Friday, June 3, 2011


We spent three days in Scotland in Inverness area. It was beautiful and green. We were on an excursion to study our family history. Our grandmother's family, the Chisholms, are from Inverness are. Enjoy a few of the snap shots from the trip.

Scotland is a huge producer of beautiful wool. Sheep are everywhere in this country! This was the wool mill in Inverness that we stopped at on our bus tour of the city. I bought three scarves that I am very excited to wear next summer.
Shanna and Logan in front of the part of the Inverness city scape.

Inverness castle is now part of the government system. It sits on a hill overlooking the River Ness. The core of the city is built around the river.
Scots are big on family names and history. Loyalty and identity are paramount. This is the Chisholm family tartan and the family motto...Feros Ferio - I am fierce with the fierce.
The city line along the river is made up of several churches from different eras, all with beautiful steeples. The city is a perfect combination of the new and old in Scotland.
Welcome to Erchless Castle, once home to the Chisholm clan. At one point the castle sat on over 250,000 acres. Now it sits on 12,000 acres. We met the man who owns when we trespassed on the land accidentally. He invited us in for a cup of tea and took us on a tour of the entire castle. It was amazing! Then we sat in the old Chiholm sitting room and drank tea and chatted with the owner for two and a half hours. It was the perfect ending to our first day in Scotland.
Erchless Castle grounds still host tons of sheep and cows. This is the back side of our property. We spent most of the trip driving the scenic countryside of Scotland.
Sunset on the beach on our way back to Inverness. Not quite as pretty as Texas but we were just happy to see the sun after a cold, rainy day.
Day 2 we took a river cruise on Loch Ness. We didn't see Nessie and no one was eaten but the Loch is beautiful, even when it rained...again.

Our boat for our Loch excursion.
On the boat
Our first glimpse of Urquhart castle on the banks of Loch Ness and the only stop on our tour. I loved the rainbow created by the spray and rain.

The castle is now in ruins but we explored a little anyway. In the tourist center, we discovered that this was once a home to the Chisholm clan, too, before a warring clan seized the castle from the family.
We also went to the Culloden Battlefields. The Scots love their history. Culloden is the site of a bloody battle between the Scottish clans led by Bonny Prince Charlie and the British. The Scots were fighting for freedom from England, something they have yet to win. The concrete print is from the Chisholm Clan Society in honor of those who died in the battle. 150 Chisholm clansmen fought on the front lines of the Scottish offensive.
A memorial in honor of those who died stands in front of the Battlefields. "Our blood is still our fathers, and ours the valour of their hearts."
This marked the turn of the battle. As soon as this clan chief fell, the clansmen were pushed back. Those from local clans braved the fields and buried the dead in mass graves for each clan, marking the place with a stone like this. The British remained unburied and their resting place unmarked until the 1800s when the Scots placed another stone that simply reads, "Here fell the English."
Part of the beautiful countryside. An ocean inlet, fields of flowers, pastures and fields, woods and hills. Definitely Scotland.
We spent our last day at Spey Bay watching several pods of dolphins feeding and playing in the surf. I researched dolphins in college and I was fascinated to see them so near. The beaches in Scotland and Ireland are mostly rock and are not warm, so no bare feet and swim suits, but it didn't rain and the sky was a beautiful blue.

1 comment:

  1. So jealous that you got to visit these places. I too am a Chisholm on my grandmother's side of the family. What an amazing story to have had tea with the people that live at Erchless castle! One day I hope to get there as well! From one Follower of Christ, Texan, and book worm to another.....