Wonderful Wednesday Personal Blog
Even with the castle blurred in the background, the castle touted as being the most photographed castle in Scotland is easily recognized as the beautiful Eilean Donan Castle.
Home of the MacRaes.
Eilean Donan Castle was held by the Mackenzie clan from the early 13th century. The MacRaes arrived in Kintail around 1362, and a bond between the MacRaes and Mackenzies grew due to the MacRaes' loyalty and distinguished service. MacRaes were expert marksmen and served as archers and warriors in service to the Mackenzies where they were hailed as 'the Mackenzies' shirt of mail'. As the Mackenzie power grew from chiefs to barons, then as lords and earls, the MacRaes were appointed constables of Eilean Donan Castle. Though historically known best for their prowess in battle, MacRaes were also counselors to the chiefs and tutored the chiefs' sons. They were poets, ministers, doctors, and musicians.
The original name MacRae was given to men thought to have an unusual gift of sanctity and grace.
Let's start with some of my favorite photos.
This was our next stop. Plockton. As beautiful as a postcard. Can you see why it's called the "Jewel of the Highlands"?
This lovely village sits in a sheltered harbor overlooking Loch Carron. The photo above was actually the view from my hotel room. Every morning. For 3 days. *sigh*
As we drove south and west from our last stop at Dunrobin Castle, it was easy to see we were in the Highlands.
Our day at Dunrobin Castle didn't end with just a tour of the castle and gardens. We were there in time for a falconry display.
If you look in this photo, you'll see rows of benches about midway down the right side. The long stretch of open garden before those benches is where the display was held. And it was awesome!
The falconer introduced us to three different birds, (two falcons and a hawk) one at a time, extolling their virtues and sending them soaring over our heads.
Did you know a gyrfalcon can catch his prey on a straight course, flying at 90 mph or at dives approaching 200 mph? Or that the Peregrine falcon strikes its prey with the force of diving speeds clocked in excess of 240 mph? And pulling 25Gs? (FWIW, 9Gs is the human limit. Let that sink in a moment)
We said a reluctant farewell to Orkney on a dreicht morning. We boarded the ferry just before rainfall. Unlike our previous passage from Aberdeen to Kirkwall, a 6 hour journey, this crossing from Kirkwall to Scrabster on the northern-most tip of Scotland only took an hour and a half.
As I glanced over my photos and notes, I wondered how I would fit all of this day into a single post. I can't. As with other posts, I decided to take my time and savor each step along the way. I really want to show you Dunrobin Castle today, so grab a cup of your favorite beverage. You're going to enjoy this.
Shenanigans with Thorfinn the Mighty on the ferry. Just for grins.
(Note: Ceilidh is pronounced 'kay-lee' and means 'party')
After spending the morning at Skara Brae, we headed for a round of shopping in lovely Kirkwall. Of course, Thorfinn came along.
The cathedral you see in the background of this photo is St. Magnus' Cathedral, and I have Thorfin-less photos for you below. Known also as the 'Light of the North', it was built in 1137 by Earl Rognvald in honor of his uncle, St. Magnus, and as a final resting place for his relics. It is made of both red and yellow sandstone which gives the building its unique coloring.
We of course found lots of wonderful shops, and arrived back at the bus with various treasures, ready for a short trip to the Standing Stones of Stenness. Needless to say, none of us found any activity within the standing stones, though we were allowed to wander among them, and Susie was not left wondering what happened to any of the group. But we enjoyed ourselves just the same. We arrived back at our hotel in time for a delicious dinner followed by a fun evening of learning some traditional dances. Our musicians were the Orcadian band Kirkjuvagr, which is an old name for Kirkwall.
This is where I talk about things in my life outside of writing. Mostly gardening and dogs.
All Adventures With Rezso After Christmas Angus The Cat Anne Martin Gaelic Singer Arthur Cormack Gaelic Singer Basketball Bath Bath Time Beltane Tours Ben Best Toys Beth Malcolm Birthday Brough Of Birsay Castles Of Scotland Celtic Music Chiropractic Treatment Christmas Corgi Dixie Dog Training Dunnottar Castle Edinburgh Emily Smith Traditional Scottish Singer Euphonium Ferry Fiddles Flowers Freki Fun On The Farm Gaelic Songs Gardening Gardens German Shepherd Gunnar Happy Birthday Harvest Helper Highland Distillery Holyrood Abbey Holyroodhouse Holyrood Palace Iain MacFarlane Fiddler Ingrid Henderson Harpist Jennifer & Hazel Wrigley Jim And Susie Malcolm Jolly Ball Life With Dogs Life With Freki Maeshowe Malinky Band New Puppy Ninja Dog Obedience Class Odin's Wolves Orkney Pool Time Ring Of Brodgar Rosslyn Chapel Scotland Tour 2019 Service Dog Skaill House Skara Brae Snow Soccer #Sonicdrivein Spring Springtime Square Foot Garden Square-foot Garden Standing Stones Swimming Pool Then And Now Thorfinn The Mighty Tracking Treats Vikings Water Games Whistles Winter Fun Wonderful Wednesday
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