November 13, 2009

The Battlefield Coast

This was a great day exploring working forts and walking through history in a really modern way. We start by crossing Dava Moor (which some will tell you is what people who’ve never been to Scotland think all of it looks like – deceptively expansive, wild, beautiful – its a “carpets of heather” place!).

After crossing the Moor we get to Fort George, built in the 1720s it is the most secure fortification in Europe to this day. It is a working Army Barracks, so you might see soldiers while we visit.

A very small slice of Ft George

This fort was originally built to pacify the Scottish Highlands in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745. And yup - that's when they started burning harps to squelch the culture. It is a Star fort so it is interesting (even if you’re not into forts) and contains exhibits about its history and use. It is home to the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland. Anybody know what their regimental marches are? Want to learn one?

From there we moved through Inverness and along Loch Ness which looks just about as deep as it is…Didn’t see Nessie this time, but I’m always looking, just in case. Urquhart Castle sits on Loch Ness and has a very interesting history including visits by such interesting characters as St. Columba!

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

We went on to Culloden Battlefield from there. They have a brand new visitors’ center which is state of the art and has excellent displays and information. You can practically feel the history around you. I think that the site is so captivating and overawing - so much so that I was too stunned to take photos! But it is so impressive that I can't wait to get back there!

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