This post is a 'scrapbook' of my week on the Isle of Lewis. Its as much for me as for readers so I hope you might enjoy a glimpse.
I thought I'd start with the above collage which I think is really worth clicking on for the amazing detail in the plants and barnacles that the clear,clean air made so easy to photograph.
Oyster catchers on Tolsta beach ..ours were the only other footprints.
The Islands have been inhabited for many thousands of years and the structures left are testament to that habitation.
These magical stones are on the west coast at Callanish. The site is full of standing stones in a cross shape-lots of them. Amazingly there were a lot of people here too but at times they were hidden by the stones,and when the person who left her luminous green co-op carrier bag in the middle removed it, I could take a photograph that looked as it may have looked thousands of years ago.
Also on the west coast not far from the standing stones is the Blackhouse Village. Much more recent but a lovely place to give an idea of what life was like before the modern age.
One of the houses is a museum and I was delighted to find their 'pot rack' contained some of the same plates as mine!(Top row) Such a cosy atmosphere was in that cottage. The floor sloped considerably up to the bed at the other end of the room. I felt like jumping in .
Inevitably there was a room with a loom.
You may be interested to know that a couple of these Blackhouses are self catering holiday cottages, and one is a Youth Hostel. It would be a beautiful place to spend a few days and this was the only day I considered swimming in the sea. (Fortunately for the general public and the fish, I didn't have my cozzie with me)Once you got across the lovely smooth round rocks the sea was clean and clear and not very cold..I had to make do with a paddle.
Along the way there were other signs of habitation and my husband is a big fan of the decrepit corrugated iron shed..the rustier the better. This one with its almost Farrow and Ball collection of greys, caused him to screech to a halt and get a picture.
On another beach on the Island of Great Bernera joined by a bridge to the main Island is made of beautiful sparkling white sand. Excavations some time ago revealed Iron Age houses. One is reconstructed but as it was Sunday it was closed . The beach is stunningly beautiful . The atmosphere is peaceful and it made me ponder the lives of the people who had their community in such a remote spot.
I was looking at it from the wrong direction..they didn't 'travel outwards' to the far edges of the British Isles, but probably 'sailed in' to a safe natural harbour. I had a happy hour trying to imagine them. What they looked like, the clothes they wore, their relationships, community, work and lives together in that beautiful quiet place. The winter would have been a different story..the house is partly sunken and faces away from the sea. I think thats a clue. There is more about it here if you want to find out.
The only people on that beach besides us was a big group of Liverpudlians having a whale of a time. The children happily shrieking and shivering in the sea, while the adults chatted and laughed. I wondered if the Iron Age children would have been much the same work allowing.
Below is the beach viewed from just above the Iron Age site.
I took the picture below because it was the only time we got a bit of blue sky.
Safe harbours abound on these Islands. This is a tiny village on the far southern tip of Harris called Rodel. There is a big hotel there but still it was absolutely quiet.
Just 'around the corner' from this harbour is the western side of Harris.
The character of the west is completely different to the rocky east. Grassy moorland..Machair I think, slopes down to more amazing white sandy beaches.This is the area around Uig.
This beach was vast.
The sea was out and we walked to the water's edge across ridge patterned sand.
There was no one else there..it was raining...Sunday....
The beauty is in the details.
The patterns in the rock, the sand and its flora, and a holiday gives you the time to look closely.
These flowers were tiny, just a few millimetres across, and so beautiful
At absolute opposite end of the whole of Harris and Lewis is the port of Ness.
The harbour there is fascinating.
The tide was right out and the amazing colours of the complicated harbour wall were visible against the white clean sand.
The water was clean and clear on the deeper side,
and there is a huge empty beach there too.
Of course, it was sunday, it was raining...what can I say?
I'm going on a bit aren't I?
Here's another little beach we happened upon, Shawbost I think. I was looking for another Tweed Mill......it was raining... the tideline was perfectly semi circular, and so quiet.Finally, the last day of the holiday. Do you notice anything about this view from the back of the house taken on the evening before we left?
Something thats been missing?
The view from the kitchen on the morning we packed up?
Something 'different' as the boat left Stornaway?
Any other business section: Mary please send me a contact e mail. I can't get in touch with you.
And: Yippee! Blogger has a spam filter at last so I'm abolishing word verification.