Saturday, September 26, 2009

Castle Urquhart . . .

There by the shores of Loch Ness, no monster in sight, we spent the afternoon, under cloudy skies and intermittant light, wandering around the ruins of Castle Urquhart, a romantic spot, even as the cold wind blew and the light changed constantly over the water, the rocks and this quiet place, far from ocean, but not protected from Viking raids or medieval politics. Once held by Robert the Bruce, fought over by Stewarts and MacDonalds, we could see a trebuchet (a wooden seige machine some 30 feet high) outside, and inside explore a three story Gordon Tower to look out at Loch Ness. Remains of a watergate, a dovecote, a smithy, a chapel, and kitchens allowed us to reconstruct what life might have once been.

On the waters of Loch Ness, the tourists boats heaved up and down, making us grateful we had taken the much less expensive bus. And we discovered the Rowan tree, plump with red berries.

Check Webshots (on the right) for more pics of Scotland. I'm sorry to be so far behind on blogging where we've gone. Each day has been so full, this week at Fort George, then Culloden Moor, and our last days in Inverness are winding down as we waddle out each morning, full from Scottish breakfast (porridge, yogurt for me and eggs and all the rest for Allen). But at least I can say the writing goes well. It's turning cold at night here, down to 36 degrees by Tuesday, with highs during the day of upper 50s. Enjoy the last gasps of summer!

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