Friday, 7 September 2012

Inverness and Beyond

We picked up our guests from their castle night.  There were no reported ghost sightings, but a piper played them into dinner, which was grand.  

Kathy found a Kathy-sized Horse

Jack was taken by the wee ruined church that used to serve the castle.  A chief that fell at Culloden is buried there.

This afternoon, as I write, the Squirrels are nibbling their way through Inverness (shopping, I believe).

This evening will be a special event - we're going to the Blas festival to see the specially commissioned piece by Mairead Stewart - Highland Wedding through the ages.

Karen: Haiku generally do not have titles, but the one the other day would have been called "Whither Claire?" and this one, inspired by yesterday's visit to Culloden, would be called "A Fatal Day":

Blue flags face the red
Empty stomachs, driving rain
The daffodils weep

Excitement at the Castle --- The laird has an autographed copy of An Echo in the Bone!

Kristin: The weather has been extremely cooperative for all of our adventures - as we were prepared for mizzle [the infamous mist/drizzle of Scotland].  Waking to sunny days has given a beautiful perspective of the lochs, mountains and many gorgeous shades of green and gold the countryside has too offer.  The pony trek was a first for me - can tick one off my bucket list!  Morton, a Norwegian Fjord 15hh horse, was a mild mannered one, however he did enjoy snacking constantly!  The view of Urquhart Castle, while on horseback, was amazing!  The visit to Culloden was fascinating.  The depiction of the government and the Jacobites on opposite walls really gave an good comparison of the 'mind set' of each.  The memorial field gives you pause when thinking of the horrific battle that was fought there as you see the small clan stones that have been erected.

Karen: "Senryu" are humorous haiku. This one would be called "Outlandish Squirrels Tour the Highlands":

Ooo, look at that! Click!
Red deer, deep lochs, piles of stones
Click! The laird's bow tie

Karen: Now, on to the city known as Auld Reekie, "The Old Smelly Place." . . . Could it be due to the things they used to throw out of the windows? . . . The lovely view from the backseat includes hills in the distance, lots of green trees and fields with round bales of hay, a river, old stone cottages, the occasional farm animal, and by the side of the road, yellow wildflowers, but no litter and no billboards. . . . Oops! Spoke too soon. There's a lonely piece of crumpled newspaper . . . Remarkable. 

Sam: The final day up north and we make a few stops as we head south to Edinburgh.  Our lunch at a working Highland mill gave us lovely sandwiches with beautiful fresh bread but alas no red under breeks by the water wheel.  However, we heard some local tales from Scot as we sat in the warm sunshine post lunch.

The final day in Edinburgh we explored with Scot's help all the closes in Voyager.  Then we wined and dined not far from our Outlandish Spirits' accommodation.  Karen gave Scot a lovely gift from Japan for his storytelling.  Another success for our laddie in the plaidie.  And another fond farewell to our travellers from distant lands.