First part of our tour: we are driving from Trevignano Romano (Italy) to Calais (France), we're crossing the Channel by ferry and here we are in Great Britain! On our way to Scotland we can't help visiting some very interesting megalithic sites in England. Come and visit with us the tallest British standing stone and the enigmatic site of Arbor Low
The second Roman invasion of Scotland has begun! Paola and Diego are now in Edinburgh, after visiting two nice stone circles in Dumfries & Galloway and the beautiful broch of Edin's Hall in the Borders. It is very cold up there: does anyone have a bit of sunshine to lend us?
Paola and Diego are enjoying a bit of sunshine (at last!). However, for this weekend the weather forecasts are frightening... After leaving Edinburgh, we spent some time at Cairnpapple Hill, a splendid burial cairn with a nice custodian too (Mr Harry). Then we visited a dozen lesser-known (but beautiful) megalithic sites in Lothian, Fife, and Tayside
Two days of splendid sites and pouring rain. What a weekend! We are now in Aberdeenshire, the homeland of recumbent stone circles. Follow us among cup-and ring-marked boulders, on heather-covered hillforts, and in the middle of stone rings (and puzzled cows and bulls)
Some other days in Aberdeenshire (a heaven for megalithic enthusiasts) and of course some other days of rain (a hell for megalithic enthusiasts). Here we visited 20 more sites (mostly recumbent stone circles) met two nice archaeologists in Aberdeen, and discovered that even some birds like megaliths!
Prepared for the worst storms, welcomed by the best sunshine ever met in Scotland: we are on the Shetland islands, halfway between mainland Scotland and Norway. Here, at a higher northern latitude than Moscow, among 24,000 friendly Shetlanders and 250,000 puffins, we visited some extraordinary prehistoric sites.
After three wonderful days in Shetland we came back to Aberdeen and the recumbent stone circles of Grampian. And to our battles with bulls in the fields (We tested a new strategy to fool them and it worked!). We are now in the Highlands, enjoying the beautiful Clava Cairns around Loch Ness.
We crossed Sutherland and Caithness (Northern Highlands) and sailed to the Orkney Islands: a real heaven for any archaeologist. We spent the Summer Solstice at Ring of Brodgar, the largest Scottish stone circle, among photographers, New Age people, and stunned oystercatchers.
We are still in Orkney. We visited new sites on Mainland and on Rousay, Hoy and Eday. We had to crawl inside long passages to enter magnificent chambered tombs. We met some very nice Orcadians, learnt some legends, and went to some even more fascinating and interesting prehistoric monuments.
Don't be scared! These five nice fellows are simply our ancestors. You can meet them in a wonderful megalithic site called the Tomb of the Eagles, named for the sea eagles' talons found among its burials. It is a breathtaking site, run by some special people, the Simison family. Where is it? In Orkney, as usual.
We left Orkney and went around the northwestern coast of the Highlands. What wild scenery up there! Then we took the ferry again to another group of beautiful islands -this time on the western coast of Scotland- the Hebrides. We are now at Skye, visiting a lot of brochs and meeting (as usual) lots of nice people.
We are in the Outer Hebrides. We spent three days among the outstanding stone monuments of Lewis, then we sailed to North Uist, where we have visited some more megalithic sites, walked for hours through boggy soil (and blessed our useful gumboots), and discovered some beautiful (and gruesome) legends around some places in the Uists.
A rotary dial telephone to call the prehistoric Scots? No: it's just one of the wonderful rock carvings of Argyll. In and around the Kilmartin valley is an astounding concentration of megalithic and prehistoric monuments; we would have liked to visit them all, but there are more than a hundred, so we've had a look at the most famous and well-preserved.
Here you may find some notes about the two megalithic heavens of Kilmartin Valley in Argyll and Machrie Moor on Arran island, some beautiful cup-and-ring markings we found on our way, some very interesting meetings we had, and some changes in the weather (for the better!). And a thrilling bulls' day.
Goodbye Scotland! We visited our last Scottish stone circle and crossed the English border. On our way down to Dover, we couldn't resist wandering around a little and visiting some English stone monuments. No more bulls in our way, but some prolific mommy spiders... After this Scottish tour, will we forever change our breakfast from cappuccino and croissant to tea and eggs and bacon?
Here we are with the last page of our diary. We ended our tour just where it somehow began years and years ago, at the Rollright stones. Then we drove back to our messy Italy, where we found incredibly hot weather, good cappuccino and a wedding party. Thanks to everybody for having followed us in this tour. And some special final thanks to someone and something...
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