September 28, 2011

Stepping through our week – Day Five Battlefields and Lochs

Everyone knows about some of the places we went today – they are some of Scotland’s best known, but we also did a little “hidden” Scotland too.  We started our day by visiting Urquhart Castle (and later we learned a tune that related to it). 
After that old history, we went to Colloden for more recent, but often misunderstood history.  Colloden has an incredible visitor center (during which I was too busy learning to remember to take photos to share with you!).

From those two history packed treats, we meandered through quaint and beautiful areas and saw more about local people and the way of life in Scotland today and long ago.  The intrepid David made requested photo stops as the scenery begged for pictures!
And those photos really help us to remember the fantastic color of the heather in bloom!
We returned to the Dowans to refresh tunes  and get ready for the next day's adventures!

September 21, 2011

Stepping through our week – Day Four The Western Highlands

The days continued clear, warm and bright – and on this day we had a little bit of a lie in and then headed for that most iconic of castles – Eilan Donan. One of the things I like best is that this castle has a place for harpers!

After visiting the castle we did a little musical relationship building with a wonderful local piper who was playing nearby. We wanted to set up a little jam but were a tad concerned about tuning up to meet him without breaking a lot of strings! And we decided that we needed a photo of the harpers:

The piper, Lea, shows the gumption of pipers,
willing to be photographed with harpers!

 After leaving Eilan Donan, we traveled an astonishingly beautiful path that lead us through the sites we’ve come to expect, to see a part of Scotland that many visitors don’t even know to look for:


We crossed the Beauly Firth and the Black Isle before heading to our next accommodation in Aberlour.

Along the way we saw new things and "must see" things. Once we arrived, we learned a great tune that was directly related to our visiting. Come with us so you can learn it too.

September 14, 2011

Stepping through our week – Day Three Skye

What incredible good fortune – the sky in Skye was fine and bright! Skye is, as always, breathtakingly beautiful. David arranged for us to take best advantage of the day and the weather. We started the day with music by discovering the Skye Music Shop and it just kept getting better from there. Skye has amazing geography, a lot of history, sites of beauty that nearly make you want to cry.


We stopped for lunch while at Dunvegan Castle and then toured it to learn even more. Afterward, David took us to a fantastic vantage point, especially for harping:

David obliged by stopping on request for photos along the way.  We had a wonderful day on Skye but we still had a special treat arranged – we attended a ceilidh concert and got to hear some of the future of traditional music with incredible local talent – it really capped off an incredible day!

September 7, 2011

Stepping through our week - Day Two Road to the Isles

Our second day dawned and we all met for a hearty breakfast before heading out on our adventure.  David prepared us for our journey - it would be a long day, but full of sites, sights and delights!

We traveled diagonally across the width of Scotland on our way to Skye.  We saw rivers and lochs, bridges and waterfalls, man-made and natural splendor.   We saw the geography transform and the weather change.  We learned history and saw how the land and the people shaped one another.

Here are a few of the views I wanted to share with you.  These are only a few of the photos from the day - and I find that most of the time I am so busy looking that I forget to take a photo. 

We arrived at the McKinnon Country House in Skye and after settling in we shared a lovely tune that was tied to our excursion of the day.  After we had played we adjourned to dinner which was fantastic before repairing to bed to be ready for the next day's outing.

Come with us next time so you can see it yourself!