[Categories: Travel, Photography, Photography 101 Forever]
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It is the next day from yesterday. (Are you keeping with me? Thu. 27 Apr. if not.) We travel from Ballachulish (Balla-HOO-lish) to Belfast today by way of the Western Highlands and the Robert Burns Museum in Ayr near Alloway.
“Bags out at 6:45am” is the common refrain. Our bags are transported to and from our room by hotel staff at every place we stay.
The mountains of Scotland are desolately beautiful. I can see myself …reading… here. And walking. Lots and lots of walking. It is quiet and I feel our big, half-full bus is imposing on the landscape. It is certainly not unseen. I’m grateful there are not ten or twenty other buses, such as seen at the more popular tourist sites. We see walkers and backpackers throughout our Highlands drive. And a train. You can travel a lot by train here.
We pause by the quiet village of Luss for a pit stop and walkabout:
We stop at The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayrshire for lunch and a visit. There are beautiful gardens and monuments, including the inspirational Brig o’ Doon, bridge over the River Doon.
I bought a small book of Burns poetry. Burns wrote in Scottish dialect, which I find captivating. My favorite is “Tae a Moose, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough” (English: “To a Mouse”) from which we have the corruption ‘the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray’. Here are a few snippets:
Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
Wi’ murd’ring pattle! …
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
For promis’d joy!
The book includes a glossary/translator thank goodness.
Ruins… are strewn… in the countryside (ah the stories they could tell) as we make our way to Cairynryan, Scotland where a large ferry will take us to Larne, Northern Ireland and a short bus ride into Belfast for the next two nights’ stay.
Will we find ‘the troubles’ in Belfast? (You know, Sinn Fein, the IRA, all that.) We shall see…