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Why (not) travel?
Member Name: blackbob
Why (not) travel?
Date: 11/02/04, updated on 12/02/04 (102 review reads)
Advantages: Cool creatures
Disadvantages: might be dangerous
This is a discussion piece on what I refered to as an 'Urban Legend' at the end of my piece on life after death and although it bears little relevance to the discussion topic which it under could be said to have a fleeting connection.I begin.
Ours is an ancient land steeped in history and myth a green and pleasant land that resounds to cry of distant battle and the echo of past lives gone but still somehow lingering in the cold mountains and damp valleys.I occasionally wonder when I take a step if ever I can plant a foot where some long forgotten ancestor hasn't already trodden,tilling the fields or marching to the banner of one kings death-struggle to wrest the crown and surplant his rival.
Some areas though seem to retain that air of myth and mystery far longer than others.My birthplace.the West Country with the mystical Stonehenge and white figures carved into the hillside or Glastonbury and Cadbury Castle with all their Aurthurian associations.The Orkney Islands also with the equally impressive Ring of Brodgar or Mais Howe,a giant barrow standing tall above the flat countryside where the scene of a modern desecration is some Viking grafitti carved into the stonework inside.Next to these so ancient and mythical sights,the fuel oil of the disgraced German High Seas Fleet scuttled in Scapa Flow by its sailors to regain some hard won pride seeps still to the surface.While next to them lies the wreck of the once proud Royal Oak,a Royal Naval battleship torpedoed while it's crew felt safe in home waters.
I live in the Highlands near Inverness famous for the Battle of Culloden the last battle ever fought on British soil,the Jacobean Army caught in the open by the Hanovarians cruelly slaughtered in less than an hour and had I been living in those times as much as I could never side with the Stewert cause the cold blooded slaughter that followed the battle is a stain on the British government though these were a combina
of governmant,German and Lowland Scottish troops as opposed to entirely English troops which now bear the blame.Bonnie Prince Charlie once thwarted,ran for France and was never seen again.
Inverness sits at the head of the 'Great Glen' a ragged scar torn out of the landscape by a massive glacier bisecting the country down as far as Fort William leaving the now famous Loch Ness behind it.More famous for it's myserious creature,Nessie who has been regularly sighted since the '20s by tourist and local alike,stories of a waterbourne creature date back to the 5th or 6th century and the time of St Columbus who brought God to the heathen.A more real and modern monster dubbed 'The most evil man in the world' one Aleister Crowley resided on the banks of Loch Ness at a place called Boleskine.Boleskine House reputedly built on the very sight where a church burnt down with all it's congregation inside was until recently owned by the famous(and my favourite)guitarist of Led Zeppelin - Jimmy Page an avid reader of Crowley.Undeniably this house is woven into the fabric of local folklore and seems to compliment the Nessie legend nicely.Many will tell of strange occurances and happenings around the house and surrounding area only last week in the local paper an account was written of some tourists who stumbled onto some ritualistic signs and symbols denoting Satanism in a little hut in the graveyard at Boleskine.On seeing the photo in the paper though I had to laugh because these 'new and startling' pictures are of scribbles on the walls of the hut years old that I've seen with my own eyes and far from being the work of a Satanic cult which the local council and constabulary are keen to get to the bottom of are most likely bored kids fuelled on not so much the fevered grip of satanic bloodlust but cheap supermarket cider.Needless to say and perhaps with a touch of cynicism I expect there to be a 'nessie' sigh
ting in next weeks edition as Boleskine is becom
ore attractive to the 'alternative' tourist.None the less there is no denying the areas eerie and mythical quality.
The more recent legend has been about the 'big cats' that roam the countryside not just here but seemingly the length and breadth of the UK.On being told of tigers in the hills I've found it all I can do not to burst out laughing but then he who laughs last.......
A few years back a friend and I were coming down the lochside travelling back to Inverness from Foyers after visiting a friend,it was Christmas eve's eve in fact.I was the passanger and gazing out of the window saw as we rounded a corner a large brown cat crossing the road.I and my parents have always had German Shepards and I am used to the size of large animals - this thing was big I mean bigger than any German Shepard dog I've ever seen.It's colouring was that of a she-lion and far from bolting with fright it crossed the road stopped at the roadside edge and looked straight at us before bounding off into the night.Whatever my thoughts had been previously on the matter my eyes didn't lie so now it's no longer a question of whether I believe it because I have seen it to be a fact.
Before changing jobs in the summer I worked for a bakery delivering bread to the supermarkets and local shops during the night.I did the town but other drivers did the outlying country runs and several of them had mentioned seeing these creatures one even related how he bolted for his van and drove off his bread undelivered.
It is not hard to believe that these animals could live up here as there is many hundreds of thousands of square miles of wilderness for them to inhabit and having worked in the wilds tree-felling and planting can attest to the vast open space that exsists in the Highlands.Hey ho I just wanted to write a little piece about my encounter but because
this is the topic I squeezed it under don't take it as a
ot to come up here on the contrary I'd advise all to visit the Highlands and especially this part as a more atmospheric and dramatic location would be hard to find.BB