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Scotland Day 9: Dark Culloden's Field of Gore

(Today's title is taken from the song "Sound the Pibroch.")

sunny 44 °F

A beautiful morning at the castle on our last full day in Scotland. We had a breakfast of porridge and toast instead of the very large and filling full breakfast. It was also very good.
Catherine's first time driving on the other side of the road. She only drove in the parking lot, then Daniel drove the rest of the way back to Edinburgh.
Culloden Moor, where the Battle of Culloden took place in 1746. This was the final decisive battle of the Jacobite rising, where the forces supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie were defeated. It's a very sad and melancholy place to visit. The people who run the battle site placed red flags where the government army lines were, and blue flags where the Jacobite lines were. It was a somewhat overwhelming place to see: its remarkable to think that the quiet field we see today was once a place where people fought and died. Some of the plaques at the visitor center are from descendants of people who fought there: many who live in Scotland and England and many who live in the United States. This battle was a major turning point in history: it ended the realistic chances of the Jacobite cause and established the Hanoverians in power.
There are several memorials to the various clans that are buried here in mass graves. It's remarkable that people still place flowers and crosses on the stones.
Catherine had been hoping to see highland cattle, and she got her chance here. They have them here to eat the vegetation (they appear to mostly eat trees) and keep the natural landscape looking similar to how it looked at the time of the battle.
We stopped at the Culloden Moor Inn for a quick lunch: a baked potato and chicken korma.
After lunch, we started our drive down to Edinburgh. We saw some beautiful scenery, and went through a little town called Aviemore which seems to be a skiing destination (although there wasn't a lot of snow in the mountains for skiing yet). We got past Dalwhinnie before sunset, which was nice because it meant that we got the chance to see the southern part of the drive in the daylight on Saturday and the northern part in the daylight today.
We arrived in Edinburgh and checked into our airport hotel. Unfortunately a number of issues came up, causing us to go first to an occupied room (thankfully our keys didn't work), then a room that needed repairs, and then finally to our room. We went over and dropped off our rental car, then got a taxi into Old Town for a last dinner there.
We had dinner at Vittoria on the Bridge, which was a wonderful meal.
We could see McEwan Hall in the distance and had a beautiful last night in the Old Town area before taking a taxi back to the airport hotel. We have loved our time here and are very happy that we had the chance to come to Scotland for this graduation.

Posted by danielcatherine 19:55 Archived in Scotland Tagged dinner castle battle war highland cattle culloden porridge mcewan_hall jacobite

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