|Dupplin Cross||Stained Glass, St. Serf's Church, Dunning|
After lunch there was a steady climb up a valley from 400 feet to 1050 feet, over a pass to Dunning. The clouds were very low, thunder was near by, and soon we cycled back into the rain. In Dunning is St. Serf's church, dating from 1200. It is no longer used as a church, and is maintained by Historic Scotland as a historic building. A very enthusiastic guide pointed out all sorts of interesting information, about the church, the Victorian stained glass windows, and the gravestones. A tidbit we learned: the length of the drapery on the gravestone (on the right side of the gravestone in the picture) signifies the age of the person as a fraction of 100 years, so this one, about 3/4 long, means 75 years old.
A highlight of the church is the Dupplin Cross, a stone cross from the ninth century with carvings miraculously well preserved. The stone was standing on a nearby hill until it was moved to the church for protection quite recently.
The rear tire was flat when we returned to the bike. We repaired it under the awning of a nearby garage that had actually just shut down (the owner was there, and happily said we could use the space and wash our hand's afterwards). We took the opportunity of exchanging the front and rear tires, since the rear one which gets all the weight, was looking rather cut up and worn. At least the procedure made time for the rain to stop!
The next part of the route has quite a few small but steepish hills. The CTC instructions said we would soon intersect NCN Route 77, which we planned to take to Pitlochry. The "soon" was much longer than we expected. Eventually we found it, and the going (coincidentally?) got easier, following an old A road that had been replaced, into Dunkeld. We stayed the night and had dinner at the Royal Dunkeld Hotel
After dinner I strolled around the village. It is quite attractive, with a section of old cottages maintained by the Scottish National Trust, and cathedral ruins. The rivers Braan and Tay join at Dunkeld. After the junction the waters from the two rivers were still easy to distinguish: one was dark brown with mud from the recent rains, the other a clean blue-gray.
Route and more pictures
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