Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scotland Day 5

Scotland – Day 5 – April 20, 2011

Today we headed back to Culloden, the battlefield this time. It was a cold and windy day and just a few days after the annivesary of the April 16, 1746 anniversary of the battle.

First you walk thru an interactive museum, which shows the Jacobite story on one side and George II's point of view on the other. They had diary entries from witnesses on both sides. Maps that showed troop movement, guns and other weapons. At the end was an eight minute movie in the round that showed what was in reality a slaughter.

The battlefield today is about half the size it was back then, but you do get the feeling of what went on. They have red flags for the where the government troops stood and blue for where the highlanders stood looking at each other, waiting for the people in charge to say go. I cannot even imagine what must have been going thru their heads.

The kings troops facing what was then the most feared army around.

The highlanders pumped up, but tired. They had been on a forced march the night before to try and surprise the enemy, perhaps the biggest mistake of Charles Stewarts campaign.

Both sides hoping to get this over with quick and they were both right.

In less than an hour over 1000 Scots were dead and during the next few hours the Kings troops made sure that all the wounded were bayonetted so they also died. In all about 1500 men died that day on the moor.

Someone told me a couple of days later that the most errie thing was the lack of birds. No sound from them at all out there.

I found the most disturbing thing to be the thought that all those men were buried under our feet. They did not make it back to the families or to their lands that were so important to them. They are forever buried under that cold and damp moor.

May they rest in peace.

It could be very easy for me to be flip at this point, because for the most part I am very shallow, but here on this battlefield I felt only sadness at what happened that day and at the fact that the worst was yet to come for Scotland.

Next we went to Cardu distillary where they make whiskey!!! Where I finally learned the difference between single malt scotch whiskey, blended whiskey and just whiskey. Not that I tasted any, but it sure does smell good. We took the tour and saw how they make this nector of the gods. I was seduced by the large copper stills, they were so beautiful. Copper is one of my favorite metals. After the tour there was a taste testing where most decided they did not really like whiskey. I thought, it is a good thing I don't drink, because I really liked the smell of it all and I think I could develop a very unhealthy taste for it. I am happy to say that my orders for single malt whiskey were filled.

Then we picked up pizza and Domino's, yes they are everywhere, and headed back to our little cottage.

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