Laggan Free Church

Like The White Bridge that I wrote about last week, today’s post features another amazing, serendipitous find.  Scotland certainly does seem to be full of those.

One afternoon a few weeks ago, Mr. C and I were driving through the southwest portion of the Cairngorms National Park near the village of Laggan. 

Threat of a storm rolling in.

We had just turned onto General Wade’s Military Road from the A86 when we spotted the fantastic ruins of an old church to our left.  Naturally, we pulled over to check it out.

Sadly, there was no information posted and the only clue was a sign at the road for something called ‘The Monarch’. It appeared to refer to the house sitting across the yard from the church. That evening, I did a Google search (what in the world were our lives like before the internet?) in an effort to discover more information. Though I couldn’t find a date for the church’s construction, I learned that what we had seen were the ruins of the Laggan Free Church (Free Church being an evangelical and reformed branch of the Presbyterian Church).

And as for the Monarch, it does in fact occupy the same property as the ruin. It was recently run as a country hotel but is now permanently closed. Interestingly, the home-turned-inn was at one time the church manse (parsonage).

I would so love to know more about this church. When was it built? Why was it abandoned? Did a newer, shinier version get built somewhere nearby? Why is the steeple and entry more intact than the rest of the ruin? Did it suffer a fire? Did it just weather away from disuse? All questions my curious mind would like to know the answers to! Perhaps I will never know.

Incidentally, before I wrap things up for today, I want to mention a great little cafe that we stumbled upon shortly after we had left the church. It’s called Caoldair Coffee and Craft Shop. Located on General Wade’s Military Road about a half mile or so from the ruin, it’s a lovely shop that sells (as their sign says) coffee, cakes, clothing, and other yummy things. Right they are. Another terrific find. Did we buy anything? Why yes. Yes we did. As for me, I left with a very nice plumb tart. Mr. C ended up with a very nice hat.

Until next time, friends.

Cheers,

The White Bridge and General Wade’s Military Roads

I never thought I’d be the type to geek out over a bridge. Or old military transit roads. Good gracious. Who AM I?! Someone please send help.

While heading southwest one morning on the B862, Mr. C and I came upon this interesting bridge over the River Fechlin in the tiny community of Whitebridge, Scotland.

Intrigued, we parked our car and with cameras in hand, crossed the road to get a better look.

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Farr Farr Away

Well friends, another Scottish adventure has come to a close. I’m home.

It’s 4:45 in the morning as I begin to write this. My body, however, thinks it’s 9:45 and that Mr. C and I should be loading up the car for a day of exploration. With our tummy’s full of Scottish bacon, eggs, and coffee, we would have been all fueled up for a long day of hikes, history, and miles upon miles of some of the most breathtaking scenery on God’s earth.

Being home is bittersweet. I missed my dogs terribly and there is something to be said for getting back into the “regular” routine of things, I guess. But oh how my heart hurt when those airplane wheels began to roll.

That’s how it feels when you’re in love.

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Hello From Bonny Scotland!

Hello Friends!

I am writing to you this morning from our cabin in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. Mr. C and I have had a tremendous first week, racking up both miles and memories. The weather thus far has been outstanding with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. And with nearly seventeen hours of daylight, we have actually had to remind ourselves to go to bed at night! As always, Scotland feels like home. Well, my second home anyway.

Here is a wee peek at some of the things Mr. C and I have been up to this past week. I hope you enjoy and I look forward to sharing more with you when I return. ūüôā

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Croft Moraig Stone Circle

Greetings to you on this fine Tuesday.  I hope your week got off to a great start.  I am currently outside on my deck, bundled up in the November chill Рa fleece to warm my body and a cup of tea to warm my soul.  The autumn trees are lovely and I am happy.

Today I would like to take you up into the beautiful Scottish Highlands to a site located about four miles southwest of Aberfeldy, right off of A827. ¬†Our destination occupies a portion of a¬†farmer’s field, actually, so you may want to grab your wellies in case it’s muddy. ¬†Ready? ¬†Great, then let’s be off!

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Don’t fret that the site sits on private property. ¬†Scotland’s laws allow individuals “freedom to roam”. ¬†Just be respectful and be sure to close the gate so the farmer’s wee sheep don’t escape!

If I were to ask you about stone circles (those mysterious, prehistoric, man-made rock formations commonly found across Northern Europe and Great Britain), I’d wager that the image that would come to your mind would be Stonehenge. ¬†It is one of Britain’s most iconic sites – and of course, the location of one of the Griswold Family’s hilarious misadventures.

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Who can forget the moment the affable Clark W. Griswold toppled one of the world’s most famous sites in the 1985 classic movie “National Lampoon’s European Vacation”.

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What a Gem

Hi Friends!

One of my favorite discoveries from our Scottish adventures is a unique company called Heathergems.  The only manufacturer of its kind, the Heathergem company produces beautiful jewelry and other gift items from the stems of the heather plant.

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I first saw these interesting creations at the James Pringle Shopping Outlet in Leith, Scotland (a decent place to look for a few souvenirs, if not a tad bit on the kitschy side РI did once find a very good hat!).  I have since seen Heathergems for sale at the Celtic shop near my hometown here in the States.

Aside from the Scottish thistle, perhaps no other flower epitomizes Scotland the way that the heather plant does. ¬†It makes me think of the movie Brigadoon –¬†Gene Kelley capturing the heart of the beautiful Cyd Charisse as he sings sweetly to her of the heather on the hill. ¬†The song follows with a dance number that has the pair gliding over the moor and I think that maybe Cyd Charisse isn’t the only one who is falling in love. ¬†We do too a little.

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Loch Tay

Hi Friends,

Hope this day finds you well.

Today I would like to give you a very brief snapshot of one of the prettiest sights my eyes have ever had the joy to behold.  Loch Tay.

DSC_4743Situated in the historic county of Perthshire in the central Highlands of Scotland, sits beautiful Loch Tay, the largest loch (lake) in this district. Around fifteen miles long and 508 feet deep, it is also one of the deepest lochs in Scotland.

We were fortunate to see Loch Tay in March, before the winter snow had completely melted.

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