Queensferry Harbour – a Jigsaw Puzzle

Winter is jigsaw puzzle season for us but we hadn’t done any for over a year, it seemed that we might have a jigsaw free winter because I just didn’t see any in the shops that I wanted to do, but when I saw this Queensferry Harbour one I had to buy it. At first – as often happens – I despaired of being able ever to complete it, but in the end we managed it within five or so days.

Queensferry Harbour, jigsaw puzzle

On Sunday the day dawned bright with a blue sky – and no rain. We had been looking forward to going to an annual book sale for ages, south of Edinburgh but it was cancelled at the last minute. Presumably the organisers thought that not many people would turn up due to the coronavirus being around. It meant we felt at a bit of a loose end so we decided to drive to South Queensferry – the scene of the puzzle – and had lunch there. I took just a few photos.

Forth Bridge, South Queensferry, River Forth, Scotland

Yes, by then it had started to cloud over a wee bit, but it was still a nice wee change.
Forth Bridge, railway bridge, River Forth, Scotland

On the way back home we dropped in at Tesco supermarket intending to do our normal weekly shop and were greeted by empty shelves. Such a sense of panic with many people and I couldn’t help thinking that they probably didn’t have enough room in their freezers to accommodate everything they were buying – there was no meat left, or even eggs. I suspect a lot of the food would end up being wasted. Crazy.

Lah di dah, lah di dah. Can you tell that I’ve been watching Annie Hall?!

The Forth Bridges – floodlit

Forth Bridge

Back to our October 2016 cruise and I woke up in the dark, realising that our ship Black Watch must have entered the Firth of Forth because there was almost no movement at all and very little engine noise.

Forth Bridge

I shot out of bed and luckily managed to locate the camera in the dark, Jack was still out for the count. The two photos above are of the Forth Bridge which is for trains only. It’s the one on my header.

I was just in time to take these photos of the bridges as we went under them, I took lots but most of them didn’t come out.

These ones are quite atmospheric though, certainly if you know what you’re looking at anyway.

The new road bridge is still under construction, but it’s not far off being finished.

new bridge the Queensferry Crossing

new bridge

If you want to see more photos under construction have a look here.

Visit Scotland and The Flying Scotsman

If you’re looking for something to do in Scotland you should have a look at the Visit Scotland Blog.

If you’re interested in gorgeous photos and steam trains – what do you think of the one below? The steam train The Flying Scotsman with the top of the Forth Bridge in the background. This photo appeared in today’s Guardian, it was taken by Keith Campbell last weekend as the train took to the rails for the first time in years.

flying scotsman

Forth Bridges, Scotland

bridges 3

I wanted to go and see how the construction of the new bridge across the River Forth was progressing, which meant that I had to walk underneath the Forth Road Bridge. Apart from going over it in a car I’ve rarely been up close to that one before. Actually we drove over it yesterday and had the hairiest moment ever on it as an unexpected huge gust of wind had us veering over to the other lane, nasty.

bridges 5

Anyway, I couldn’t resist taking a shot of the lovely old rail bridge, through the ‘new’ road bridge, which is actually now 50 years old.

new bridge 1

The Road Bridge is a bit the worse for wear now, it has a lot to put up with wind and salt wise so it was decided that a new bridge was needed to take some of the strain of all the traffic which uses it. Above is a photo of one of the supports for the new bridge.

new bridge 3

You can see another support in the background above. And in the photo below you can see the actual bridge stretching out to meet one of the supports, eventually.

new bridge 4

And just because I love it – I took a photo of this house in North Queensferry which overlooks all the bridges. It’s an arts and crafts design house, probably dating from around 1910 or so, so not quite old enough to have witnessed the building of the original Forth Bridge (the iron railway one) but it has seen two road bridges being built anyway.
house

Dalmeny, Scotland

A couple of weekends ago we drove to South Queensferry again, well it was a lovely bright day, as you can see and we didn’t fancy going around shops, a country walk was what we wanted, and that’s what we got.

Dalmeny is a wee village just 1 mile uphill from South Queensferry, but we had never actually been there before. We’d often passed through Dalmeny station on the train though as it’s on the line between Edinburgh and Fife.

I took this photo on the road half-way up to the village, and looking back down towards Queensferry. You get a really weird view of the Forth Bridge from there, it looks absolutely massive, well it is massive I suppose but it looks even bigger when viewed behind the house on the roadside. Can you see it looming behind the trees? Click to enlarge the photo if you need to.

Dalmeny Road

Tomorrow we’ll reach Dalmeny itself, it’s teeny, quiet, but interesting.

Forth Bridge, South Queensferry, Scotland

I was watching our Great Leader (and I don’t think!) David Cameron on the TV news today and thankfully I was distracted by the view of the Forth Bridge which was behind him, as he was in South Queensferry, for some odd reason. I had been hoping to see a train going over the bridge in the background because they’re very frequent, about every five minutes it seems. Unfortunately I couldn’t see any, I did begin to think it was just a photo he was sitting in front of but there were seagulls flying about so it can’t have been.

Anyway, I did take a couple of photos of a train on the bridge when I was there a couple of weeks ago but I didn’t get around to blogging about them. I just wanted to show the scale of the whole thing, fairly massive I think you’ll agree! The photo below is of a train just going on to the Forth Bridge.

Forth Bridge, South Queensferry

If you look closely below you’ll be able to see the same train right in the middle of the bridge, it looks like a toy. As I said before, the whole bridge is massively over-engineered, deliberately so to give people confidence that it would be safe to use and wouldn’t collapse in a storm as the original Tay Bridge did.

