Culloden Battlefield, a thirty minute bus ride from Inverness, is the site of the bloody last stand of the Jacobites in 1745. For those unfamiliar with the Jacobites, long story short they wanted to replace the current British king with the “true king,”James VIII. The Jacobite forces consisted mostly of Scottish Highlanders, who were killed in staggering numbers when they met the loyalist troops on this moor. 1500-2000 Jacobites were killed or wounded, while only 50 loyalist soldiers lost their life. We didn’t go into the beautiful visitor’s center because it was rather pricey, but the battlefield itself had great paths with information about the battle and the positions of the two sides as well as a touching memorial to the individual clan who had lost men in the fight. It was a foggy day, and walking around on this site where so many had died one couldn’t help feel the importance of this place to Scottish history. The field itself is beautiful, partially cleared land and partially heath covered in beautiful hardy plants and marshy areas. The historical society is working to restore the field to the conditions the troops would have seen.One of the clans involved were the Mackintoshes, who factor somehow in my family history. We’ve got some Highland blood (just a wee bit). Aleksi and I also made sure to check out the marker for the Fraser clan, since I’m rather worried about how the Outlander characters (who are involved in Jacobite goings on) will fare when the show (I didn’t read the books) reaches this moment in history. [35mm taken with my 1999 Olympus 105G Superzoom in February 2015.Click here for more pictures of Scotland. Oh and don’t forget to like the blog on facebook!]
The picture above is one of my favorite sets of houses in Reykjavík. There are about six grand houses in a row, all in the traditional Icelandic aluminum siding, in alternating red and yellow. Makes me smile every time I walk this way.
[35mm taken with my 1999 Olympus 105G Superzoom. Click here to see more pictures of Reykjavík, Iceland.]
Here’s something a bit more colorful than my usual 35mm offerings. These pictures are taken from “Your Rainbow Panorama,” a permanent installation piece by Olafur Eliasson on the roof ARoS, the Aarhus Art Gallery. It’s such a simple concept, but still so beautiful. We were fortunate to visit on a sunny day, so the shape and colors of the walls produced some spectacular views.
[Click here to see more of my pictures from Denmark.]
In mid-March, I went to Aarhus, Denmark for a week to give a paper at a student symposium. I fell head over heels in love with this adorable little city. I was blown away by Aros, the art museum of Aarhus. It was ten floors of stunning contemporary and early modern works of art. I’m not usually that interested in contemporary art, but the exhibits here were fascinating and approachable. It’s now one of my all time favorite art museums. The museum is best known for it’s Rainbow Panorama, a circular walkway on the roof with rainbow hued plexiglass walls and a stunning view of the city. But the main deck below the walkway also provided a great view of Aarhus. I didn’t have my camera with me, so here area few iphone shots.
[Click here to see more of my pictures from Denmark.]
[35mm taken with my 1999 Olympus 105G Superzoom.Click here for more pictures of Scotland.]
In February, I made another visit to Aberdeen, Scotland to visit my Finn. When I visited in October, we took the bus south to Edinburgh, so this time we went north to Inverness. We’ve both become big fans of the show Outlander, so visiting Jamie and Clair’s stomping grounds added an extra bit of fun. We took the bus to Drumnadrochit and then took a beautiful walk along the lake to see Urquhart Castle. As we walked, the last rays of sunlight were moving across the hills on the other side of the lake, leaving a hazy lavender landscape behind. And noooo…I did not see Nessie. [35mm taken with my 1999 Olympus 105G Superzoom.Click here for more pictures of Scotland.]
Well, I’ve been M.I.A. for a while now. I’ve been finishing up my Master’s dissertation, which I’m pleased to say has been handed in…I’ve finished my degree! In case you are wondering, I wrote about a 14th century Icelandic poem about a mighty and bloody race of kings descended from Óðinn, king of the Norse gods.
I’ve been taking pictures in the last few months, but I’ve been busy studying that I haven’t had time to get them developed. So, pictures from my February trip to Scotland (again) and a March week in Aarhus, Denmark are on the queue. Meanwhile, here are some pictures from a walk along the water by my home in Skerjafjörður, a secluded little corner of 101 Reykjavík.
I can’t believe it’s already been two years. What an adventure. I’ve grown so much as a person in this time. I’ve learned so much, academically and otherwise. I’ve made amazing friends and explored Iceland and Austria with them, met the love of my life and traveled with him in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Canada, the States, and Scotland. I’ve flown across the Atlantic three times and visited seven new countries. I’ve grown to enjoy Ice cream cones in the winter and developed a strange love of the weird whole grain breads and crackers of Denmark. I learned some Danish, and I am currently trying to read The Hunger Games in Iceland. There’s no way to measure all that I’ve experienced here, but I feel I am coming back a different, better person.What now? Well, I have less than a month left in Iceland before I fly back to the states. My boyfriend has accepted an internship at a prestigious think tank in DC, so we will stay with my parents in beautiful rural Maryland. Before I leave, I’ll make another trip around the island with my best friend since second grade, who is finally coming to visit. I’ll keep posting here. I plan on going on plenty of fun Stateside adventures this summer, and I’ll be back in Iceland (and maybe the Faroe Islands) in August for a weeklong course on manuscript studies. Annnnnd (fingers crossed) I’ll likely be applying to do a PhD in Iceland or Denmark, so I won’t stay away from Europe for long. I hope you’ll keep following along as I wander around this crazy world making great memories and wonderful friends.[35mm taken with my 1999 Olympus 105G Superzoom.]