Tuesday 30 May 2017

Day 4 What will today bring?

Really thankful you are  still with me.   This day was the highlight of Martins holiday we  went  to places being an amateur  archeologist he wanted  to see.
On  our way through Lewis .
This was the sign to the Calanais Standing Stones.
These stones were  incredible. 
more info.
So many people taking  photos.
These  stones are older than Stonehenge.
My man hugging a stone.

Whether it was just  wishful thinking when  I placed my hand on this stone  it  felt powerful.  Hmm  perhaps imagination.
Looking down toward the centre ring of  stones.Sorry there  is  a couple more of these .
The middle circle.
A burial  chamber in front of the large stone  , someone of  great importance  may  have been buried here.
A fabulous place  with so  much history. We  spent   quite a while here and admired  the  few too.
A  truly historic  view.My man  is  happy,but he still  has  the rest of the day  to enjoy. We climbed aboard our coach and the next place we visit.is  Dun Carloway Broch.
 Built by our forbethears at the dawn of the Christian era. It  is a  tribute to their skill  that this fine drystone  building-known to and the wider world as a broch,  still  standing today it when it  was  built the stones at Calanais
just a few miles  down the  road was already three thousand years old.

A tiny doorway,
Kimberly was up the steps inside on the right.Martin said they weren't very safe.
What they think it would have been like inside  the broch.
It was very dark.
A little more info for you.
I just happened to spot this as we drove away.

carved on a gatepost. Again a happy man . Now  we were taken to The  Gearrannan Blackhouses
A Quote from  a booklet we purchased.  "Our situation was unfavourable , and meagre was our sustenance".
It must have been a hard life ,but 6 elderly spinsters were still living here in the 1960s. The ladies  that  remained were all ones who had had the experience of hard work throughout their lives, whether on thecroft or at  the fishing. They were able to cope with the special demands of the blackhouse,and  there were neighbours or relatives close by who could lend a hand with the heavy work had to be  done.

This was a superb stop. We had to pay a small amount  to go through and see the village. We all  crowded into one of the houses where a lady gave us a talk about the village and life there.

 The fire was lit and the smell of peat filled the air.Peat was  cut by the women too.
I did try and  get a decent pic of the fire ,but with 40 of us in  this little room it was rather cosy.
Not a lot of furniture as you can imagine but a dresser along one wall ,a table and 4 chairs were about it.
The clock on the mantlepiece .
Such an old world place.When we passed through to the other room in the hallway was this. Do any of you remember these things . I do.
I remember  an aunt of mine using one of these. We do have it easy these days really.
I am not a lover of ironing but can you imagine having to wield one of these. We could here clacking so  went to investigate and here was a man making tweed.

Very  noisy ,but mesmorising  watching the woven  cloth being made.

I forgot to mention in the main room was  some  knitting left for us to see .
Socks,Miss Julie !
So off outside  to see the village . 
We wandered down to the sea.

I think from what was said it was a very close knit community. So we  again  climbed aboard the Skylark as we affectionately named the coach as we seemed to forever climbing on or off. I swear Steve the driver made that first step higher every time.
Kimberly had arranged for us to have lunch at our next port of call. The Butt of Ness . Duly refreshed we ventured out. This is reported to be the Windiest place in the UK and it did not disapoint. This is the furthest north you can go before you hit Canada. The lighthouse stands very tall.
The rock formations were fabulous where the strength of the sea had shaped them.
You know how  it is with children , I was willing him to step away from  the edge.. A stack on the other side.
A cormorant was standing right on the edge about a third of the way down on the right. Just about level with him  to the right in the sea we saw 2 seals. Squint and you may see them lol. We did not stay here long and we were back on the road and heading for the hotel and Stornaway. We drove to the Castle of Lews and were hoping to see the new museum which had 6 of the Lewis Chessmen pieces on display. If you have read the Peter May trilogy you  will know about the Lewis Chessmen, his books are set on Lewis and I have just bought all 3 to read again.
So Lewis Castle a victorian building which is now rented out for weddings etc. This is the main room ,what a difference to the little crofts we have seen.
This is the hall ceiling,we saw something similar to this in a castle in Bavaria.
 The staircase.
 The view across to Stornaway harbour where our last ferry will take us across to Ullapool on the mainland.

 We had a couple of hours before dinner and as we had the morning free on day 5 we decided to have an after dinner stroll after dinner into Stornaway. It was a toss up between going to the museum or shopping in the town. I will let you know tomorrow what we decided . Or can you guess.
Thanks for the comments and sticking with me. This is really for me to keep as a record as being a bear of very  little brain and age I forget.
See you in the morning
Hugs.Oh forgot Please excuse any grammatical or spelling mistakes ,once I have written this much I just press publish and don't check it. Hmmmmm.

