Pinsteps. Relics of Urquhart Castle: Echoes of History from the Dark Waters of Loch Ness
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Urquhart Castle, perched on the banks of the enigmatic Loch Ness, has long been a silent observer of Scotland's history. In the early 20th century, it became the focus of archaeological excavations that brought to light a collection of artefacts that resonates with the mystique of the dark waters of the Loch.

The excavations, completed by 1922 after being interrupted by World War I, unearthed various relics from the 13th to the 17th centuries. Among these were a bronze ewer from the 15th century, coins, jewellery, crosses, and other personal items. Though criticised for the lack of precise recording of locations and stratigraphic information, this collection holds tremendous value.

The dark, almost mysterious quality of Loch Ness seems to be reflected in these objects. The bronze ewer, with its intricate designs, speaks of the craftsmanship of an era when the Loch was a bustling hub of activity. The coins tell tales of commerce and trade, perhaps even of lost treasures submerged in the Loch's murky depths. The jewellery and crosses, delicate and ornate, echo the personal lives, faith, and beliefs of those who once dwelled near these waters.

These artefacts are more than mere objects; they are a tangible connection to the past, shaped by hands that once possibly dipped into Loch Ness's waters, reflecting eyes that may have scanned its enigmatic surface for the legendary Nessie. They symbolise a time when the dark waters were a daily part of life, a source of sustenance, mystery, and perhaps fear.

The relics found at Urquhart Castle, now mostly cared for by the National Museum in Edinburgh, provide a unique insight into life by the Loch. They make the silent black waters speak, narrating stories of everyday life, commerce, faith, art, and warfare, all interconnected with the unfathomable depths of the Loch.

These findings resonate with the timeless allure of Loch Ness, serving as a bridge between the tangible and the elusive, the known history, and the mythical lore that continues to shroud the area. They stand as a testament to human life by the dark waters, drawing a vivid picture that continues to fascinate historians, locals, and tourists alike, much like the endless enigma of Loch Ness itself.

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Evgeny Praisman
Fairy Glen, Skye Ferry, Inverness, Nairn, Beauly of Jul 18, 2023

Embarking on a journey through some of the most striking and historically rich locations in the Scottish Highlands promises an unforgettable adventure filled with enchantment, lore, and natural beauty. Here's how you might enjoy such a trip, encompassing the mystical, historical, and cultural gems of the region:

Morning: Skye's Mystical Landscape

Fairy Glen: Folklore and Geology on the Isle of Skye Start your day on the Isle of Skye, exploring the Fairy Glen. This surreal landscape of peculiar conical hills and twisted rocks is imbued with local folklore, hinting at a supernatural presence. Legend has it that fairies created this magical landscape, and they still inhabit it today.

Skye Ferry: Navigating the Kylerhea Straits Between Skye and Mainland Scotland Hop on the Skye Ferry to cross the Kylerhea Straits, a picturesque journey steeped in tradition. The small ferry presents a chance to experience a genuine connection with the Scottish maritime heritage, adding a touch of nostalgia to the trip.

Midday: The West Coast's Rich Tapestry

Glenelg, Highland: A Historical and Natural Tapestry of Scotland's West Coast Arriving at Glenelg, you'll discover an area brimming with historical intrigue and natural beauty. Explore the ancient brochs and learn about the region's Viking history while admiring the breathtaking coastal scenery.

Lunch at Redburn Cafe & Gifts A relaxing lunch at Redburn Cafe allows one to enjoy locally sourced cuisine. The attached gift shop offers unique local crafts, perfect for a keepsake.

Afternoon: Loch Ness and Historical Explorations

Loch Ness: A Majestic Lake of Myths and Milestones A trip to the Highlands wouldn't be complete without visiting Loch Ness. Famous for its legendary monster, Nessie, this deep freshwater loch also offers stunning views and opportunities for boat tours.

History of Urquhart Castle: Early Beginnings to 15th Century Conflicts Nearby, explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle, which stands as a testament to Scotland's turbulent history. Its strategic location provides a glimpse into the early beginnings and 15th-century conflicts that shaped the nation.

Inverness: The Castle's Legacy and the Leaning Town Steeple Arriving in Inverness, explore the town's rich history, including the Castle's legacy and the intriguing leaning steeple.

Highland Heritage Unveiled: A Journey Through the Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Center Don't miss the Scottish Kiltmaker Visitor Center for a hands-on experience of the country's textile heritage.

Evening: Literary Havens and Culinary Delights

Leakey's Bookshop: A Literary Haven in the Heart of Inverness Browse the extensive collection at Leakey's Bookshop, a must-see for book lovers.

The Downright Gabbler of Beauly: Tradition, Taste, and Tales End the day in Beauly at The Downright Gabbler, where the fusion of historical and modern cuisine by the skilled daughter of a former Speaker of the Parliament combines with the storytelling artistry of her father for a unique dining experience.

Night: Luxury Highland Rest

Sandown House: A Luxury Highland Haven Retire to Sandown House, where luxury and comfort await, providing the perfect end to a day filled with the diverse and rich tapestry of the Scottish Highlands.

This day trip offers a fascinating blend of natural wonders, historical treasures, culinary delights, and local craftsmanship. Every stop reveals a different facet of Scottish culture and heritage, creating a truly immersive experience. Whether you're drawn to the mystical landscapes of Skye, the historical narratives of Glenelg and Inverness, or the bespoke tailoring of Campbell's in Beauly, this journey offers something for every traveller's taste.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
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