Armin's World Tour of Scotland

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Facts of the Day:
Date: 04/July/2002
From: Ayr
Via: Culzean Castle
To: Glasgow
Miles: 69
Midges: 295 (Estimate)
Weather: Cloudy but dry
Mood: Good

Picture of the ruined arch with the castle in the backgroundHaving arrived in Ayr via the scenic coastal route the previous day I had to backtrack slightly today: I went to Culzean Castle and Country Park. The castle is about 10 miles south of Ayr on the A719, overlooking the Firth of Clyde with views to Arran and Kintyre. It was designed by Robert Adams for David KennedyPicture of Culzean Castle from the fountain court, the 10th Earl of Cassillis in the late 18th century. The Kennedy family had maintained a castle at Culzean for a long time, but Robert Adam transformed a rather ordinary country house to the castle you can see today, matching the dramatic clifftop location.Picture of the shore with a view along the coast to Ailsa Craig To the south you can see Ailsa Craig and on a clear day Northern Ireland, opposite the castle is the Isle of Arran, to the north Bute and the northern Ayrshire coast. The National Trust who now owns and runs the castle and country park does not allow taking pictures inside of their properties, so I can only show you pictures of the outside and the grounds here.Picture of the castle from the shore Inside are several interesting rooms and features, I liked the impressive Oval Staircase with the huge cupola allowing the light to stream down and the Circular Saloon with its beautiful views best. You can also visit an exhibition about the American President Eisenhower and his connection to Culzean: In 1945 the Kennedy family gave himPicture of a young girl feeding swans the top floor of the castle for his achievements during the second world war in freeing Europe from Nazi occupation. Eisenhower then stayed at the castle four times before his death in 1969. The rooms can now be rented as holiday accomodation, just expect to pay quite a lot for it. In the grounds you will find various nice walks as well as the Swan Pond, where you can feed the swans and ducks. Just don't forget your insect repellent, otherwise you will feed the midges as well.Picture of the walled garden with the vinery Another interesting feature is the Walled Garden with the Vinery. A vinery is a hothouse specially designed for the cultivation of grapes. In the 18th century grapes were a luxury and being able to provide grapes all year round would show the status of a family.Picture of the Willow Hotel By now it was late afternoon, time for me to drive over to Glasgow where I had a reservation at the Willow Hotel in Renfrew Street. Dinner, some shopping and browsing at the book shops with their long opening hours, followed by a drink at my favourite pub: Nice n Sleazy in Sauchiehall Street.Picture of Nice n Sleazy at night And then back to the hotel to get ready for some culture the next day...

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