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Highland flinging

It's a dreary, grey and damp day at the farmette. Kind of reminds me of the weather we had in Scotland where we were travelling a couple of weeks ago. Only it felt much colder and windier there.

We had a short but wonderful tour of the highlands and Orkney island. Going to see Skara Brae has been on the bucket list for a while and we finally got around to checking it off.

This selfie was taken near the end of our trip - I think we were at Culloden - site of the final stand of the Jacobites against the Duke of Cumberland in 1746 - the Butcher to many Scots. What a bloody history this country has - particularly in the aftermath of this battle.

Here's Rob putting on his best Angry Scot pose at the cairn that commemorates the carnage.

Enough of the brutality, I want to get on with the good stuff. We took a tour for the first time ever. Gotta admit I was a little nervous about being in a group of strangers. But it was a small group (15) and everyone was courteous and friendly. Highly recommend Rabbies as a tour operator. Our guide/driver Billy was a hoot and really knowledgeable about Scottish history and fairy stories.

After travelling from Edinburgh and spending a night in Inverness, we motored on to Gills Bay and took the hour and a bit ferry ride to Orkney. Rob and I stayed for two nights in the best B&B ever. Heatherlea is in the main town of Kirkwall. The hosts were soo great, the room perfect and the breakfast spot on.

We needed it because daytime temperatures were about 10 or 11 C. Plus wind - did I mention the wind? Anyhow Skara Brae was incredible. Imagine the people who lived in the settlement 4,500 years ago. Found after a huge storm in the mid-1800s, it wasn't properly excavated until 1928. Of course, the Laird of Skaill, who owned the land, picked through four of the houses and picked up a good quantity of priceless objects.

We also toured through the Laird's mansion, which was built in the 1700s and has been turned into a museum. I was especially taken with Mrs. Scarth's bedroom.

She was the last lady to live in Skaill House and I could still feel her presence, even though she's been gone since 1991.

There were many stops with breathtaking views of the gorges and cliffs that make up Orkney.

After a partcularly arduous hike up a 45 degree angle I was rewarded with a puffin sighting! We were pretty far away, but these are, indeed, puffins.

We also visited several standing stones sites.

Here's me doing a Ta-Da beside one where the farmer that owned the land back in the day started pulling them down because they were in the way of his plow!

He stopped when his neighbours threatened him with bodily harm.

There was sooo much more. But I have to wrap up and try and catch up with some of the chores that still need doing. Until next week.

Gratuitous cat pic courtesy of Fred, who is photogenic even when he's sleeping.


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