Monday 29 May 2017

Day 3 ,Island hopping.photo heavy again.

Reloaded onto coach and setting off at 8 am we sat backand enjoyed the scenery, and what a difference a day makes.It was a glorious day and wall to wall sunshine.
On the road to the ferry at Barra to Eriskay.
 This was taken from the coach window.Our arrival at the ferry . Apparently it is a good place for seeing otters but he only ones we saw were carved wooden ones.
We had to sit in the coach while we  were driven aboard then we went up on deck to watch Barra disappearing and Eriksay coming closer.

I almost had another dog as whilst on board there were a couple with 2 long haired dachsunds ,so sweet and I of course asked  if I could speak to their dogs. They were a pair husband and wife and the wife was due puppies in about 10 days. Oh if only. The owners did say I could put my name  down , but too far to go to collect  it. One day maybe . So we said  goodbye to Ruby and joined the rest of the group to disembark.
Eriksay is famous for its  wreck of  the S.S.Politician in 1941 which hit a submerged  rock and was breached in shallow water.The cargo  was about 21,000 cases of malt whisky.Given the wartime rations  and the slow response  of the authorities this was like "manna from heaven"  to the islanders.
Most of the cargo was salvaged and  the customs and excise officials  did eventually arrive,  some people were arrested  and  convicted but without the help of the local police.The film Whisky Galore released in 1949 was based on Compton MacKenzies book who was living on Barra at the time ,Barra was used for most of the filming and Compton MacKenzie is buried  in the churchyard I showed you yesterday. They have just released a new  version of  the film.
Sorry but you get the rushing by effect.We crossed the causeway into South Uist. A ruined croft by the waters edge, we saw lots of these and heard about how the people could not make a  living on the land and sea and  migrated to the mainland.Again though the colour of the sea had  to be seen to be believed.

Another croft but with a trampoline in the garden looks out of place somewhat. We stopped here for a little while to  see the two churches on this site and there were  a few interesting  features.

Originally these 2 churches were on an  island and joined by a causeway. The other one is  in a ruined state but I was looking for Lichen for one of my Scavenger photo hunt pics it was an ideal  site. There have been 4 churches on this site.

The rock nearest the built up wall was covered in lichen and just had to take a picture.

Loved the colour too. The celtic cross caught my eye too.
We then sauntered back to the coach passing a wall which had lots of bones on top.
The cottage we  passed was  next to the youth hostel,to the left of the cottage.
At the bottom you can see the iris which grows wild here ,we saw a few of them in flower and it must so lovely.
Again info about the place.
Make that 5 churches on the site, getting my facts wrong here.We boarded the coach and set off to have lunch and a coffee . A  packed lunch was collected  at the Dark Island  Hotel.
We sat outside and although it was windy it was very pleasant and the orchard next to the picnic area was alive with the singing of birds .
Not sure if they were  starlings  or  blackbirds but there were  a great many of them this one must  have been the lookout.Fed and watered on we  go.
Just loved the colour and textural quality ,it only needed a sheep in the foreground.
There is a sheep in the foreground of this but we were motoring and it was a case of quick take a pic and hope it comes out. We have now travelled through South Uist onto North Uist and onto Berneray onto South Harris ,all lovely landscapes and took far too many photos to show you them all. North Harris surprised us as after all lochs and flatness it became quite hilly and a totally different landscape.Of course the well known  Harris  Tweed  comes from  here.

 Isn't this a fabulous view.The long and winding road ,I am wondering if to get it made into a very large print for the lounge  wall, just need  some wall  space.

We did see these black sheep almost at the ferry over to Lewis.
I  took these little cottages I quite  liked the thatched  one.

I took one of Martin outside but I   think the person that lived  there wasn't too keen and rapped on the window. I had  not  realised   it  was occupied.Oops.
Back  on coach and off on  yet another ferry this time to the Isle of Lewis ,where we would make our way to Stornaway .Although it seemed a short way off by sight, it was  a very strange route as we zig zagged back and forth apparently to avoid rocks and shallow water.So we visited 7 islands in  one day. We arrived in Stornaway very weary and dinner was at 8 so exactly from 8 in  the morning until  8 at night  we were travelling and seeing wonderful scenery. We stayed in a 4 star hotel and by us it is  absolutely the best one we stayed in. I  think  most of us were ready for bed .So for day 3 I will say goodnight  and  it is a breakfast at 8 and  away at 9. I wonder what we  will see tomorrow.Hope you have enjoyed today.
4  more  days to go. Hugs.

Hawthorns Scavenger Photo Hunt June

Well hello everyone ,super sets of photos last  time. Mine this time  again has been last  minute so shall we begin. The  words this month ...