasted the apple and cinnamon scone and it was unusual, but very tasty.

Given the atmosphere, the quality and the prices, Sugar and Spice Tearooms offers fantastic value for money, and I will definitely visit again.

You can find out more about the tearooms, as well as the adjoining sweet shop on the Sugar and Spice website.

 

B. Jannetta’s

I am a big fan of ice cream. When I was younger it was a rare thing to find an ice cream shop with more than the standard vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. Occasionally I’d come across a shop with mint choc chip or perhaps banana. If it’s variety of flavour you’re looking for then visiting B. Jannetta in Saint Andrews, Fife is perfect. This business recently celebrated its centenary as it opened in 1908 and has not moved since! There are other branches around Fife and some local venues also stock Jannetta’s ice cream.

I mentioned flavours, and the range at Jannetta’s is unbelievable, in fact it’s a good thing there’s a huge queue on a sunny day as it gives you a chance to pick which flavour you’d like.

I have yet to choose a favourite from the many on offer – their website says 52 are available, but I will be sampling many more of them in the future! The two flavours pictured are Dutch Chocolate and Turkish Delight.

I’m not sure what it is about the chocolate that makes it Dutch, but there is no standard chocolate on offer. In any case, I hardly ever get ice cream from Jannetta’s without a scoop of that flavour. The Turkish Delight flavour was a new choice and was absolutely delicious, like having a bar of the stuff with a whole lot of double cream added (no surprises there!).

In addition to the delicious ice cream they have an adjoining cafe where you can grab a light lunch or a snack, or even a sundae or milkshake. The mint chock chip milkshake is gorgeous and there are 8 different flavours to choose from.

Jannetta’s fully embraces social media and customer interaction, and there are ongoing competitions running. One is to design a flavour – no mean feat given how many they’ve tried. The other competition involves photographing a Jannetta’s tub or wafer in a far-flung location. All of these photographs seem to end up posted around the ice cream shop’s walls, and it’s amazing to see how far some people have taken the challenge.

All in all, B. Jannetta’s is not to be missed.