Monday, January 05, 2009


Kilmartin and Ardanaiseig

Kilmartin Glen has a large concentration of Neolithic and Bronze Age sites, including these larger "marker" rocks. It was here that I saw my first standing stone circle over a decade ago and learned of Gordon's superstitious nature. But it was May and quite bright then; the amber sunlight of winter made for an even eerier and more unsettling viewing this time around.

It's really hard not to wonder how you can make the stones "work."

The Temple Wood stone circle is also located here--actually, there are two stone circles, though one is more complete. I'd read that two of the rocks had etched "sun swirls" on their surfaces, and I spent no small amount of time trying to find the markings. I finally did, but they are difficult to photograph (particularly in a photo this small). In this case, you can make out the swirl in the lower left-hand corner of the standing stone--in the greenish area. Supposedly the larger swirl is located on the stone to the extreme northeast, so it must have had something to do with sun worship.

Evening was spent at the Ardanaiseig Hotel, located on Loch Awe. When we first decided to spend Christmas in Scotland, my husband put together a little pile of cards with activities in Scotland listed on each. My mother put them in the order in which she most wanted to do something; spending a night in a castle was at the top of the pile. Ardanaiseig while not technically a castle, became our choice to visit because of its rooms, its views, its award winning menu and general affordability.

We are now completely in love with the place and its grounds and its food.

Here is just a snapshot of what we ate for dinner--best end of lamb. Delicious. Gordon says that one day we may plan a special birthday party for yours truly in a castle in the Highlands. If we really do this, Ardanaiseig might be the place we choose.

Is that for the "Best End of Lamb" or the rocks? ;-)
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