Sunday, June 18, 2017

Our trip to Scotland--Day 4, June 11

After leaving the Isle of Skye after a big breakfast (almost every stop had a similar breakfast menu--eggs (2 styles), back (lean) bacon, sausage links, some form of potato cakes, grilled tomatoes, grilled mushrooms,  navy beans, toast, a variety of pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, cold cereal, orange juice, coffee--but no decaf--and tea) we travelled along Loch Ness. It is the second largest lake in Scotland, 23 miles long and the biggest in volume in the British Isles southwest of Inverness in the Highlands.  We enjoyed hearing stories from our guide John about the monster. At a rest stop we had the opportunity to view all the Nessie gift and memorabilia related items. She/he is obviously an important part of the local economy, whether or not real.  Here I am looking for the Loch Ness monster.
Norma at Loch Ness
And then it was on to the Culloden Visitor Center at Inverness which memorializes April 16, 1746, the final battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising, Bonnie Prince Charlie's failed attempt to bring back freedom and Stuart control to Scotland. Each year there is an April memorial, and this is the one from 2012. If you read the comments under the video you see that there is still disagreement on what happened to whom by whom.
"The Jacobites were mainly Highlanders, led by Charles Edward Stuart, "Bonnie Prince Charlie", the grandson of the exiled King James VII of Scotland and II of England. The objective being to restore the King to the British throne. Prince Charles Edward Stuart never mounted any further attempts to challenge Hanoverian power in Britain after the Battle of Culloden. The Jacobite army consisted largely of Highlanders, plus a number of Lowland Scots, a small detachment of Englishmen from the Manchester Regiment, French and Irish units loyal to France. . . The government force [commanded by Charles Edward Stuart's cousin, William Augustus Duke of Cumberland, a younger son of George II, loyal to the British throne and House of Hanover] was mostly English, plus a significant number of Scottish Lowlanders and Highlanders, a battalion of Ulster men from Ireland, and a small number of Hessians from Germany and Austrians."

Headstone marking mass graves of Jacobites
Memorial cairn (Gaelic for pile of rocks) erected in 1881
Then it was on to what some thought was the highlight--we got to hold puppies and watch a champion shepherd, Neil Ross, at Leault Farm work with his 8-10 border collies. It was just amazing to see how the dogs responded to voice and whistle.
Rounding up the sheep
Shearing demonstation
Puppy love
Then we drove through Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands to the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry for a wee bit of shopping, photography and fellowship. It is a beautiful town, in the county of Perthshire, on the River Tummel. It is administered as part of Perth and Kinross with a population of 2,776, according to the 2011 census. It seemed much larger, I suppose because of all the tourists.  Even though it was Sunday, most shops were open. Tourism seems to be the main industry, brought here by Queen Victoria in the 19th c. who loved the area, and it has an active arts community.  I bought a lovely deep teal cardigan as a souvenir, and also because it was chilly.
Lovely shops
Church of Scotland built 1884
We enjoyed some refreshment with Rose and Ann at a local eatery.
Then it was back on the bus for a lovely drive to our next hotel in Dundee, the Doubletree Hilton. The Globus tours has a seating rotation system, so if you begin the trip at the front, you'll end it in the back. We met our tour group before dinner for a complementary drink and moved on to the glass room dining area overlooking a lovely garden. Because of the season and our far north location, it stayed a light a long time--in fact, didn't seem to ever really get dark, sort of like summer in Finland or Russia where we visited in 2006. The hotel is attached to a large old mansion from the days when Dundee had many millionaire connected to the jute industry.  There was a small display in the lobby about that industry.
We are at the 3rd table back with Robin and Karen, and Eugene and Barbara, and Pat

No comments: