We went for a walk along the "Leacainn Walk" today; a six mile circular walk that leaves from the village of Furnace. I was pretty amazed by the descriptions of the industry in this area from only a hundred and fifty years or so ago.
Officially, the Highland Clearances - when the Highlands of Scotland were forcibly depopulated to make way for more profitable sheep farming - finished in the mid 1800s. But it seems to me that we are still seeing the ongoing effects of the Clearances, with the continued under-population of the Highlands.
One of Inveraray's tourist attractions is its town jail. We didn't visit it this time - we will when we can go with the kids - but the hotel has this set of stocks outside it for those who over-indulge in the bar's hospitality.
Back home, and off skating this morning. On the way back, I came for a detour through South Alloa. This is a tiny village on the south side of The River Forth. There are Scottsh Woodlands signs at the foreshore, but there is also a lot of long grass that seems intended to deter people from getting too close to the river.
Beyond the grass lurks this abandoned pier with some form of hand-operated crane at the end.
Apparently there are records of a ferry having operated here from around the year 1620, crossing from South Alloa to the much larger town of Alloa, which is on the north side of the Forth here. At the north side of the river today is the massive Alloa glass works.
The backdrop to all of this, of course, the Ochile Hills - today with the lightes brushing of snow at the tops.
On a photographic note, I thought this should perhaps be black and white. But when I tried that, I found it hard to "see" the picture; the various lines of the fence seemed to get lost against the similarly-toned mud. So instead, I went for this desaturated. Not sure whether it works, but it is at least a little bit different from the almost-oversaturated pictures I normally post.