Monday, September 5, 2016

Monday, September 5th, Broadford, Scotland


The drive on Sunday from Aberdeen to Tongue on Scotland's northern coast was tough.  While only 291 miles, the narrowness off the road, and the amount of traffic, made it difficult. Almost all of it was a single-lane road, with sheep and lambs, and couples on a Sunday drive to Scotland's north coast, and salmon fishermen out to find the best spots.  With cars coming toward me, we had to find a mutual spot to attempt a pass.  Those wanting to pass me, we also had to find places to pull over.  It's too bad, because the countryside was gorgeous.  We just should have done it on a weekday, and planned a slower pace to have the time to stop and look around.

But in those long miles, we chose two places to rest.  The first was Clava Cairns, which we had visited on our last trip here.  Since then, new information has been suggested about the uses of the passages graves, and about the timing of the surrounding ring of stones.  Our archaeology tour of the Orkney provided us with lots of information about those cairns, and it was fun to look at these and apply that knowledge. I took a photo of the two interpretive signs to learn more.

The second spot was the Ness Island Walk along both sides of a short stretch of the River Ness in Inverness.  It reminded us of the river in Luang Prubang, Laos, where we spent a few evenings at dinner watching life drift by.  As we walked in one segment, a man about my age passing us caught my eye just as he scanned us and we both broke into big smiles.  We almost high-fived each other, as I knew his thoughts were acknowledging a mutual enjoyment of our lives at this moment.

We finished the drive to Tongue, a small settlement on the coast, having taken the wrong route, and paying for it with an extra hour.  Today, we drove more directly (on two-lane roads) to our hotel at Broadford, at the base of the Isle of Skye, and had time to tour the island before dinner.  Neither of us was impressed, but perhaps its hype made our expectations too great.  On the other hand, after Australia and Iceland, Scotland has to reach some high standards.  And without ruins or glaciers, it's hard to dazzle us.

Tomorrow, we’ll head over to Kilmartin Glen, the gold standard of Neolithic ruins in Scotland.  We’re staying at a golf resort just outside of Glasgow for the next couple of days, before returning home on Thursday. 

To see the photos taken today, click on Monday, September 5th.

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