Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mystery and Mist

Dear Mom,
After getting a good night's sleep and an early breakfast, we got back in the car and made our way to Culloden Battlefield. The museum there was filled with artifacts, a timeline - both from British and Scottish points-of-view- and a solemn filmed reenactment of the battle. Another screen, this one knee-height, gave me an overview of the battle lines and troop movement. After touring the museum I headed out to the actual battlefield. The weather was appropriately damp and misty, but not actually rainy. The moors were what I imagined, but more haunting and beautiful, too.

The heather was beautiful. As you can see in all the photos, there are many colors of heather.
I learned that there are many varieties of heather and they don't all "peak" at the same time.
I couldna resist taking a picture of my feet on the walking path through Culloden.

Once we'd all collected ourselves (and our gift shop purchases) we made the short drive to Clava Cairn.  A cairn is a man-made pile of stones. They have been in use since ancient times and can be used as landmarks or trail markers. In this case the cairns are ancient burial markers. Surrounding the cairns are standing stones.

I tried getting through to Jamie Fraser. Clearly I am not Claire Beauchamp Randall. I was destined to stay in this time and come home to My Hero.

We spent our second (and last) full day in Inverness at Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle. I was eager for my first look at Loch Ness. We visited the more serious of the two Nessie museums. An impressive amount of time, money and fertile imagination has gone into Nessie research. I choose to believe. We all need some imagination and magic, right?
 Loch Ness is 23 miles long and 1 mile wide and contains more fresh water than all the lakes in England and Wales combined.
 Depending on the source,  the world's population will fit into Loch Ness anywhere from THREE to TEN times! The depth and murky water make for a good monster legend.

I was standing on the shores of Loch Ness on September 15.
This happened on September 16.

Along the western shore of Loch Ness is Urquhart Castle.

In the castle ruins, I particularly enjoyed this posted information:
We then journeyed to the southern end of the Loch to visit little town of Fort Augustus where we had lunch and witnessed boats traveling through the Lock system of the Caledonian Canal.

I had the most amazingly delicious fish and chips for lunch.
I'll confess that I never fully understood how locks work until I watched the process of the boats moving through the series of Locks at Fort Augustus.
It was a full day and time to return for one last night in Inverness.

The next day we are over the sea to Skye!