Saturday, April 28, 2012

Adventures in Scotland Saturday & Sunday

Newtonmore & Oban
We had to check out of our lodge in Avimore on Saturday morning. We stopped at the McPherson Museum in Newtonmore. It was a slow day at the museum so the docent, Ruchard, pulled out his pipes and we had a wee seisse√ľn.

 

We also saw McPherson's Fiddle

      He took the fiddle in both o his hands
      And brake it o're a stane
      Saying "There'll be nae ither hand tae play on thee
      When I am deid and gane





On the way to Oban we saw this old pile. The sun was shining and it was (finally) warm enough for the scent of the gorse to be detected. We walked through a large stand of gorse on the path to take this photo. When it's warm the gorse smells like coconut. I wonder what the honey would be like?






We spent the night at a hostel in Oban. The proprietor, McTavish,  has a wonderful flower garden and also made all the jams in the kitchen. 

There were fresh tulips everywhere.








There was a fiddle rally in Oban that evening which we attended. There were about 70 fiddlers who played medleys of traditional Scottish tunes. At one point there was a solo spot for three young pipers. They were about 14 years old and played brilliantly! After we left the rally we went searching for some traditional music. It was a quiet night but we followed our ears to find a tourist show, complete with a dancing piper. Here we are attempting Gay Gordon's.

Kilmartin & Inverary

modern stone
The reason we stayed in Oban overnight was to be able to spend the next day exploring the Valley of the Kings in Kilmartin. There are over 600 cairns, standing stones, kists, cup & ring sites, celtic crosses, hill forts etc. etc.



















Cairn

Standing stones
Celtic cross


11th century knight grave stones
Kist

Chambered cairn
Cup & Ring carving (there are hundreds these)

 
We really get into our explorations!


Inverary

We left the Valley of Kings late in the afternoon. On the way to Inverary there were examples of Victorian-era castles. We stayed in a very nice hostel. We had time before supper to take a walk through the town



along the waterfront
This was the only rainbow we saw, despite all the rain.


and around the local mansion,





finally arriving at the George Hotel.


They won "Best Pub in Scotland" in 2011. The food was excellent and not too expensive. Regina and Julia had fish & chips, I think. I had grilled goat cheese with salad greens and pickle - all with some local brews, of course!

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