Forth Bridge, South Queensferry

Somehow it still manages to look elegant, despite the tons of iron which it’s made from.

Forth Bridges from the river

At the risk of being repetitive – here are some more photos of the bridges. I took these ones when we went on a boat trip over to Inchcolm. As you can see I took this photo from the stern of the boat. I wanted to get both bridges in the same photo.

Both Forth Bridges 2

I took this one just as we were going under the road bridge, you can just see a bit of it.

Both Forth Bridges 1

This photo is of the underside of the scary road bridge. You can see why it’s scary because it’s see through and it’s a bit disconcerting to be able to see the water far below you as you drive across. Drivers tend not to notice it as they’re concentrating on the road ahead but I know quite a few people who are nervy as passengers because of the design.

Forth Road Bridge

If you look closely you can see some of the bridge workers in their orange overalls hanging over the side having a look at the boat as we sailed under them. They’ve got a great view but rather them than me because if they fall off they have no chance of surviving!

Forth Bridge

Click on the photos if you want to enlarge them.

South Queensferry, near Edinburgh

 Forth Bridge

It was when I was watching the TV dramatisation of Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories a couple of weeks ago that I realised that I had never been to visit South Queensferry, it featured in one of the episodes. We’re always in a hurry to get to or from Edinburgh when we drive in that direction so I thought it was about time we had a look at the place properly instead of just from the bridge or the other side of the Firth of Forth. I took the above photo from a wee gap in between a couple of buildings which are in the High Street, you’re never far from a view of the bridge. If you look closely you’ll see a train just about to go on to the bridge on the right. It gives you an idea of how huge the bridge is.

pillar box

I had to take a photo of this original Victorian pillar box, it’s years since I’ve seen one, they’re quite rare now. They always make me think of Anthony Trollope.

St Mary's front

This is the priory church of St Mary at Queenferry, I don’t think the photo does it justice. It’s such a lovely wee church and has a beautiful garden too. I don’t know what it’s like inside but I think it must have been very popular with brides in the past. It’s Episcopalian now although it was originally Roman Catholic.

St Mary's garden

There’s quite a big garden all around the church but it isn’t possible to photograph it all because the trees are so big. This wee garden to the side of it is very pretty and somebody obviously takes good care of it. The church was built in 1330 but has been refurbished several times, most recently in 2000 and it’s still used for worship.

South Queensferry has lots of restaurants and gift shops and there were plenty of day trippers when we were there. There are boats which take you out to the island of Inchcolm, and next time we plan to be on one of them. For once we managed to say NO to the ice-cream!

North Queensferry, Fife

You might remember that I was completely cheesed off on Saturday because the weather was so horrible, wet and cold and it felt like November instead of June. So when we woke up on Sunday and the sun was actually shining we took the chance to get some fresh air without getting soaked and drove to North Queensferry for a bit of a walkabout. It’s quite a quaint wee place and has some really old buildings but there’s no ferry there now. The town, well I suppose it’s more of a village really, is situated in between the two bridges and the old ferry was also in between both. The queen which the town was called after was Queen Margaret who married Malcolm III. She often used the ferry when she was travelling from Edinburgh to the church which she had founded in Dunfermline, but the ferry was also used by Mary Queen of Scots when she escaped from the island in the middle of Loch Leven, one of her many escapes.

As you can see, these houses are situated right underneath the Forth Bridge. The owners probably bought them because they have a great view, if you’re into that sort of thing but I wouldn’t live in a house there, even if I got it for nothing!

Forth Bridge

This photo is of the Forth Bridge with a view of the island of Inchgarvie, which is uninhabited now but it has been used for centuries as a fortification and in World War II it had a gun emplacement on it. Obviously the Germans were keen to bomb the bridge but they didn’t manage.

Forth Bridge with Inch Garvie island behind

This is a photograph of the Forth Road Bridge, forever known as the SCARY bridge, as named by Joan Kyler. She’s right it is scary because as you drive along on it you can clearly see the sea underneath you, such is its design. It’s also scary because the cables are corroding and they are planning on building a new bridge because that one is having to cope with far more traffic than they ever expected it to. The two bridges are very close together and quite often there are whales swimming underneath them, but not this time, sadly.

Forth Road Bridge

The sun didn’t stay around very long and it was very windy as usual, but it was just nice to get out of the house and do a wee bit of beachcombing for some lovely sea glass.

I think the Bridge is quite beautiful considering it’s a big lump of iron.

Forth Bridge panorama

The River Forth

I’ve been up to my ears in gloss paint for quite a while now. Our skirting boards are 12 inches high and it all takes a very long time, but I’d been putting it off for about 5 years and it couldn’t wait any longer.

So I was in desperate need of some fresh air after all that and took myself off for a walk by the River Forth at Dalgety Bay. The water was very placid but it was a wee bit misty, so not the best conditions for a photograph. As usual, parts of the Forth Bridge are swathed in plastic or something similar as the work continues – forever – so it would seem.

Edinburgh from Fife

Edinburgh from Fife

Forth Bridges from Dalgety Bay.

Forth Bridges from Dalgety Bay.

Forth Bridges towards Lothian

Forth Bridges towards Lothian

I’m not really a seaside person. I do like rivers, but the sort that run through the middle of an old town and have a lovely arched stone bridge going over them are more my cup of tea. Hills and lochs are really my thing.

Speaking of which, here is a photograph of the loch from Linlithgow Palace, where Mary Queen of Scots was born. It’s a lovely place to visit if you are into history. Beware of the hissing swans though.

Linthligow Loch

Linthligow Loch

In recent times Linlithgow has become famous as the supposed birthplace of Scottie, the chief engineer on Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. How mad is that?