Hello trouble lovers!
So here I am on my last night in Inverness! Today I trekked to the site of the Battel of Culloden, where over 1,200 Jacobite soldiers were slaughtered by the English in 1746. It was without a doubt the most moving and well done interactive historic exhibit I’ve ever been to, navigated with interactive maps, real artifacts and audio of reinacted soldier’s voices. The museum part of the exhibit culmiated in a film that reinacts the battel with the viewer at the very center of it. Before that, you walk down a narrow, dark passageway with the sounds of rain and soldier’s voices all around you, marching to their ill fated battle in the dark and wanting to give up and turn back. Once in the film room, you stand in the center, surrounding you are four walls with the bare grass of Culloden moor reflected on it. The room is heavily airconditioned to make you feel cold as the soldiers did that day, then from one side, you see the Jacobites approach, tired and disheveled. On the other side of you the English approach, strong and orderly. Then the battel happens with the figures charging twoard each other, and you in the middle. From there you can move out onto the actual moor where you are given a GPS self guided tour that tells you more about parts of the battel site as you walk along the path. Again, each site is narrated by reinacted audio of the soldiers. Incredibly interesting and moving.
From there I continued to make it an Outlander day by moving on to Clava Carins, which I’m pretty sure are the same standing stones that Diana Gabldon wrote about in the book. They are the same as she described, down a steep hill in the scottish countryside, close to Inverness. They are indeed mysterious and beautiful. The stones have stood in silent witness to hundreds of years of history. They were there long before I ever existed and they will still be there long after I and all traces of me have gone to dust. Beautiful, humbling and fascinating. I am happy to report that I not time travel occured, I am still happily ensconced in 2009 with my kushy pillows and my internet cafe.
Today ened up to be my public transportation tour of the rural scottish highlands. I continued up the hill passing farms, newly sheared sheep, highland cows and horses, and on to Cawdor Castle. The castel is still in use today and contains rich tapestries and an ornate garden. A bit of a letdown after the excitement of Culloden, but a nice way to end my day. I returned by bus back to Inverness with soggy, aching feet but very pleased with my day’s adventure.
Yesterday I took a Jacobite cruise up the Caledonian Canal. Loch ness is everything people say it is, cold, mysterious magestic and magical. I disembarked at Urquhart Castle and took a ramble around the picturesque grounds, again, humbling to think of all the history that’s gone before me.