The Highlands

I wish I could share with you all the scenes and pictures I have in my mind of the trip  from Inverness to Glasgow yesterday.  Photos shot through a car window are such an injustice to that grand land.  Even good photographs don’t convey the grandeur of the Great Glen.  There are waterfalls  everywhere, some so high and far away that they look like trickles; some large, close, and roaring.  The water falls into streams that froth over the rocky bottoms of the glens.

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It is hard to imagine a land so green that it almost hurts your eyes, but so bleak as to conjure a shudder at the thought of people trying to live there.  Little grows but grass, but unlike most of the other places we’ve been in Great Britain,  there were no sheep.  A cold rainy wind blew us down from Inverness, so we weren’t able to stop much, but we both enjoyed our drive along Loch Ness, through the Great Glen, and then past Loch Lomand.  Many times we wanted to stop, but the road was narrow and winding, and traffic got backed up over and over behind caravans and lorries (RVs and trucks).

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Before we headed south, we stopped at the battlefield at Culloden Moor.  I won’t subject you to a history lesson (if you want to know more about the ’45, as it’s often called, info is easy to find) but I will say that Amy and I were both touched by the place.  I think as Americans, we have a tender place in our hearts for the struggle for independence,  and the visual reminder that not all such struggles succeed, as ours did, is saddening.

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After Culloden,  we drove a short way to the Clava Cairns, three ancient passage-graves, ceremonial and burial mounds.  This was a fascinating place where I could have spent hours, if not for  all the other noisy tourists!  When they left, I hated to go, but we had to get moving south.

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There is so much more of Scotland to see.  I hope I can come back some day.

As it was, we got in about 8 o’clock to our hotel near the Glasgow airport, ate a not very good dinner, and drove to the airport to turn in the rental car.  ( We were both so relieved to get rid of that thing–though I have some funny stories about it– and get off the road, we were almost giddy!)  We were up late repacking the suitcases to keep from having to pay overweight bag fees (and didn’t,  I’m happy to report) and up early to get to the airport for our early flight to Dublin.   We were going to rent a car here but decided a while back that we just didn’t have enough time, and that was a wise decision.   By the time we got to  our hotel near the Dublin airport, we needed a meal and a good long nap.

Now, as I write this, Amy is trying to figure out the bus situation for tomorrow.  We will eat dinner here at the hotel tonight because we are both wiped out.  Our last day of sightseeing tomorrow will probably completely exhaust us, but we will finish with style, I hope.

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