Thursday 21 July 2022

and i‘ll be in scotland afore you (10. 008)

Meandering along the Spey and visiting a distillery—though too early for a tour and a testing before heading to Elgin (Eilginn, possibly meaning Little Ireland and reminding early Celtic settlers of home) in Moray whose cathedral was left in elegant and vaunted ruins since its destruction by fire in the late thirteenth century. 

I tried not to drag H to too many monoand i‘ll be in scotland afore you liths this trip but willingly we went to see the Stone of Sueno outside of Forres, the largest Pictish slab carving in the nation. The plinth traditionally associated with Sven Forkbeard features a Celtic style cross on one side and possibly a coronation scene on the other. 

Next we took a look at the ancestral home of Clan Brodie and the grounds of Fort George, a Vauban-inspired bastion that suppressed Scotland’s rebellion by taking the strategically important headland at the straits between the Firth of Moray and the bay leading into Inverness and Loch Ness before journeying there ourselves—seeing the Clava cairns, an ensemble of Bronze Age burial mounds along the way. 

We marveled first at Loch Ness and set up camp near Drumnadrochit (Druim na Drochaid) and hiked along a high coastal trail to Urquhart Castle overlooking the loch, whose invasion attempt by Edward I of England in 1296 marked the beginning of the Scottish Wars of Independence, besieged and never rebuilt in order to deny Jacobite elements purchase to reorganise.