Most of my travels are in Central America; if that's the blog you're looking for, here it is: Hopefulist in Latin America.

This is the blog for photos and reflections of my visits to other places, beginning in 2013. Previous blogs are linked on the main pages of my photo collections on flickr.
HAPPY TRAILS!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

MACHRIE MOOR & BRODICK CASTLE

Our last full day on Arran, Friday the 12th, we hopped on a bus that skirted the southern shore on it's way to the western side of the island, then walked a 3 mile loop through sheep pastures and pheasant haunts (a highlight for Mike) to 3 rings of standing stones, dating back 4000 years. When I visit stone circles, I feel something; can't describe it really, so I'll just leave it at that.

While waiting for a bus to take us to the western shore transport hub of Blackwaterfoot, we were offered a ride there by some regular visitors to Arran, then hopped a bus that headed north around the island, basically completing the circle (or a bit more accurately, oval). We stopped off at Brodick Castle, originally built as a fort in the 1500s, then added onto in the 1600s and again in the 1800s when it was used as the hunting lodge of a string of Dukes of Hamilton. The gardens were fantastic and touring the castle was well worth the time and expense; volunteer guides in each room gave color to what we were seeing (no photos allowed inside).

Bus break in Whiting Bay

 

Views from the bus

 

 

Hiking into Machrie Moor

 

 

 

 

 

This stone is the 1 on the left in the photo above

Proof I was there - stone on the right 2 photos up

 

Picnic - mmmm, salmon pate on oaties with vegies and fruit

Lunchtime visitors

 

Blackwaterfoot scene

Bus views heading north

Lochranza Castle on the north tip of the island

Walking into the castle grounds

Enormous cork tree

The castle gardens

 

 

150 year old Bavarian summer house, built for the German bride of one of the Dukes of Hamilton

Ceiling

 

 

This is the newer end of the castle where you enter (near left).

 

This is the opposite, older end

Bus ride south in an open top bus - highland cattle

Happy trails!

 

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