Carrbridge, Scotland

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Carrbridge is one of those serendipitous moments on a trip: we had just driven through the Cairngorms, and were looking for a place to stop for the night. This was just a sweet village with an array of B&Bs and a nice pub for dinner…nothing special.

But then…we decided to take a stroll. Not a long one, either. Just down to the end of the road and back.

Turns out there’s a stream that flows through town. That was pretty. But as we walked closer, we finally saw it: this large stone bridge gently curving over the stream. Large enough to drive a horse and buggy over, anyway.

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Just one of those casual moments you’ll remember forever.

Eilean Donan Castle I

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Eilean Donan is regarded as the most romantic of Scotland’s castles, and it’s easy to agree with the sentiment.

Surrounded on four sides by water, the castle is only accessible by its stone bridge.

The views from the towers are amazing, and the inside rooms are basically unchanged from when the last owner lived there. Corridors and hidden alcoves are found on every floor.

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The bridge that leads to the castle is a solid stone bridge with set spaces for observation and contemplation.

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Took four visits to Scotland to finally get here, but it was worth the wait: Eilean Donan is definitely one of my top five favorite Scottish castles.

Eilean Donan Castle II

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These were taken from the grounds of the castle.
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St. Andrews Cathedral

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What is it about St. Andrews that makes it so awe-inspiring and enthralling? I have been to several ruined cathedrals, and few are as spectacular and full of spirit as this one.
I enjoy every visit, but this time was particularly poignant due to the time of day. Some pictures take better at certain hours than other times, of course.
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Mason Markings

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These are a number of markings left behind by the masons who constructed St. Andrews Cathedral. It’s fascinating to see these symbols in a real setting. Using their own language, masons could let fellow builders, both past and present, know what the intent was.
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Dunkeld Cathedral and Battlefield

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The battlefield at Dunkeld is well preserved, considering how much time has passed. In so many cases, the old fields have been built over.
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The grounds of the Dunkeld Cathedral are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen. The River Tay creates a nice ambiance, too.
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Braemar Gathering

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I have attended several Scottish games in the US. This was my first in Scotland. The following pics show the people in attendance, some of the participants, and a few of the pipers. It was an amazing experience, and one I would definitely repeat.
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The picture above is of the hammer toss. It looks like either the hammer was traveling too fast to be captured, or maybe it was higher than what the picture took. The two fellows following the trajectory of the hammer seem to be focused on something within the frame, but maybe not. If anybody does manage to spot it, let me know.
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The structure on the upper left with the royal emblem and flags is the booth where the queen sits when she attends. She does not attend every year, and she attended last year. Since next year is the 200th anniversary of the Braemar Gathering, it would make sense for her to attend that one. Or not. She’s the queen…she’ll do what she wants.
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Nice little knoll of onlookers.
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Caber toss, my personal favorite.
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Pipes and drums take the field.

These pictures were all taken with the camera on my phone. Eventually I’ll take a closer look at the pictures taken with my actual camera, and add them in to this post and others already posted. Sometimes the camera does better with action shots, but as it was raining, I wasn’t at all sure which camera would be best for the day.

This was one of the most special events we attended the entire time we were in Scotland, and as usual, the pictures flat out don’t do it justice. Sigh.

 

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