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Saturday, 20 June 2015

LEWIS

Here's a few wee pics of us on Lewis.


A "tobhta" or ruined house near Calanais stones
Inside the iron age house

More of the Iron Age house.  Much reporting of "I could live here".

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

SKYE


Journey to the Western Isles visits a VERY BLOODY WINDY Skye.  Here we are climbing the Quiraing in a side wind (with intermittent rain).




The strangeness of the Quiraing

where even the sheep are 'odd'.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The Borders

Penultimate Day
Susan: Saw Lindesfarne Castle today; it has to be the snuggest, most liveable wee castle we've seen here.
 



Had lovely sunshine, blue sky with puffy white clouds, and a mild wind. Impossible to imagine that we end our tour tomorrow and head back to the USA early Tuesday morning. However, Scot and Sam have shown us such a marvellous overview of Scotland that we know a number of spots we intend to return to in the future for more extended visits, as well as an appetite for areas we've yet to explore, like the Orkneys and the Shetlands. This trip has exceeded our expectations and hopes in so many ways. Thanks, Scot and Sam!

Our pleasure, Susan.  We'll sign off with this image taken from our B&B for the last two nights.  Ahh the Borders!


Saturday, 6 June 2015

Into The Borders


Followers of our tour style and blog will know our appreciation of The Borders - the hinterland that exists north and south of the Scottish-English border. 

Wild Hyacinth.  All photos taken today.


Because Susan and Joe have been very open in their wish-list for their two week tour, we have taken the opportunity to include a couple of days in this amazing region.

The Eildon Peaks - one mountain twisted into three by the witch Michael Scott
 
It's a bucolic idyll worthy of a Constable painting.  It's a place out of time and many other clich├ęs that are justifiably used.

The herd resting in the woodland pasture


We went to the home of Sir Walter Scott, a man to whom we owe a debt as a nation.  Few single individuals can claim to have changed the fate of a country.  Walter Scott can.  He reinvented Scotland and at the same time invented our tourism industry.  
His home is beautiful, but we'll save the grand shots for your in-person surprise.  Here are a few details though.





 Yes, all photos were taken today at our visit locations.

This will be our only visit to this region this year, but we might go again in 2016 if we have interest.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

LEWIS - Land of Mysteries


Journey To the Western Isles, day.... erm... who knows.

Lewis, or more correctly, Leodhais (House of Leod), is part of the palette of colours that compose Scotland.  And there lies the essence of the issue: Scotland is not one country, one culture, one definable people.  Yes, we have a common weave across our modern nation, characteristics we share with each other (and also with the people of North England, Ireland and other more distant places), but we also have islands that are appreciably different from one another and from the mainland.
Here are two subjects (in photos) that stand Leodhais apart from most other Scottish islands.  We enter the next "what is it?" competition.
Scot stands beaming, displaying a purchase from Steornabhagh today.  What is that thing in his hands?  Post your suggestions in the comments below or on the FaceAche post.




Number two, perhaps easier, but what is this photo showing, again peculiar to the chain of islands that make up the Eilean a Siar, the Isles of the West?




 So what do you think?  Show your general (or specific) knowledge with a wee comment below or on FaceAche.

Time Warp! Day 7


A trip on the ferry yesterday brought us from the Isle of Skye to the Isle of Harris, then a drive north to Lewis where we settled into our B&B.  Here is Susan's description of Harris: a breeding ground for boulders of all sizes and descriptions, mama rocks hovering, teenager rocks lurking about, toddler rocks, infant rocks, and large sheltering daddy boulders, all capering across hill with bits of green on.

Today on the Isle of Lewis we visited a broch and Joseph was amazed at how small the doorway was, understanding
that this helped to keep maruauders from storming into the house easily, yet it's still hard to believe unless you see it.  To think that any time the original inhabitants left or entered their broch style home, they had to be careful not to bang their heads..... ouch! 




We later spent time at Calanais 1 and wondered at the formation of the stones.  Is there a 'perfect' angle to photograph these 5000 year old stone giants? 





Susan: I am officially in love with Lewis! The standing stones have a majesty and power that defies description, and the sky, oh the sky...one has a living relationship with the sky here. It is so vast, so close to the ground, so ever changing, moody, sunny, pouring one minute, blue with white clouds the next. I could watch it for hours at a time and be completely entertained.     


Saturday, 30 May 2015

Journey To Western Isles 2015 - Early Days

Journey to the Western Isles, Day 1.

As regular followers of the FaceAche and Blog will know, Susan and Joe are having a private tour with us for two weeks.  It's quite a journey! 

We have started in Edinburgh with a special tour of Iain Rankin's detective Rebus, as Joe is an avid Rebus reader.  We'll make our way out to the Western Isles of Harris and Lewis over a week to see vistas of ocean and sky so wide that your eyes hurt and some of the most impressive standing stones in the world.  Joe is a photographer and will be in his element.  Along the way we'll be stopping at Outlander book and Starz locations as Susan is an Outlander fan.  We'll see castles, Inverness, old towns and villages, the Isle of Skye. The return journey will tour Edinburgh of Claire in 1760s and as if that's not enough, we'll then continue south into the Scottish / English borders for a couple of days to investigate the home of Sir Walter Scott, more castles, seafood, beautiful cliff walks over the ocean, witches, poetry and gently rolling hills and valleys.  It will be a calming and serene counterpart to the rugged and intimidating Highlands.
Highlights have already included spending a night in Susan's clan castle and having dinner there with her very distant relatives.


We come to a castle!

Susan and Joe by the fire of the "hall".




Hi Susan here. Spending the night at Tullibole Casle, including a Scottish dinner with Lord and Lady Moncreiff, distant relatives on my mothers side, has been a highlight of the trip. Until you've eaten freshly harvested good king henry, home made elderberry ice cream, finished off with oatcakes and local Scottish cheeses from area farms, you cant truly appreciate the meaning of the word dinner. We also had a walk on Moncreiff Hill. Making these connections with my ancestors turned out to be powerfully moving for me, and I was surprised that dinner conversation was comfortable, funny, and all in all felt like a family dinner with folk I'd known all my life.


Day 3 - Skye
Joe is going gaga and reaching for the camera every few minutes.  He had no idea of the beauty of Skye.  We're scheduled a few extra photo detours.

Struan on Skye