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Scotland April 2014

Scotland April 2014

Scotland, a sacred land. With Rosslyn Chapel, with beautiful Edinburgh and its St Giles cathedral. A wonderful country full of flowers, rivers, mountains, snow, lakes, sheep and standing stones. With the sacred valley of Glen Lyon and the magic ‘Praying Hands’, the oldest Yew tree in the world and the impressive mount Schiehallion, the Elf Mountain. The land of Christ, if you read the book “Vision of Albion, The Key to the Holy Grail” by Barry Dunford. The land of B & B’s with incredible Scottish breakfasts, with rivers full of salmon, with all kinds of ales and whiskey’s. The land with the beautiful Isle of Mull with its mountains, its lakes and the sacred church in Dervaig where Jesus and Mary Magdalene are holding hands. And the mysterious Isle of Iona, where Columba is said to have brought Christianity to Scotland. The isle with its magic abbey and its fallen Christ. The place where it is said that Jesus and Mary Magdalene went and where their child, John Martinus was born. And finally that incredible isle of Staffa, with its wondrous rock formations and curious caves. You will be seeing it all, dear friends.

It was good to be there, together with my dear friend Door. A magic place, a truly magic place, just like Rennes-le-Chateau.

Edinburgh and Rosslyn Chapel

We stayed in a wonderful B & B (bed and breakfast) called Greenlees Lodge in Lasswade, just south of Edinburgh. Excellent accommodating, very friendly hosts and a breakfast to beat all breakfasts. Let me show you. First the kitchen full of anything you might want {PIC 001}. And then, on the table, the hot dishes. Have a look {PIC 002 and 003}. Scrambled eggs, potatoes, salmon, peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms, and on the other plate white beans in tomato sauce, big slices of bacon, baked bread with anchovies and sausages. Wow!

Time for a more spiritual journey. To Rosslyn Chapel in the village of Roslin. A very special place. And a place that has become a major tourist attraction. With books, a small café, gift shops and busses full of people. Look at the {PIC’s 004 – 007].

Then to the pub. Where they have pints of ale and bitter and excellent food. Cheers {PIC 008}.

We took the bus to Edinburgh. A double decker. Driving much faster along the curving roads than I would have dared with my little, rented car. In Edinburgh we went to St Giles Cathedral, built from the 12th to the 15th century. A beautiful cathedral. Especially impressive was the Thisle Chapel. Where you had to pay two pounds if you wanted to take pictures. Door, always an adventurous type, wanted to go underground. In the spooky crypts and cellars of Edinburgh. There was not much to be seen, but our guide was good at telling us some hair-raising stories. Next a walk through the city and a visit to the many shops that were selling whiskey (at twice the price we pay in LIDL) and all kinds of Scottish clothing. Then back home. But being in Scotland, and enjoying ourselves so much, we just could not pass an Indian restaurant {PIC 015}. What a ‘gourmet’ day, both physically and spiritually.

Glen Lyon Valley and the Praying hands of Mary

Leaving Edinburgh we travelled northwest, first crossing the bridge over the Firth of Forth {PIC 016}. Then along small roads, lined with daffodils {PIC 017}, to Fortingall, at the beginning of the Glen Lyon valley {PIC 018}. A magic valley in the heart of Scotland. Where ancient civilisations may have lived, like the people who fled from Atlantis, and the megalith and neolith civilisations, builders of the impressive standing stones and stone circles. But there are also stories that the headquarters of the Picts and the Celts were located in this valley. In Fortingall we saw what is probably the oldest tree in the world. The famous ancient yew tree. More than 5.000 years old. See {PIC’s 19 – 21}.

Then onward to one of the highlights of our visit to Scotland, the Praying Hands of Mary. Along a beautiful river, a magic mountain, past curious rock formations and across turbulent rivers. See {PIC’s 22 – 25}. Resting for a while at the riverside covered with soft, green moss {PIC’s 026 and 027}. Then finally, the Praying Hands of Mary become visible. Set against a mighty mountain. What a beautiful site. What a sacred place. What a powerful energy. We stayed here for a while and held some ceremonies. It was magic, real magic. Finally we went back. Along a path full of glittering stones, millions of crystals everywhere {PIC’s 028 – 038}. Finally we laid our bones to rest in this lovely, typical Scottish B&B {PIC 039}.

Schiehallion Mountain, Oban

The next morning, after another hearty breakfast, we went further north. To a famous spot, called “The Queens view.” A spot where we had a wonderful view, over Loch Tummel, at the mighty Schiehallion Mountain {PIC 040}. This mountain, the mountain of Elf’s, is 1083 metres high and was covered in snow. The mountain held an irresistible attraction for Door. She very much wanted to climb the mountain. So we had a look. At the base of the mountain there were many cars {PIC 041}. So it looked good. We went on our way. It was said that climbing this mountain would take between 2 and 3 hours. And the last hour was over rocks and snow.

It was a great climb {PIC 042}. With a magnificent view over the area. I made it up to within three quarters of an hour from the top. Over fields of snow and on to the rocks {PIC’s 043 and 044}. There was no real path here, just rocks. It got very, very cold. And I was not dressed for the occasion. So I turned back at this point {PIC 045}. Door was dressed for the occasion, was not carrying so much body weight and had an iron will to go on and reach the top. Which she did. Bravo Door! On the way back we encountered a small version of the Fauteuil du Diable in Rennes-les-Bains {PIC 046}. Once down and looking back at the mountain, it was an awesome sight {PIC 047}.

