I've still been active outdoors and friends John and Gail reminded me of an abandoned building on a recent geocaching trip they were on. I've known about St Peter's Seminary in the woodlands behind Cardross for many years but never got around to visiting it until now. As usual Alex prefers working his way through lists of hills but I like a wide variety of activities and luckily so does Alan.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Peter%27s_Seminary,_Cardross Full history here.
Opened in the mid 1960s for students training for the priesthood it never fully reached its capacity of 100 residents due to falling numbers entering the ranks and was abandoned to its fate in the 1980s. Despite a category A listing over the years, vandals, local teens, and artists have used it as a canvas for their own expression and imagination. It's a large structure with prayer cells, multiple levels and maze like corridors, all rising unexpectedly in a semi remote location.
The Walk. Helensburgh to Cardross at Low Tide.
After an hour or two exploring St Peter's an obvious continuation was to drive the short distance to Helensburgh and do one of the low tide walks in my recent Kindle book.
A guide to walking and cycling around The River Clyde and the Firth of Clyde By Bob Law.
£2:32 digital.... over 80 easy walks and cycle rides described, many little known, stretching from New Lanark to Girvan, 146 colour photographs on a modern visual journey down the length of the Clyde, exploring the Firth of Clyde islands all the way to Ballantrae. blah blah blah....
We timed it just as the tide was going out and soon reached the ruined twin piers at Craigendoran which was once a popular stop for paddle steamers and shipping in the days when journeys by water down the River Clyde attracted huge crowds. For low tide times look up BBC Weather. Official site. Then click Coast and Sea. Click Scotland. Helensburgh or Dumbarton for the day you intend to go. Simple as that. Start walk around an hour before maximum low tide for dry sands all the way.
In a similar artistic theme here's a great video from The Cell, An extraordinary film with bold visual texture about a serial killer who has created an elaborate dream world with himself installed as emperor and the volunteer who offers to go into said world to find the location of his victim. Not a particular fan of J Lo but she is good in this film. A mind into body transfer technique later used in the more commercially successful and better remembered Avatar. I,m old enough to also remember a 1970s book called "the Stone God Awakens" by Philip Jose Farmer which depicted a race of winged people who lived around a vast interconnected tree and also the hanging garden rock islands floating in mid air and curved stone arches of Roger Dean paintings on Yes album covers. I expected a brief mention of both in the end credits of Avatar but none was forthcoming which makes this link interesting. (see end of page... Legal Case remarks) Every film, artwork or book has its inspiration somewhere though. Take a decent sized pinch of Rambo, The Stone God Awakens, The history of the American West and the treatment of the Native Indian tribes, throw in a large splash of Roger Dean's paintings and you have Avatar.... maybe :o) Having said that its a good film.
This wins the prize for the most unusual and startling film visuals of the year. Also, probably the first time the vast sand-scapes of Namibia ( Sossusvlei) featured in a major western entertainment film other than a travel guide or nature/wildlife programme. Inventive twist on the serial killer genre and stunning imagery throughout, much of it inspired by art, both modern and lesser known older cult classics. Best viewed full screen.