Friday, May 13, 2016

Buzzing around the North Highlands

Yes it's been busy and by the end of the day I am too tired to put the words together - just doing my (mostly) daily backup of photos is enough for me to do.  I do try to update on Facebook but that's about it.  And I feel so guilty as I know some people check daily.  I've got a cold as well - I've had worse colds I must admit but it has certainly curbed my energy a bit.

Suffice to say I am having a wonderful time here in northern Scotland.  My B and B is wonderful - I have a huge room with ensuite.  The owners are fantastic and they just can't do enough for their guests.  Irene even did my laundry for me when I asked about a launderette in the area and refused any money for it.  My jacket was so dirty it would have needed its own airline seat home.  Seriously!

This is where I am staying! 

Anyway here are the highlights of this week - I will go into more detail when I have time..honest!

Monday I went to Dunrobin Castle which is just north of Golspie.  I walked there and back via a coastal path.  The rooms are lovely but no photographing is allowed - boo!  The castle itself is so beautiful.  I visited back in 1994 and fell in love with it then.  The garden was more in bloom then (late May) but it is still lovely.  I want to add lots of photos but the wifi here is painfully slow and it would take all morning.  I will definitely be doing a blog post on this visit - the history of the castle and the wonderful falconry displays. 

Tuesday I visited Dornoch and Tain - walked the huge beach at Dornoch but didn't get a chance to get inside the cathedral (Madonna was married there for those who care) as there was a funeral on.  In Tain I visited The Pilgrimage and Clan Ross museums and got to see a couple of what are believed to be Viking graves.  I must say the employees there are chatty and enthusiastic.  I love the highlanders - so friendly.  And people who move up here are just as friendly - I've chatted to a lot of "incomers" as well. 

Wednesday I did a spontaneous trip up to Wick and then to John 'O Groats!  So now I've been to the top and bottom of Britain! 

Yesterday I took a bus to Brora where I followed part of the Village path and also did a couple of short walks -one was along the river on a path covered with daffodils.  Yes they are still out here.  In Helmsdale I visited the Timespan museum which had a great exhibition on the Highland Clearances which was the forcible removal of tenants off the land as there was a greater profit to be had from sheep than tenants rent.  Some tenants (crofters) moved to the coast to become fisherman whereas others (like my own family) were given one way tickets to Canada. There is a beautiful statue in Helmsdale of a family leaving called The Emigrants that is dedicated to those that were forced to flee as well as their descendants.  I just sat and looked at it and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. 

Today I plan to chill a bit, do a few errands and walk the Big Burn which will be a fairly long walk for me as it's on the other side of the village so a half hour walk (at my pace) and then an hour walk and then back.  So I will go in the early afternoon so I can grab my (early) supper on the way back. 

Tonight it's packing for my trip back to London tomorrow - nearly twelve hours on and off trains!  I plan to hit the ground running in London - she has a list and she's going to work her way through it come hell or high water!

I will definitely be telling you more about my highland adventure!


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