Scotland Sketchbook, Post 22, Glen Coe, Loch Ness, and Oban, Scotland
These pages meld a couple of days' adventures from exploring Urghart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness, to the awe-inspiring views of Glen Coe, and the legendary Dunstaffnage Castle near Oban. I think we've all been fascinated at some point by the legend of Nessie of Loch Ness. On a day, such as this, with the inky blue waters of Loch Ness brooding darkly below Urghart Castle, it's not hard to imagine what spotting an unusual look to a wave might stir in one's imagination. My mind, being an equestrian, much prefers the Scottish Highland legend of the water horses known as Kelpies. As legend has it, Kelpies are malevolent spirits in the shapes of a horses that live in the lochs and rivers of the Highlands.
Herem befire Urghart Castke was byukt, St. Columba is said to have made his first conversion in Scotland of a Pictish noban named Emchath. The nobleman was on his deathbed sometime between 562-586. The nobleman, his son, and his household were converted to Christianity.
As we headed to Glen Coe, the westher turned very wet and windy, which put all the streams and waterfalls on the River Coe to gushing down the mountainsides into one great waterfall near the vista of the Three Sisters mountains, Bidean nam Bian! This made this incredible volcanic valley even more epic! What a thrill!
In Oban we visited Dunstaffnage Castle built by the McDougalls in the 13th Century, lords of Lorn. As early as the 7th Century this site may have been a stronghold of Dal Riata (Gaelic overkingdom occupying parts of western Scotland and northeastern Ireland). James III granted the castle to Colin Campbell, 1st Earl of Argyll in 1470. During the Civil War in 1745, heroine, Flora MacDonald was held here for a period of time. She helped Bonnie Prince Charlie to escape Scotland from the British Loyalists.