Scotland 2015 #9 – sleep-in, Culloden Battlefield, so-so Scottish KFC

It’s 9 am and knowing that our car needed to moved from the narrow lane way it’s been parked in, adjacent to our Cranna-by-the-Sea unit (a lorry needs to come through this morning), Dale and I have headed off to the cafe and wifi at Fraserburgh’s ASDA store. Gorgeous sunshine as Iook out.

 That’s today. Yesterday, I slept in – yes, until after 8 am. For me, unbelievable. Dale did well too. The plan had been to have a quiet, curl-up-and-read-that-book day, but seeing beautiful sunshine greeted us as we woke, we changed plans and a day early, we drove two hours west back toward Inverness, to the Culloden Battlefield.

  
   
 “On 16 April 1746, the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) fought loyalist troops commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands”.

This marked the end of the Jacobite Uprising of 1745 (“the 45”). 

Let’s be clear, I am a pacifist and abhor war. Yet there was something truly significant for me in the Battle of Culloden. European and world history could well have changed if the Jacobites had won at Culloden, particularly the likelihood of France’s rise to world domination.

Sadly, 1500 Jacobite soldiers lost their lives on the moors we walked yesterday, including at least one MacGregor. It led to the “pacification” of the Highlands, with alongside the senseless and abhorrent killing and pillaging post-Culloden, the banning of the wearing of kilts, tartans and playing of bagpipes. The clan system was dismantled. Sobering stuff.

The NTS centre at Culloden proved an excellently informative one, but the highlight was the excellent 45 minute tour on the actual field. Our tour guide was superb, as we respectfully traversed this mass war grave. I found it overwhelming at times. The Battle of Culloden was the last ground battle fought on British soil.

   
    
 
I’m reminded that post-Culloden, Bonnie Prince Charlie fled, many months later and after much time in hiding and disguise ended up at the west coast Hebrides. The classic Scottish Skye Boat Song is all about that.

Speed bonnie boat like a bird on the wing

Onward the sailors cry

Carrying the lad that’s born to be king

Over the sea to Skye

Really appreciated visiting this site. A plus was our running into Dan (from California USA) one of our fellow guests at Iona.

We’re done by about 3 pm at Culloden, so we head back to Gardenstown, stopping twice on the way. First stop – a huge Tesco extra store at Elgin; Dale to shop, me to sit down with a coffee and get my Optus voice mail retrieval to work. Success.

Then, as planned (one can only have so much Scottish food, you know) we stopped at the nearby KFC for dinner. Sadly – perhaps it was our early (5pm) arrival but the chicken etc was not KFC at its best. It was OK, but 6/10 I say.

We get back to Gardenstown around 7 pm, quite tired after much driving. Beautiful sunsets greeted us much of the drive back, harvested grain fields resplendent in the setting sun. 

Nothing however beats the sunset views from our unit, looking toward the headland at Gardenstown around Gamrie Bay.

   
 
Just one more full day left after today, at this so-scenic part of Scotland. Come Thursday morning, we take the 4 hour+ drive back to the Glasgow Airport Ramada, before the long flights home come Friday afternoon. 

Won’t quite match the spectacle of such amazing Scottish countryside- Hebrides, Highlands & Aberdeenshire, but seeing I’ll still be on leave, I keenly anticipate the Broncos-Cowboys GF on Sunday evening! My tip – Broncos. (Biased? Absolutely !)

  
Cheers from the ASDA 😀

Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

David

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