Month: June 2014

Inverarary

ImageVital Spark (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

Inverarary, Scotland, is a truly charming village located in western Scotland on Loch Fyne.  We were here a very short time, slogging through narrow, picturesque streets through a steady, gentle rainfall.  Inverarary means “Mouth of the aray” in Scottish-Gaelic.  We did not have time for a tour, but the Inverarary Maritime Heritage Museum is located here, based beside the iron sailing ship Arctic Penguin and the Vital Spark.  All the buildings were painted white with black trim.  I managed to get a few shots that I like.  Please enjoy.

 

ImageStone Bridge to Inverarary (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

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White Washed (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

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Loch Fyne (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

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Window and Bluebells (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

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Loch Lomond and the Trassachs National Park

ImageLoch Lomond (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

Our first conscious event (meaning after jet lag left our weary bodies!) in Scotland took us to Loch Lomond, deep in the Trassachs National Park.  We loaded onto a little boat that took us on a peaceful, circular route around the banks of this freshwater loch.  Loch Lomond is considered the boundary between the lowlands of Central Scotland and highlands.  We sipped coffee laced with Scottish whiskey and enjoyed the stories shared through speakers by the captain as we stood on the upper deck in the misty rain.

 

ImageMisty Peaks (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

The story I enjoyed most was about the popular song, “The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond.”  Everyone knows this particular lyric, “you take the high road and I’ll take the low road and I’ll be in Scotland before ya.”  The song was published in 1841 but its author is unknown.  The poet Andrew Lang wrote a poem based on the lyrics later in 1876.  The poem, and likely song, reference the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rebellion and the subsequent hanging of his supporters.

 

ImageThe Caretaker’s Cabin (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

“The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond”

“By yon bonnie banks an’ by yon bonnie braes

Whaur the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond

Whaur me an’ my true love will ne’er meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomon’.

Chorus:

O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and Ah’ll tak’ the low road

And Ah’ll be in Scotlan’ afore ye

Fir me an’ my true love will ne’er meet again

On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomon’.

 

‘Twas there that we perted in yon shady glen

On the steep, steep sides o’ Ben Lomon’

Whaur in (soft) purple hue, the hielan hills we view

An’ the moon comin’ oot in the gloamin’.

(Chorus)

The wee birdies sing an’ the wild flouers spring

An’ in sunshine the waters are sleeping

But the broken heart it kens, nae second spring again

Tho’ the waeful may cease frae their greeting.”

 

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Banks of Loch Lomond (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

There are several interpretations of the lyrics but the one given to us by our guide matches this version: “Attributing the song to a Jacobite Highlander captured after the 1745 rising. The Hanoverian British victors were known to play cruel games on the captured Jacobites, and would supposedly find a pair of either brothers or friends and tell them one could live and the other would be executed, and it was up to the pair to decide. Thus the interpretation here is that the song is sung by the brother or friend who chose or was chosen to die. He is therefore telling his friend that they will both go back to Scotland, but he will go on the ‘low road’ or that of the dead, and be home first. Another supporting feature of this is that he states he will never meet his love again in the temporal world, on Loch Lomond. Some believe that this version is written entirely to a lover who lived near the loch.”  (Wikipedia)    

 

ImageIsland on the Loch (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

 

This experience was so delightful that I couldn’t imagine Scotland getting any better.  But it did.  Oh, it did. 

I’m back

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Orkney Island Stones (C) 2014 by Debi Bradford

I’ve returned from the land of Ents, fairies and elves.

I understand there are also trolls, mermaids and various monsters of great legend in its mountains and lochs.

Ancient cobblestones beneath my feet

I toured castles and cathedrals,

a 5,000+ year settlement,

circles of standing stone,

falconry and sheep herding,

rode ferries to isles,

and back again,

sipped decadent Orkney ales

and touched peat from a bog.

Nearly 4,000 photos must be culled through,

named,

and most importantly,

identified!

Scotland is nothing short of magical.

I love Scotland.

I knew I would.

 Scotland is an incredibly GREEN country and its people are warm and friendly.

Time to get back to work but

I’m BACK!