29 October 2013

Dunollie Castle

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I feel a little sad that so many of these photos are so rainy! Sunshine is so much more pleasant, but what is one going to do in fall/winter in Scotland... I don't really have much of a choice. ;) So, onward!

In the (very wet) afternoon that I was in Oban for the full day, I walked north of the city center to a little promontory on which sits Dunollie Castle and the 18th century MacDougall house which has been converted to a museum. It's £4 to access the grounds, which includes the museum, the castle ruin, and a woodland walk. It was so wet that I didn't bother with the woodland trails, but I did get up the hill to the castle since... well, why wouldn't you?

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The house museum, which visitors approach first, is quite interesting, really, showing how the laird and his family lived in the 18th century. They had an exceptionally old tartan on display which was rather nice. I spent a lot of time in the museum because of the rain, but eventually I steeled myself and climbed up to the castle ruin. It appears, according to the website, that they're about to close up the castle to undertake some conservation work.

The ground floor of the castle is a dank, exceedingly dark space, and I wasn't brave enough to go in myself (that should tell you how dark it was, eeep). But there are steps (rather treacherous, but still) up to the first floor, and that was much nicer, although filled with really creepy-sounding pigeons. Standing in a ruin by myself on a dreary day, the only sound being low, weird pigeon noises... I admit I sort of spooked myself. But hey, what else are castle ruins for than to get a little spooked? That's what I tell myself anyway. Ha!

It was a gorgeous little place, but some of the walls were really in need of stabilizing, so I'm glad they've been able to secure funding for some work on that.

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This guy shows up in numerous photos, in this exact pose, some of which I didn't even notice until I was going through photos. Love it! He's so cute, I want to take him home. I imagine he's smiling at me, probably condescendingly like, of course, sheep do.

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Some of them had the right idea to shelter under the Dog Stone, which Celtic legend holds that the legendary giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (a.k.a. Ossian) used to tie his dog to, hence the name. Just love this stuff.

Hope you all are enjoying a marvy week. <3

Kate x