Saturday, 6 December 2014

Sunday Times Where Was I? Holiday Competition

Near as I can figure it, through the possibly flawed perceptual filters of my own reality tunnel, the most likely answers this week, seem to me to be:

Q1. Ailsa Craig

Q2. Turnberry

внимание друзья! For question 1: Ailsa Craig, is also known as 'Paddy's Milestone'. For question 2: The puzzle author could possibly be in Maidens but the sources I looked at, state that Robert the Bruce was born in Turnberry Castle and the lighthouse is also known as Turnberry Lighthouse, so the Eastender is taking a punt on the answer being Turnberry.

The initial clues seem to place us in Ballantrae, in South Ayrshire. Robert Louis Stevenson published a novel called 'The Master of Ballantrae' c 1889, which featured characters called Ephraim MacKellar and Henry Durie. The second town, is most likely Girvan. The OS map shows a river there called the 'Water of Girvan' and a viewpoint where the island of Ailsa Craig, which inspired the poet John Keats to write the line 'Hearken thou craggy ocean pyramid!' in his work 'To Ailsa Rock', can be observed. Die insel does appear to be ten miles or so from Girvan and some of the maps claim that it is three hundred and thirty eight metres (or one thousand one hundred and nine feet high). Area is according to some of the sources I checked around two hundred and forty five acres. It is also a designated site of special scientific interest. 

The Scottish Women's curling team won their gold medals in the 2002 winter olympics, using stones which were hewn from the quarry on Ailsa Craig and the lighthouse (eleven metres or thirty six feet high) was built c 1886, with the castle being restored by Thomas Hamilton c 16th century.

Six miles north of Girvan brings us into Donald Trump country and the village of Turnberry, where in 1274 King Robert The Bruce, who was inspired by a persistent spider, to re-evaluate his situation, come up with new plans and try, try, try again until he succeeded, was born. The castle is thought to be 13th century in origin and not much remains of it now. Turnberry lighthouse (built c 1873 and ninety five feet high) is built in the remains of the castle's moat. The writer is probably walking along the Ayr coastal path, which is around one hundred miles long.

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