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Alastair's Move to the USA
20th September 2003


Well today I wasn't sure where I'd go as at breakfast the clouds were angry looking and looked as if it would be a day of rain.  Anyway... I decided to go to Blair Castle as it was only around 30 miles away and then I'd decide what to do with myself for the rest of the day.

As I drove through the gates I came across the famous peacocks and low and behold the cock decided I wasn't going to get anywhere near his hen! I ended up having to drive around him :-)


This was the view as I got our the car and on entering the footpath I noted this sign

As I left Blair Castle the sun started to come out and I decided to drive up to Inverness to see the Battle of Culloden site. I must say that drive up the A9 to Inverness is a really beautiful road with lovely scenery.  There are also lots of wee places you can visit if you just take the time to go 1 to 5 miles off the road.  I did in fact do one wee diversion on the way back which I'll tell you about later.


As you can see the cloud was breaking up and the sun came out. These are a couple of view on the way up to Inverness

My one observation is that on the way up to Inverness there were many tourist signs telling you about things to see in the area but no-where did I see a sign telling you about the Battle of Culloden. In fact had I not know the site was on the Aberdeen road out of Inverness I may well have not found it.  Once you come off the main A9 there are in fact plenty of signs once you get to the road but I really think for such a major site they should have done a better job signposting it. Once you get there you'll find a visitor centre with lots of information, guided tours and a restaurant. As you walk into the site you get presented with a plaque showing you the layout of the site.


These were signs and grave markers on the way to the cairn and around the whole site and from the picture below someone obviously placed a feather by this marker.


I confess that as the land is so flat you didn't really get a feel for the battle, or at least I didn't. The description in my account of the battle on the site just didn't seem to tie up with what I saw there. You can get a guided tour around the whole battlefield and I suspect it would be worth the money.

On my way back from Inverness I took a wee diversion to see the Black House and am glad I did.


On the right and below you'll see the Black House and the Kailyard outside. This was a banked enclosed area to prevent the topsoil being blown away.  They would normally grow potatoes and greens and sometimes fruit and they would surround the house. They told me that 2 men from the Isle of Lewis came over to build it for them and they have to have a peat fire going twice a week to ensure the thatch keeps waterproof.  Well worth a visit and below you'll see some of the farm implements they used.


Above right is the inside with the fire in the centre of the floor at the foot of the picture. They usually had three rooms and this was the middle one where they lived. There was one that held the animals and some peat being dried before use and one on the other side that was for births marriages and special events.


There are just a few of the farming implements you can see

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