Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in Cowalfest 2016. The [Scottish] Gaelic Heritage Walk I participated in was about 8 miles long (part of it was driven, thankfully….) and led by Àdhamh Ó Broin (yes, the Gaelic Consultant for our lovely Outlander, and yes, there is an English equivalent to Àdhamh: Adam).
The route was roughly this:
While on the walk, Àdhamh and some others on the trip with Gaelic language and cultural experience regaled the learners and non-speakers among us with songs, tales, history, and fun facts. We talked about journalism, jet lag, and just wanting a pint.
My favorite tale of the trip was one involving a fake castle. Not wanting to be showed up, a chief (whose name I forget, although most of the stories were about Campbells, so he was probably a Campbell) bragged about how wonderful his castle is, how richly decorated and adorned, not thinking the man he was talking to would visit.
Until he did.
In order to avoid embarrassment, the chief threw a party for his guest, then had a servant pretend his fake castle was on fire. With wracking grief for his home gone up in flames, he convinced his guest to take another route to his destination so he wouldn’t see the castle burning.
I promise Àdhamh told it better, but it was raining most of the day so I couldn’t take notes.
I did, however, remember to bring my nice camera and take some pictures so I could share some of things I saw, and I’ll be posting themed image groupings throughout the week so I can share all my favorites and relive the beauty.
As usual, pictures don’t quite do it justice, but it is still gorgeous.
If you’re ever in this beautiful country, even if it is raining or not super warm, I would recommend going for a hike. There are places to go everywhere, some short and some long, and it’s always rewarding to sit down at the end of the day reminiscing on the flora and fauna and almost magical landscapes that make it easy to imagine a fairy knoll around a corner.
Your Bonnie Celtophile,
PS-The pictures above are copyrighted (as everything is these days), but I’ve chosen to use a Creative Commons license that allows for sharing as long as it’s attributed back to the blog. In fact, if you like any of the pictures, I encourage you to share. Spread the Scotland love!
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