I fought the Law…

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Dundee is dominated by a massive hill (the photo above doesn’t tell the whole story – I took it when I was nearly at the top) called the Law (it means ‘hill’), formed by the plug of an ancient volcano. A smaller one forms Balgay Hill which is just up the road from me and is home to Britain’s only public observatory.

(Balgay Hill, above)

After a year of promising myself I’d do it, I finally got round to walking up the Law the other week and it was well worth the effort. The views from the top are stunning.

The photo above is the view across the Tay (known as the Silvery Tay for obvious reasons) to the Kingdom of Fife.

This photo shows the Tay Rail Bridge. The first one collapsed famously one New Year’s Eve just over 100 years ago, killing everyone on the train. Spookily, you can still see the original piles next to the current bridge. At the time it was the longest rail bridge in the world and is still the longest in Europe, apparently.
The white building in the bottom left corner is the life sciences building at the university. My office is just behind it.

To the north you can see all the way to the Sidlaw Hills, but between here and there are relics of Dundee’s industrial heritage. Several of the old textile mills, some of them massive, remain and even where they’ve been knocked down some of the chimneys remain. Its shipping heritage (Dundee was home to ship builders and Britain’s whaling fleet until relatively recently) can be seen in the east of the city.

At the top of the Law is a large war memorial that towers over you, and over the city. The lamp is lit on a few occasions each year, in particular Remembrance Sunday, and can be seen for quite some distance. This photo doesn’t do justice to the scale of the thing.

When youreach the summit you can see over towards the east and the mouth of the Tay where it meets the sea. In the distance you can see Broughty Ferry and its castle on the left, and Tayport and its large sandy beach on the right. Just past Broughty Ferry is Carnoustie where this year’s Open golf tournament was held.

At the moment a large pod of bottlenosed dolphins is making this part of the Tay its home, as it does each summer.
The bridge in the distance is the Tay Road Bridge that replaced the ancient ferry service connecting Angus to Fife.

You can see all the photos I took here, or as a slideshow.

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