Today will be a quiet day. The last few days we have made some long trips and we don't want to wear ourselves out. We stay in the neighbourhood and that means we inevitable run into the Tay river and Loch Tay. We circle around them a bit. First we drive to Fortingall where a lot of stone circles can be found. This must have been quite a highly populated area in prehistory. Along the road we see for instance this meadow with 3 stone circles next to each other.
The inhabitants of the village take pride in the fact that the oldest living being of Europe lives there, a yew which they claim is about 5000 years old. Travelguides mention an age of 3000 to 4000 years, but since vandalism makes it impossible to count the annual rings, nobody will ver know for certain.
In Aberfeldy we take our first coffee break, since we have trouble getting going today. Then we drive to Kenmore where we want to visit the new Crannog center. But it just starts to rain when we arrive there and we decide to make the tour (als through the open air) another time. The center shows how life in the Iron Age must have been and must be very fascinating.
From Kenmore we take the single track road to the A822 which turns out to be a magnificient route. We start climbing fast on steep slopes and then we are at the top of an endless plateau. There is a lot of game and we see an albino hare, hiding in the heather. You can just see it on the picture to the left. He sits very still until we get out of the car to see if we can come any closer.
On the road to Dunkeld we drive onto a byway and there we find an impressive gorge and of course a waterfall. A beautiful and unexpected spot which wasn't even marked on our detailed map of the area.
The sight of Dunkeld is the cathedral which is mostly a ruin. The building started in the 12th century and it took 2 centuries to complete it, but it was destroyed again during the Reformation. Signs indicate that it is forbidden to walk on the grass but there are also benches along the bank of the river Tay. Do they expect us to fly to the benches?
Inside the cathedral are many tombstones and among them a few with a skull and bones on it, our symbol for danger. jn veel grafstenen te zien waaronder een aantal met schedel and botten erop, ons symbool voor gevaar. The stone on the picture has the saying 'memento mori', or 'remember to die'. In fact, a rather pedantic statement for a dead man... There is also a natural looking stone in the grass in the shape of a heart; when we look closer at it we find out it is also a tombstone.We drive all over the area since we haven't seen much here, yet. One can clearly see the changes in the landscape: to the north and east we the mountains dominate the sky but to the south and west there are more plains. This is slight hilly area with clearly good soil for agriculture. But there is also a lot of game, since we see deer, hares, rabbits and pheasants crossing the fields and the roads.
We take the road along the southern shore of Loch Tummel to return to Loch Rannoch. Along Dunalastair Water we climb down to the river to have a look at the rapids from nearby. Water is surely very important to the beauty of Scotland, without it the landscape would be very barren and lifeless.At night we spend some time in the very lively lounge. Lots of people come in to dine here on saturday evening. Looking at the map Kinloch Rannoch seems to be pretty isolated but obviously many people know how to find it.