Monday 4 August 2014

The Mermaid of the North and Tarbat Ness.

I've so many photos of holiday delights and discoveries to share that I'm having to fling them up rather rapidly. School starts back next week so my opportunities to post will become rather more infrequent. Enjoy it while you can, as they say...

I'm still working backwards - on the last full day of our holiday we visited the Tarbat Ness peninsula which lies to the north of the Black Isle. We took the bikes, but first we stopped in Balintore to see the mermaid...

Lovely flowers, beyond them lies the beach, if you know where to look you can just make out a mermaid in the distance.

Beautiful pebbles on the beach.

And here she is: The Mermaid of the North.
We weren't sure if we'd see her as she's been away for repair after sustaining some storm damage. We were very glad to see she's back.

At high tide the rock she sits on is submerged so that it looks as though she's sitting in the sea. She's bigger than her more famous counterpart in Copenhagen and it is hoped that she too becomes a tourist attraction to draw visitors to the area. I certainly enjoyed seeing her, she's one of the most beautiful statues I've ever seen.

We then drove on to Portmahomack to park the car and unload the bicycles.

A peek at the village from the car park.


Bench detail.

 Looking over the bay in the opposite direction - lovely soft pink sand.

And we're off...

This is Ballone Castle. Twenty five years ago it was a ruin. Once I find the link again to the article I read (with amazing pictures of the renovation) I'll include it here.

Tarbat Ness lighthouse.

Abandoned farm cottage with perching birds.

 Yum! Unfortunately we returned to Portmahomack just after 4pm so missed this particular cake opportunity.

Bikes parked at the gate, we continue on foot.

The lighthouse again (there will be more photos of it!), N is trailing behind along the path beside it. His legs were tired he said.

 The end of the world.

Rocks and clouds.

 Purple heather in the foreground, looking across the Dornoch Firth.


 Lichen growing amongst the heather.

Handprint on the path.

 Back past the lighthouse, the third tallest in Scotland.

We then return to Portmahomack though we stop at the church just before the village...

There is an unusual bronze statue there, supposedly of a Pictish queen. It didn't really appeal to me.

The church contains a a museum devoted to the Picts and their stone carvings I believe - we didn't go in as N was very grumbly by this point and wasn't to be humoured. Instead we return to the car for some sandwiches and a wander round Portmahomack...

There's not much to Pormahomack, but what there is is lovely. I like the clouds building on the horizon.


Same bench as earlier, different detail.



And again. Judging from the state of it it's up all year round. The main street into the village was all lined with bunting - it did give a bright and cheery welcome.

 Drying nets.

Rusty roofs.

A last look at the view before leaving. Look at the clouds now - fabulous!


CJ said...

Amazingly beautiful, and so quiet and unspoilt. I felt relaxed just looking at the photos, it must have been wonderful to visit. The mermaid is lovely. Hope you have a good week. CJ xx

**Anne** said...

WOW, what a beautiful part of the world. Your photos are stunning. Thanks for sharing.
Anne xx

Lyn said...

gorgeous as usual, I love all the photos but especially the lichen, it was like a bouquet of flowers. I hope the mermaid becomes a tourist attraction too,and the area gets lots of visitors, it looks like a special place.

Amy at love made my home said...

The mermaid is beautiful, she must look amazing when the tide is in. xx

Mac n' Janet said...

Love the mermaid!

Irene Donovan said...

thank you for sharing. Your photos are beautiful!

Lucie said...

Wow!!! C'est tellement beau!
C'est toujours un plaisir de revenir sur votre blog. Un plaisir pour mes yeux. Merci

So beautiful! A pleasur for my eyes

blueskyscotland said...

Don't remember seeing the mermaid before. Stayed on the Black Isle
briefly way back in the days when it was still reached by a ferry from Inverness before the bridge arrived. Still a great place for cycling.

driftwood said...

oh with each of these posts I want to visit the area even more x

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