Travelling through Scotland is to travel through amazing history. There are monuments dating well before my home town was a town. Monuments to events 100 years before then. And of course the graveyards. You have to visit graveyards to see the last resting place of all your favourite Scottish heroes. James Bond must be buried here - although, maybe he is not dead yet. And Scotty from Star Trek. Surely he is buried in Scotland!
Today I stumbled upon a most amazing graveyard. The last resting place for some of the largest heroes of recent history. A hidden place, rarely seen by the average, less intrepid traveller. But I was there. I saw this graveyard. I saw the sadness at the passing of these magnificent contributors to the whole of the UK not just Scotland.
The Black Isle (not really an island) is an easy run from Inverness. We took our first stop at the fairy glen. It is one of those places you would visit if you lived here yourself. Not such a big stop for international travellers. But it was a delightful walk along side a gentle creek. Those who persist along the 2km are rewarded with a couple of lovely waterfalls. Lots of fun trying my photography tricks again.
Coffee on a sandy beach. Hey yes we did find a sandy beach on the Black Isles. Rarely a point to make but there are few sandy Scottish beaches. The plan was for a delightful drive across the countryside and back to the hotel. But that is not how it works here. We crested a hill and there was a graveyard like no other.
Looking down into an estuary on the northern shore of the Isle we saw a long line of retired and derelict oil rigs. These amazing, north sea structures have finished their working life. They now sit virtually ignored and rusting in the bay.
The residents of a local holiday town are angry about them. They claim the rigs detract from the natural beauty of their town. They want them removed. But the rigs do look spectacular. Think of their life out in the north sea. Pounded day and night by some of the roughest waters anywhere. These structures are amazing.
Yes they are rusty and falling apart. And yes no one care about them… but. As we drove along, entranced by the views, we had a thought.
Urquhart castle was destroyed 326 years ago. 300 years ago it was a derelict. 200 years ago it had been a wreck for as long as anyone remembered. If you ran a tourist event near Urquhart in 1900 it could have been seen as a detraction. Today it is a wonderful stopping point along Loch Ness.
I wonder if clear thinking can provide an elegant solution to the derelict oil rigs.
I saw this estuary of oil rigs 3 years ago and have wanted to get a closer look ever since. I actually thought it was an oil rig nursery. Today we found them by surprise. It was wonderful.
I guess something needs to happen but I don't wanna see anyone hurry to just dispose of them. They made a massive contribution to the British economy for many years.
Just a thought.