Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Scottish Hebrides

I've written a post on the Hebrides, or Western Isles, that beautiful landscape of legendary islands off the northwest coast of Scotland, so we're a very long way from the Beaver Valley today.  I wrote it primarily for my on-line distance education course, and you can find it under my 'Scotland' tab, but you might like to at least scroll through the pictures and read the captions.

What I've tried to capture is not only the beautiful landscape (this is the Isle of Skye), but the thousands of years of history that underlie what the tourist sees today in visiting the isles.

It's a landscape of medieval castles in part, like Castle Eilean Donan, said to be the most picturesque castle in Scotland.  The layers of history before the middle ages and the 30 or 40 castles you can see today (many in ruins) go all the way back to the standing stones of 5000 years ago, and include both the incredible story of St. Columba's abbey on Iona 1500 years ago, and the later Viking onslaught.

And more recently the isles have been a large part of the 18th Century Jacobite rebellions, and then were decimated by the 'Clearances', when almost the entire landscape was 'cleared' of clan members, who were shipped to North America and elsewhere to become 'sturdy pioneers'.  Today you just see wandering sheep and scattered foundations and stone walls like those of this church on Skye where once there were close-knit communities.



15 comments:

  1. What wonderful pictures. That castle on the island picture is awesome. Thanks for sharing these!

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  2. Beautiful ! I have family in Scotland and am yet to get there on my bucket list lol ! Thanks for sharing wonderful post and photos ! Have a good day !

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  3. I totally agree! A place well worth seeing in real life as well. Thanks for sharing this.

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  4. Of course I have a secret passion for castles, possibly because what folks call castles around here in America, only deepens my desire for the real thing.

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  5. These photos really show great beauty of the area. It is so good to see them.

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  6. Wow - what scenery! Love that castle! And what history. I'm loving your "flashback" post today.

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  7. Amazing how old the castles are!!!! So much history!!

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  8. I would love to visit these islands!

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  9. It is beautiful. The history is both interesting and tragic.

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  10. It certainly is beautiful. And I have to agree with you that it's a place that everyone should see someday. Maybe I'll get there not just in your pictures. :-)

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  11. You have grasped the essential point about the British landscape "It's not a just picture; it's also a story."

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  12. What a fabulous experience it would be to visit these islands!

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  13. I've been reading Joanna Kearsley's books that often deal with the Scottish land and the Jacobite rebellion. Your photos put reality to her descriptions and the pictures my mind conjured.

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  14. An island with that old castle is very much enchanting. The history is very interesting too. Thanks for sharing this. There's so much more to learn around the globe.

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  15. Scotland always seems like an almost mystical place. Hard to reconcile all this with the origins of golf.

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