and Ireland too
During this inclement west coast weather, I have had time to rifle through the time traveler’s rucksack so I hope you will enjoy Scotland revisited!
Ossian – the lament of Rory Dal’s sister
Many people do not know that the Hebrides, along with The Orkneys in Scotland belonged to Norway for 400 years. Sovereignty was transferred to Scotland in 1266.
In truth, Scotland has a very diverse dna profile and it is said perhaps it’s location has played a part. Scotland at the North end of Britain was the end of the line for travelers. Celts (Gaels) and Picts originally inhabited the hills of Northern and Western Scotland and the Isles but there has even been a “saracen” and Berber marker found in many of the dna studies.
Around the 9th Century AD, Norse seafarers found their way to Scotland before continuing further south to what is presently Dublin, Ireland. On the Isle of Skye, names such as Skeabost and Carbost refer to the Viking farms that were once there. The Skeabost Hotel has great meals and accommodation for travelers. There is a also a distillery in Carbost with the wonderful name of Talisker.
Interestingly, in Iceland, that land of mainly Norwegian ethnicity, there is also a Gaelic connection. Long ago Vikings brought slaves and perhaps wives from Scotland and Ireland to inhabit that almost mythological and remote island of fire and ice. This is the island that the boat builder, Floki Vilgerðarson from the series Vikings found by following the raven.
My mother’s family was the clan MacLeod and supposedly they were descendants of a Norseman named Leot or Leod. It seems possible as I have been involved with a couple of dna projects which have given me some Norwegian roots and also a link to Gaelic Iceland. Still, Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the MacLeod Clan is definitely Gaelic flavoured with Celtic tales of fairies and clansmen. Read the story of the fairy flag of Dunvegan in a former post here
Duirinish (Deer Parish)
Note the old Pictish stone on the hillside
It’s not difficult to imagine long ships sailing into these natural harbours and lochs as seen below. At Rubha an Dunain in the south, a viking canal and shipyard were recently discovered .
Loch Snizort and Pooltiel both open into the Minch, the body of water separating Skye on the Inner Hebrides to the outer islands.
Ossian- Crossing the Minch – a definite toe tapper while crossing lol
(In the south of Scotland a Viking Hoard full of rich artifacts was found in Galloway. Read about it here)
Further north on the Orkneys, a magnificent Viking Cathedral still stands with it’s elaborate wooden carvings. St. Magnus was built in 1137 in honour of a Christian convert and martyr, Magnus of Orkney.
The legend of the Selkie – that half human, shape shifting seal is part of both Celtic and Icelandic myth.
In Ireland, the Vikings settled Dublin (Dubh Linn )around 841 AD and it became a great trading and expansion hub for them. The Irish hero Brian Boru drove out the vikings at the battle of Clontarf in 1014. With his sons he fought against Sigtrygg Silkbeard, king of Dublin, and both were slain.
I took these in Dublin a few years back, the Viking area lies just beyond the Medieval gate at Christ Church and this depiction of Brian Boru was displayed in Trinity College.
an Icelandic maiden and my own depiction of one of the realms:
The Eddic and Skaldic poetry are rich in the mythology of the Norse people. Read about the nine realms here