Scotland Adventure: Day Three

We had a wonderful night and we were beginning to relax and enjoy our vacation. We went to bed a little later than normal, but still after my normal six to seven hours of sleep, I was the first of our group to wake up with the sun. I did not want to disturb my friends so I quietly got up, dressed and I decided to take a look around. What I saw as I walked outside the inn was nothing less than breathtaking.

As I stated in the previous post we arrived in the pitch black with only the car’s and the inn’s lights to illuminate the darkness. I had no idea what to expect when I walked outside. Almost immediately I was taken aback by the view. A brilliant blue sky provided a backdrop to splendid snow caped mountains that flowed effortlessly into a greenish-brown valley, as far as the eye can see. We were staying at the Cluanie Inn but as I looked around the area, I could see that this was the only building or signs of civilization for hundreds of kilometres. The inn was slightly higher than the valley floor and I simply stood there marvelling at the sheer natural beauty before me. It looked unspoiled by the presence of man, a lesson that nature has been here billions of years before us and will continue well after. I walked around the inn for what seemed like hours but in truth, 20 -30 minutes passed while I was busy taking picture after picture.
Soon my stomach reminded me that it was time for breakfast, so I went back to the room and we all made our way to experience my first Scottish breakfast. The previous day I had breakfast that was very similar to what I would get back in Canada, however this morning I got a pleasant surprise. I ordered a Scottish breakfast, which included a fried egg, Scottish bacon (similar to pea meal bacon, only better), sausage, a tattie scone/potato scone (potato pancake), a fried tomato and black pudding. I was familiar with everything on the plate except the tattie scone, yet it was delicious. However, what caught my eye was the black pudding. I have not had black pudding in what seems years. Black pudding, if you are not aware if it, is a type of blood sausage that is common to Great Britain, Ireland and many parts of Europe. It is made of pork, beef blood and oatmeal and then fried. I grew up eating this in Malta and my mom would make it occasionally. I was pleasantly surprised to have it for breakfast and it tasted like I was eating a bit of home. Its sounds like a rather large breakfast but what we had planned for the rest of the day, it was just enough to fuel my next little adventure.

At Eilean Donan Castle

Afterwards we packed up the car and made our way to our next destination, Eilean Donan Castle. If you are not aware of this historical landmark, Eilean Donan, which simply means “island of Donnán”, is a small tidal island where three sea lochs meet in the western Highlands of Scotland. It is one of the most recognized Scottish landmarks that appear in photographs, television and in film (Highlander, 1986; The World Is Not Enough, 1999; Elizabeth, The Golden Age, 2007). It is a magnificent castle with a rich history of the MacRae clan. There was even a Canadian connection to John McCrae the writer of “In Flanders’s Fields”. Many people think that he is related to the MacRae clan but he is not. Yet there are a few artefacts that are related to the poem. The Clan MacRae Roll of Honour outside has a few lines from the poem.
The majesty and picturesque castle was one of the major stops that we had to see. We spent several hours here and took quite a lot of pictures. For me, I spent the entire time observing taking photos and coming up with several ideas for many art projects I can do when I get home. The more time I spent here the more inspirational ideas came to me. They say sometimes a place speaks to you, well Eilean Donan Castle was speaking so much that I had to stop on several occasions to take it all in and not feel overwhelmed.
As amazing as Eilean Donan Castle was, we had to move on to our next destination. Along the way we took in the amazing landscapes and we stopped a few times for some photos and the occasional mountain goat. It was a rather long journey but in the end we made it to our next stop in Glencoe. There we enjoyed the accommodations and rested up for the next day’s adventure.


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