Thursday, 7 March 2013

Hopetoun Monument, Athelstaneford, Tyninghame Beach and The Burns Monument

 Thunderous waves crashing against ancient stones, A billion days shift under every stride.
Neptunes breath, an aura, worn like skin, a part of each other.
 A distant horizon, a perpetual border, defining Heaven from Earth.
I crouch down, dipping my fingers into the sand. A timeless history, flowing through my fingers,
it falls back to the Earth where it sits like an infinite canvas. Enduring endless creation. 
 238,855 miles away lives a 4.527 billion year old dream, the Moon, the oldest artist. Alone and
empty, only full of memory and imagination it
draws the expansive ocean with every pass, like a blanket is thrown across the sand.
 I love the beach...

I woke up as early as I could this morning and made my way out to Haddigton to Tesco's for a meal deal. Didn't want to waste any time to have breakfast at home, which was a stupid thing to do as I was pretty hungry.
With the meal deal bought I made my way out towards Hopetoun Monument on Byres Hill which was just a few minutes ride from the town.
With Skye parked up I made my way up the hill.

Standing at 95 feet (29 m) tall, Hopetoun Monument was built in 1824 in memory of the 4th Earl of Hopetoun, John Hope (1765–1823). There is an inscription on the monument which says: "This monument was erected to the memory of the Great and Good John, Fourth Earl of Hopetoun by his affectionate and grateful tenantry in East Lothian. MDCCCXXIV"
Hopetoun Monument; Mind when I was up Traprian Law, I pointed out on a photo of Hopetoun Monument taken from Traprian Law, I said I would come up here... Well here I am...


Well the door was open...
The steps to reach the top are steep, dark and narrow and there are 132 of the buggers. Made from sandstone and being noticeably old, at times it actually feels as though they are about to crumble away at any time. In fact I did notice light shining through the old mortar, used for binding the steps together. Not good!

The windows did not do very much for letting light in. Very handy they were for hiding the poor condition of the steps. To be honest I was kinda' crapping myself.

However the view from the top was amazing! well worth the fear of old, dodgy sandstone stair cases!

I felt quite relieved when I saw this gate.

Having my wee traditional drink of Dr. Pepper and taking in the view. It's being at places like this that bring forth, to mind, various ideas and dreams. Sometimes its good to take a moment to think.

I realy need to do this!

The view looking West towards Edinburgh
Zoomed in a bit closer we are able to see Arthur's Seat (middle left) Edinburgh Castle (centre right) and Cocenzie power station (lower Right)
Some floaty thing on the water.

Before heading back to Skye I decided that I couldn't leave without first looking for a Geocache...

Bingo! Found and signed! TNLN

And the path leading back down to the car park.

Where I met back up with Skye. Now to set course for Tynninghame!

The National Flag Heritage Centre
On my way I passed through the small village of Athelstaneford, the birthplace of the Scottish Saltire. In accordance with popular legend this is where our flag was born. In 832AD, invading Angles from Northumbria were defeated by an army of Picts. Accordig to legend on the eve of battle, the Pictish king, Óengus II had a vision of  Saint Andrew, who was crucified on a diagonal cross, promising victory on the battlefield. The next morning the Picts awoke to a white cross in the sky, formed by clouds, against a blue sky. Aye and they kicked arse that day!
I got some dodgy looks from the locals when I stopped to take this photo on my phone. They probably see strangers doing this all he time.
After a really nice ride through East Linton and Tynninghame, via East Fortune airfield and watching some small planes landing from close up I eventually arrived at Tynninghame beach. Well almost. Still had to walk there.

Dunno why but im always finding odd bits of clothing lying around. One day im eventually going to find a naked person.

Some giant trees

Had to take this photo. My two olds Spaniels used to jump in here evertime an d emerge looking like swamp monsters. Typical Spaniels.

 Finally I made set foot on he sandy beach.

I love the way Bass Rock sits in view of the sea like a signature.




Looks like everyone was having fun today.

Almost got soaked by some of these waves. Sometimes I forget that water is wet. I decided to move away from the rocks and the advancing tide and make my way further down the beach.
Im alway looking up so often I miss out on the world that is right beneath my feet.



A flowing stream over the shore and mineral deposits compose these amazing patters in the sand. Almost reminds me of ancient cave paintings. Beautiful.





Time for my Tesco's meal deal. Hmmmm...Wait, what?! Nah really it was  Chirizo and it was very nice.

A view of the beach with North Berwick Law protruding in the background. The rocks to the left is where I took photo's and I entered the beach from left, making my way across to the far right where I done some metal detecting. Got bored after about twenty minutes of feeling stupid.
North Bewrick Law...
Looking closer we are able to see the whale jaw bone on top! Remember we were there a few weeks ago...
Dunno what this is

One of my faveorate places to sit.

Bass Rock trying to climb inside my head.

With the approaching tide and crashing waves, this narrow foyer played dramatic music of thunder followed by a million stones rolling as they race for the sea, chasing the retreating surge. 
Setting course back to the car park with two cheeky Geocaches en route...

Really wish I had a bicycle here.

These giant square barricades can be found for miles along this coastline. Their purpose was to hinder any envading forces during he Second World War. Another elapsing reminder of times past, just blending in with today. Almost chilling in a way.

So with only one Geocach found I once again set course for the car park...

 On my way back to haddington I decided to conclude the day with a visit to the Burns Monument...

Click on pictures to enlarge...


With another swally of Dr. Pepper, a munch, music, some photo's and a cigarette...

I set course for home...
Another day of memories to take home.

Photograph of the day:

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