FLAT SPARKY AND THE CASTLE

After a long and busy (but fun) day, we were back at MacKinnon’s Country House in time for dinner.

I had Highland Beef (how could I not have Highland Beef in Scotland) and an interesting conversation with a fellow tour member who works with organ transplants – often being the one who travels to retrieve and deliver the organs. (Her airport stories were intriguing.)

After dinner, Ian (the owner) gave a rather fascinating demonstration of turning water into wine, recounting the miracle at Cana in the process. (He used to be a missionary.)

Outside was cold and windy, but I asked G from Boston if she wanted to do another walk down to the pier and she was up to the challenge. Our overwhelming enthusiasm encouraged some others to come with us and we all started out full of energy. Besides, I needed to get Flat Sparky’s picture for an upcoming staff meeting at work. (HQ was closed for a week and we were all supposed to take Flat Sparky with us and get his picture taken. For some unexplainable reason, I was enjoying Scotland so much, I kept forgetting about poor Sparky.)

We once again walked down to the pier – and brave G from Boston went out with me to take the picture – the wind almost knocked me off the pier – but Sparky continued to smile and wave.                                  

(I was standing out on the end of the pier.) Behind me is Lock Alsh and you can see the Castle Moil on the right side of the picture – well, the ruins of the the Castle Moil.

Castle Moil was build in the late 15th century for a Norwegian princess known as “Saucy Mary.” Her main claim to fame was charging a toll to those boats passing through the channel.

“How did she do this?” you might ask.

Well – simple.  She hung a chain from her castle to the mainland.

Now, that she’s been dead for many years, the big controversy is which mountain she’s buried on. Which I’m sure is not something you really care about and neither do I. Wherever she’s buried, supposedly she’s facing Norway.

The castle is mostly a ruin having been hit by storms in 1949 and 1989 – so now the ruins are reinforced so they can forevermore be ruins – but not disappear all together.  So that’s good.

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