History is my thing. Combine that with a love story, roll it into a novel and I won’t come up for air until I have read it in one go. Imagine me then in the 90s when I found Outlander in a bargain bin. I fell for it, hard! To this day, Outlander and Harry Potter are the only two series which I buy in hardcover the moment they come out.
So going to Culloden Moor and seeing for myself the battlefield where Bonnie Prince Charles fought (although I’m pretty sure he was just watching from the side) and lost was a thrilling moment. The drive from Inverness to Culloden was short and already from the road the Memorial Cairn can be seen. We left Pia in the cafeteria and started on the exhibition which was done in an amazing way. On one side the English on the other the Scottish. History really came alive with voices from the past. Also startlingly real was a short movie about the battle itself. You are standing in a room and on all four sides you see the battle from different angles. But in the end it’s just men dying everywhere and you can feel their pain with an astonishing clarity and perception.
Once outside on the actual battlefield the dimensions of the ‘slaughter’ become even clearer. The feeling of loss I got while walking around to look at the commemorating stones and Memorial Cairn was immense.
From Culloden we took the scenic route down to Stonehaven and instead of the planned two-hour trip it was closer to four hours. Which didn’t matter so much since we were stopping all the time to take pictures at first. As you can see we were leaving the highlands and the land got a lot flatter.
Eventually it got dark though and there was not much to see anymore. And we still had 90 minutes drive ahead of us. Unbelievably we made it into Stonehaven and to the Shorehead guest house although ‘Lola’ refused to know the address. I’m really glad that I can still read a map and we found it without a detour this time. We got into the next door Marine Hotel which boasts an excellent restaurant on top of its pub with not a minute to spare to order our dinner. Scotland appears to be very strict on this. Once the kitchen is closed, it’s closed! X worked his charm and we could all order fish and chips again. It was even better than the first one I had on this trip. Yours, Pollybert