Before I move on to our fourth and final week in Scotland -- Edinburgh, I thought I'd do a bit of a recap of each of the first three weeks with a photo essay of those things I didn't write full blog entries about.
We noticed right away that Scotland is a country of B&Bs. It seems that everywhere we went they were lined up and down the residential streets. It was as if every family with an extra bedroom hung a sign in their front lawn advertising their B&B. The bigger more elegant houses call themselves "Guest Houses", but they are still B&Bs. They just have more than one extra room. Here is a row of four guest houses in Oban.
We crossed the Clachan Bridge, known as the "Bridge Over the Atlantic" in order to get to Seil from the mainland. This one-lane, high-arched stone bridge crosses a creek sized bit of Atlantic Ocean backwater, which gives it the right to the name. You must look far ahead to the roadside inn on the other side to make sure no cars are coming. You will not be able to see them once you begin your ascent.
The inn has its own claim to fame. It's Gaelic name "Tigh an Truish Inn" means the House of Trousers. The inn earned this name after the British government, to punish the Jacobite Risings, outlawed the wearing of the tartan under the Dress Act of 1746. Islanders stopped at the inn to change from their traditional kilts to trousers before traveling to the mainland.
On the Isle of Iona is the Abbey. This is one of the Scotland's most historic and venerated sites because it has been the burial place for many early Scottish kings. It also houses the the largest collection of "Christion carved stones in Scotland, ranging in age from 600AD to the 1600s.
Here are two pictures. The first is the Abbey and it's bedraggled graveyard. The second is of some of the carved stone slabs, which after being removed from the graveyard, produced that bedraggled look.
Today, Dunadd looks like nothing more than a funny hill sticking up from the middle of Kilmartin Glen. But between AD500 and 900 it was one of the most important places in Scotland. it was where new kings were annointed and power was conferred.
It's a steep climb to the top, and there isn't much left of the old fortification except the bit of wall we are sitting on, and the carved footprint where it is said that the a new king placed his foot as he received his annointment. (By the way, we can guess at the size of these people by the fact that my women's size 7 shoe was a perfect fit.)
And finally, as we leave Seil Island and prepare for our second week in the Highlands, I'll leave you with the photo I took from our front door, at midnight on mid-summer's eve.