"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The last Day on Isle of Skye

Surprise! It rained some more today and kept up the tradition of pouring as I approached hiking possibilities and letting up and even clearing slightly in time to wander around a castle ruin, museum and beautiful garden.   On a positive note the temperatures have not dropped below the mid fifties and layers are adequate to keep me warm.  For anyone who knows me,  knows my body doesn't cope with cold very well.  Even my hands are staying warm enough.

I haven't yet gotten tired of seeing these falls of water along side the roads. Off in the distance you can see the ribbons of falls coming down out of the hills.   They are everywhere there are hills/mountains.

Made the drive across the island to the south west and the Armadale Castle, Gardens and Museum.  This bus is a reminder of the tour/s I didn't take.

The Armadale Castle and Estate was formerly the seat of the Macdonalds of Sleat and part of the traditional lands of Clan Donald.

When I was walking up towards the Edinburgh Castle back days ago, I talked with a street performer about his costume and blue face, etc.  He said that he was representing the Picts not the Gaelic heritage of Scotland.   Scotland's heritage goes back to Norway, Ireland, the Picts, etc......especially out here on the western islands.

I love the reminders of where many of those great traditions and symbols of Christianity originated from.

That is a long list of names associated with the Clan Donald.  I am not sure how far back Dennis has made on Ancestry dot com but the name Allen shows up on the list. 

The date on this gathering (1920) becomes more significant and sad when you connect it to the year that the family at that time moved out of the castle to a smaller home. The castle was only a little over 100 years old at the time. It was then neglected for 50 years and purchased by the non profit Trust in 1972. By then there was such significant structural damage that Historical Scotland soon gave permission for large parts to be torn down for safety while trying to maintain some of the main structural characteristics where ever possible.

Some weapon bling from the museum.  Remember how hard it must have been to keep the powder dry in the rainy season in Scotland.

Then there is the interesting story about the Scottish tartan.  The Disarming Act of 1746 would have been to take away from the Jacobites' Highland clan identification and connections but nice to see it didn't last for long.   Also, note that originally there was no distinction between particular plaids.  I see an early and successful movement for advertising, marketing and Branding behind the redevelopment of the tartan as a symbol of Scotland and connection to particular Clans.   

And because to the British "Clearances" and later efforts of the Clans Chiefs to move crofters and tenants off the lands and because of the failure of the potato crops that parallels those failures that occurred in Ireland,  many Scots from the Islands emigrated.  Each 6 by 3 ft bunk housed two adults or a combination of children depending upon size and age.  This reproduction represents a particular ship that the museum had extensive records from. Many people traveling in small spaces.  (See that room back in Edinburgh is looking bigger and bigger.)  The trip only took 16 weeks.

I heard the Sylvan song of this tree as soon as I walked out of the museum and headed over to the castle ruins.

The signage said "Laundry".   The creek/spring ran just of the left back corner, so that made sense.

Green and mossy trees

The ruins of the castle are all that remain from the original which was built around 1815-1820, which was then left empty and neglected from about 1920 to 1972, requiring much of it to be gutted for safety.  

Looking at the front of the main entrance. 

Then turn around and see that the residence saw.

The irony is that the white portion of the castle is part of the original and oldest part of the estate dating back to 1790's and it is still being used as part of the grounds and offices of the trust.

This is just one of the huge old tree that caught my eye. Well, yes, they are trees and I am usually easily distracted by dramatic trees.  Several of them looked familiar and the signage reassured me that they should as in this case the tree is a western cedar that was planned back in 1880 or so.    So far these great trees have outlived the castle.


Driving off the island tomorrow and heading towards just a bit east of Inverness. If you are picking up a pattern of my finding B&Bs that are outside the towns, you would be correct.  They all also have free parking on the grounds in their listings.  I had several memories of small town hotels and lodging back in Ireland that Liz and I stayed in that did not have good parking options.  I have done well so far in my driving adventures but I am not eager to learn all these new skills at the same time if I can plan my way around it.   Bit by bit.

Not sure which roads I will take tomorrow. I have two main options and am planning to consult with Jackie and Colin tomorrow at breakfast.  I do like driving the singe track roads but only if they are in reasonable conditions.   

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