At the end of the day we drove on to Oban, a city at the West coast, from where the ferry would take us the next day to the Isle of Mull. The sun was setting {PIC 048}.

The ferry and the Isle of Mull

The next morning we had some time left before the ferry departed for the town of Graignure on the Isle of Mull. So we visited Columba’s cathedral in Oban. Columba arrived on the Isle of Iona at Pentecost, 563. He brought Christianity to Scotland. Look at the cathedral, at this beautiful statue of Jesus and inside. {PIC’s 049 – 051}. There were many fish restaurants at the harbour. Here they were cleaning and preparing the fish {PIC 052}. We never tasted such good salmon! It was lovely to walk along the harbour, with all those colours {PIC 053}. And a big shop full of lovely Scottish products, like whiskey, skirts and pullovers, hats, books and beautiful jewellery {PIC 054}. The ferry arrived on time {PIC 055}. It was full of people; for it was Easter and the weather was fine, exceptionally fine {PIC 056}. The passage through the Sound of Mull lasted three quarters of an hour. We had some wonderful views {PIC 057}.

The Isle of Mull was magic, pure, pure magic. A beautiful isle, part of the Inner Hebrides. With high mountains, steep cliffs, standing stones, wonderful lakes, small roads lined with stonewalls and flowers, strange trees and the enigmatic church in Dervaig. The church with the portrait, in a stained glass window, of Jesus and Mary Magdalene holding hands. Even if some people dispute it being Jesus and Mary Magdalene. But more and more stories, legends, myths, clan names and people’s memories seem to confirm that Jesus and Mary Magdalene might actually have visited this isle. And Mary Magdalene could very well be pregnant! Look at the pictures of this church and the stained glass windows {PIC’s 057a – 060}.

And now enjoy the pictures I took on the isle of Mull. Driving along the coast, crossing hills, visiting standing stones, looking at mountains, the highest mountain is 966 metres high, seeing the cliffs and having some beautiful views of the sea {PIC’s 061 – 069}.

The Isle of Iona

Late in the afternoon we arrived in Fionnphort. A little ferry took us to the Isle of Iona. The magic Isle of Iona. With its famous abbey, here seen from the sea {PIC 070}. In the evening we walked to the abbey. It is a small Island and everything is within easy walking distance. See the beautiful abbey in the late light of the sun {PIC 071}. And inside {PIC 072}. In the middle of the cloister is a wonderful sculpture, titled “The Descending Spirit {PIC 073}. That evening, it was Easter; there was a special ceremony in the abbey. With live music. People were singing and dancing. It was great. That ancient abbey, so cold and so formal, was now illuminated by candles and enlightened by music {PIC 074}.

The next day we walked the isle. Past MacLean’s cross {PIC 075}, past the ruins of the old nunnery {PIC 076}, looking at the abbey past the daffodils {PIC 077}. A little further north is the strange statue of “The Fallen Christ” {PIC 078}. Passing another Celtic cross {PIC 79} and walking along the ‘main street’ back to our B&B {PIC 080}.

The Isle of Staffa with Fingal’s Cave

The next day we took a trip to Staffa. A strange, little island about 6 miles north of the Isle of Iona. This island is said to be formed by three different volcanic eruptions. Creating strange rock formations, like blocks of basalt or huge crystals.

A little boat took us to the Isle of Staffa. Leaving from Iona {PIC 081} with, for a short while, my friend Door at the helm {PIC 082}. Then picking up people at Fionnphort and heading north.

At the Isle of Staffa the crew of the boat did a magnificent piece of seamanship, manoeuvring the boat in a little inlet between submerged rocks. There was a path to the top of the island and another path with a solid guiding rail to Fingal’s Cave.

Look at the pictures of this wondrous island. And enjoy. See {PIC’s 083 – 092}.

Home again

I know, it has nothing to do with Scotland, but I was happy to be home again. We had seen so much and done some much that we were a bit tired. And driving on the left side in a small rental car over narrow roads enclosed by stonewalls, is a wonderful experience but rather tiring.

Besides I would like to show you our wonderful domain La Source/Les Labadous now in full blossom. As an extra. So beautiful. See {PIC’s 93 – 100}.

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Program Thomas Young, May 30th – June 8th 2014
THE BEAST OF GÉVAUDAN
 

Comments 2

Jan Baiden on Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:28

What an enchanting collection of photos and comments - thank you! I am especially interested in Fingal's Cave, made famous by Felix Mendelssohn in his collection, "The Hebrides". Does anyone know if it is a particularly mystical place?

What an enchanting collection of photos and comments - thank you! I am especially interested in Fingal's Cave, made famous by Felix Mendelssohn in his collection, "The Hebrides". Does anyone know if it is a particularly mystical place?
Guest - Thomas Ouëndag on Wednesday, 30 April 2014 18:52

Een fraai verslag van een meer dan boeiende reis, zo te zien.
Zeer uitnodigend...om ook te maken. Mooie foto's die het geheel nog duidelijker maken.
Een Spirituele reis dus.
Veel dank, dat wij dit mogen lezen, zien en delen,
Thomas

Een fraai verslag van een meer dan boeiende reis, zo te zien. Zeer uitnodigend...om ook te maken. Mooie foto's die het geheel nog duidelijker maken. Een Spirituele reis dus. Veel dank, dat wij dit mogen lezen, zien en delen, Thomas
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