Monday, October 7, 2019

In Those Fields...

  A sunbaked Californian thrills at the abundance of water and green in the Scottish Highlands,
     and is fascinated by the Gaelic to English translations. Scotland and, as you'll see in subsequent posts, Ireland are reprising their native language. 
   Wide stretches of the Highlands remind us of California, though more verdant.
       Visitors are impressed by the number of sheep. All of those woolens need an origin. 
       I was fascinated by the stone walls, ancient, enduring and usually without mortar. 

   If you ever find yourself in the North Sea bayside village of Helmsdale, make sure you get to the La Mirage on Dunrobin Street for arguably the freshest and maybe largest fish and chips anywhere. 
   Established in the 1970's with the help of and as a tribute to author Barbara Cartland it's earned acclaim for its food and kitschy decor. Notice the CHP mannequin in the hall.
  Or you can take away next door. The sign says it all.
   History abounds and begs photographs.

  History is powerfully told at Culloden, reminiscent of the US memorial at Gettysburg.
   It was here on Drumrossie Moor on April 16, 1746 that thousands died in the decisive battle of the Jacobite rebellion. It pitted clan against clan, Scot against Scot in the larger war between the royal houses of the Hanoverians and the Stuarts, fighting for control of the throne of England. 

   It is sacred ground, as is Gettysburg and people pass with respect. One cannot help but reflect on the awful cost of war.
   The Scottish National Trust operates an excellent museum and visitors center that does a masterful job of telling the history. It permits a visitor to follow the build up to the final battle, from both points of view. The dual track interpretation leads to a 360 degree theatre that puts the viewer in the middle of the battleground. As the film ends, one walks onto the field of conflict. 

   Nearby sheep and cattle graze and golfers play. Life passes history by and might forget altogether, were it not for memorials and museums.

   Cultural immersion of another sort in the north coast town of Wick Scotland.
  A glimpse into the making of that adult beverage that bears the nation's name. 

  An abundance of fresh highland water contributes to this brand. 

  This is a small and almost family like operation with a long history on this site. 

   The Scotch whiskey tour is not unlike those we've experienced at California wineries. 

   Slainte'!  The journey moves on.

  See you down the trail.


  1. As I was reading, I was enjoying a dram. Great stuff as usual, Thanks.