I was trying to get to Cauldron Linn on the River Devon and couldn’t work out how, so continued along the track to Muckhart Mill. There are some lovely old stone buildings, and one of them had this very attractive external iron staircase.
There were also beautiful views of the Ochils with the last of the winter’s snow, and the Devon valley.
San Gimignano is a wonderful Tuscan hill town, with more of it’s tower houses left than any other similar town. It’s a wonderful place to visit both for views of it, and from it. There is also a fabulous Gelateria(ice cream shop) in one of the squares.
Sienna is known for Porchetta (roast pork loin) rolls, and in the west corner of the Palio is Salumeria Il Cencio. They have some benches on the first floor with a wonderful view across the Palio. They are reached by this interesting spiral staircase. You can see the benches on Google Earth, if you look closely enough.
Christmas day 2014 was beautiful, so I drive to Pitlochry and walked up past Black Spout waterfall to Eradour Distillery, across the fields to Moulin, back down to the town and along the river back to the car. Then I drove home via the south side of Loch Tummel and Aberfeldy, with a short diversion along the Shiehallion car park road.
I spent a few days with a friend who lives near Darmstadt, and we visited Schloss Schwetzingen which is a wonderful building dating to approximately 1700-1750. It has extensive, beautiful gardens and is roughly equidistant from Manheim and Heidelberg,the other seats of the Electors of Palatine. A remarkable feature seen on Google Earth is what used to be a straight avenue lined with mulberry trees going to Heidelberg.
I visited Crichton Castle on Boxing Day, and again had a lovely quiet walk with few other people around. I was also able to view the work in progress at the top of Borthwick Bank on the Borders Railway.