Monday, 30 September 2013

Eilean Donan

Around the corner and there it is, amazing. Eilean Donan Castle is a Mc Kenzie castle, I'm not sure of all the details but it is still used by a branch of the clan. As Wikipedia states:


Eilean Donan, which means simply "island of Donnán", is named after Donnán of Eigg, a Celtic saint martyred in 617. Donnán is said to have established a church on the island, though no trace of this remains.[4]
The castle was founded in the thirteenth century, and became a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie and their allies the Clan Macrae. In the early eighteenth century the Mackenzies' involvement in the Jacobite rebellions led in 1719 to the castle's destruction by government ships. Lieutenant-Colonel John Macrae-Gilstrap's twentieth-century reconstruction of the ruins produced the present buildings.


I had to give Didge the shoes I was wearing the day I visited Eilean Donan. The blisters were so horrible I had to wear flip flops for the rest of my time in Scotland, despite the cold. As I wandered in the  castle I had one of those senior moments I tend to have, a bit of brain fade as another goldfish slops out. Did I lock the car? The car with all my worldly goods in it? I had the keys in my pocket so I raced to find a suitable window and leant out to press the lock the car button. A man saw me and chuckled to himself, I didn't dare turn around, mortified someone had witnessed this act of desperation. I'm not sure it worked, but it was locked when I got back, thankfully.

There is much more about the history of this interesting area  to explore on Wikipedia and in our family tree. A job for a quiet New Zealand evening. Now I've got packing to finish, my bag down to a very light 20kg after I posted some stuff home and gave away some other things. A good clearing out. Here's a photo I took while freezing in the fierce summer wind the whipped up the water.


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