Monday, 23 August 2010

Mull of Galloway

Hi all,
Today, we are carrying on with our tour of Scotland and some of you may be pleased that we are having a change from gardens. We are still enjoying our holiday in the peaceful, far south west, and today we will be visiting the Mull of Galloway. Now let me tell you this, if you ever find yourself in the south west of Scotland, please don't miss out on seeing the Mull of Galloway. Obviously, like all places, it needs to be a nice day if you are going to see it at its best, but if the weather is nice your experience will be glorious.

I've traveled quite bit; the Middle East, Greece, North Africa, Singapore, India and I even lived in Australia for 2 years. So I can say I've visited a few places and seen some sites. Well, I'll have to tell you I have 2 favourites and they are both in Scotland. These are the places that have burnt a deep hole in the hard drive of my memory, so they will never be forgotten. The first is my memory of sitting near Duncansby Head, in the far north east tip of Scotland, where I gazed out over John O' groats and a placid blue sea towards the Orkney Islands and the Island of Stroma.

The second, you've probaly guessed correctly, is the Mull of Galloway. It's difficult to describe the beauty of the Mull of Galloway because it truly is awe inspiring. When you stand at the tip you are almost surrounded by the sea; there is just a small slither of land connecting you to the mainland. The Mull, complete with lighthouse, is raised high so that the vista on a clear day is incredible. Across a fantastically blue sea, it's possible to see The Isle of Man, The Lake District and Northern Ireland. It is at times like this when one wishes one had a camera with a wide angle lens so that one could get it all in, but even then it wouldn't do the place justice. This is one of those place that you have to see in the flesh to be able to appreciate it.
Once you manage to stop staring in awe, you can can push your jaw back up and go on a walk around cliffs that abound with bird life. When we were there, the information board said that puffins were often seen; sadly they didn't appear for us.
Anyway, the walk gave us a bit of an appetite, so we called in at the cafe that has been creatively hung on the very edge of a very high cliff. We found the food and service in the Gallie Craige to be very good and I've never eaten with a better view. It has a large floor to ceiling glass window running right along the edge so you get a real panorama. If you suffer from vertigo, just stick to the left-hand side and you'll get the view without the sickness.

I know Chris De Burgh isn't to everybody's taste but whenever I see something truly amazing, the words at the end of one of his songs always come back to me. The song in question is called "Discovery" and the end goes something like this:

One day said Galileo, man will reach the skies
And see the world completely from outside.
There he'll gaze down from yonder
Into a world of blue and green
And he he'll say with eyes of wonder
I have seen, my eyes have seen.

Well, that just about sums up my feelings for the Mull of Galloway.

Sadly we eventually had to leave the Mull of Galloway behind us and head back to our cottage on the Isle of Whithorn. On the way we decided to take a look around the cemetery at Drummore. Now we aren't strange folk, we don't visit many cemeteries or churches for that matter, although when we do, we always feel safe when in such places and generally leave with a sense of tranquility. However, the reason we called in at this graveyard was to see if we could find a unique headstone that we'd read about, that is fashioned in the shape of a lighthouse. We did find it, and although it was smaller than we expected we were glad we went because the view from the top of the cemetery was amazing.
When you think about shuffling off this mortal coil, you think about going down six feet below everybody else, yet here are all these people buried hundreds of feet higher than most living people in Scotland. If ever you could pick a last resting place, this must surely be one of the best.

Okay, time to cheer up and leave you with a picture of something pleasant, here are some spring lambs taken not far from Drummore.
And I'll just leave you with a reminder that more photos of Scotland and other places can be seen on my website.
Click here to see my painting and photos
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