There’s a valley, shrouded in the mists of time, and swirling with the echoes of ancient dreams. Here at Dunadd, the tribe of the boar ruled supreme, their kings living in luxury on top of this ancient hill. Dynasties rose and fell beneath these skies, and this setting sun, with fortunes dreamed and spent from the crests of ocean waves.
These coastal waters connected the ancient people of Argyll with the rest of Europe, Africa and Scandanavia. Ships from the Baltic, the Black Sea and Constantinople sailed past this shore, trading treasures and dreams. Ships from these shores headed south and west, seeking their fortunes, and later the Vikings sailed through.
Now nothing but dreams and memories echo beneath the setting sun, as peace settles across this green earth and this place of ancient dreams. Power rests, sleeping for now beneath the stones and rocks of the ancestors.
These photos were all taken in the Kilmartin valley, Argyll, Scotland. This valley is home to the richest concentration of prehistoric and dark age monuments in the UK. Numerous stone circles, standing stones and burial cairns litter the ancient landscape, and the past seeps through the shadows and gaps between the stones.
I am an avid fan of Diana Gabaldon’s books and writings, so you have just slipped me through the time-warp and thrown me back in time. I feel like I’m there. Maybe a part of me IS there since I have Welsh, Irish, Scottish, and German blood in me. I so love your tours and pictures. Thank you! You are a fabulous tour guide of ancient and modern times.
Hi Gwynn, you have mentioned your love of Diana before, and it’s no surprise then that you enjoyed this peep back into the ancient past through the stones and hills of our beautiful old land. I’m certain that part of you is here, calling to the rest of you to join her 🙂
The almost silhouette of the mountains is wonderful and the history of your country is fascinating. Mystical, dreamy, ancient …
Yes….history seeps from every rock and tree. The green land of ancient magic 🙂
Love that you took me with yo. Some of my ancestors hail from Argyll. I’m told there is a monument erected to my GGGGGgrandfather Donald (?) McGeachy by his sons. I’m coming to see this . . . I am coming one day.
I don’t know it, but will google later 🙂
When you come you must let me know…..
It always amazes me how how far and wide the seeds of Scotland have scattered. Almost everywhere we visit has some connection with it.
Seonaid, this is a really beautiful post. Your prose is wonderful and works perfectly with your lovely photography. And of course fits perfectly with the challenge. Terrific job.
Thanks Tina, I’m learning to capture that lovely dreamy late light….it’s not always easy to catch what you can see with your eyes 🙂
I think I have observed before that reading posts such as this one make me yearn for a time machine. These folks you refer to … how long ago are we talking? More than 1000 years ago … 12th century and before? How exciting it would be just have a quick look. I wish I knew more so that I could close my eyes and see them there, eating, sleeping, playing with their kids .. you know, living their lives. Thanks for putting such images into my head this afternoon. D
David, I often wish for a time machine 🙂
Killmartin Glen was a sacred site 5,000 years ago….just before the pyramids were built in Egypt! Dunadd was an Iron Age capital or fort, so that’s about 2,000 years ago. It rose in prominence again in the 6th to 9th centuries, as the wealthy capital of the Gaels, who ruled a sea kingdom from here, producing wonderful jewellery, knives and swords.
It’s a very evocative place…..here’s a link to the Historic Scotland site about Dunadd.
Thank you for another magical tour, Seonaid. Your images reflect the enchantment of the place. 🙂
It’s enchanted by the ghosts of the past Robin, delighted you enjoyed the visit 🙂
Beautiful photos and I really enjoyed your narrative. Some places still have their past written clearly in their energy. Is this a place you would not want to stay for any length of time?
It’s actually a place where time gets lost between the cracks….you can linger for hours as the sun sinks and the light fades…..however I wouldn’t linger too long at the neolithic cairns….they housed the ancestors bones and there is definite energy of power and defence 🙂
Beautiful. I really like the first shot. The colours are lovely!
Thank you, it was a beautiful evening of lingering light, and I loved the silhouette of Dunadd rising from the moor….dotted with sheep!
Thanks Fi 🙂
All three photos are beautiful along with the stories behind them, but the colors on the second photo are outstanding.
Thanks Judy, the reflection on the water add so much to the beauty of the light….I always love a sun trail across water 🙂
You certainly live in a powerful part of the world. That standing stone silhouetted by the sun looks amazing – some kind of beacon reminding us there is more to life than the mundane world of material possessions.
It’s an amazing stone…the Kintraw Stone…..sitting on a manmade stone platform looking out across the water toward the Isle of Jura. Next to a huge cairn, it stands around 13 feet high, and is thought to mark the winter solstice sun as it peeps between the paps of Jura. A moment of rebirth 🙂
I have heard about these Paps of Jura and I have seen the Paps at Kilarney, Ireland. They are very mystical and powerful. Thanks for sharing the photo of the standing stone. It’s quite haunting.
very much my kinda sky – with the light licking the whispy clouds
Mine too, I love those whispy clouds, and there are little sun dogs on either side of the sun 🙂
Photos and your words moved me in a bizarre ‘ancient’ way… puzzled. In a good way 🙂 Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and poetic ancient writing.
Thanks Hanne, I’m always left with more questions than answers after being at sites like this. Full of lost wisdom 🙂
I can imagine. Perhaps that’s the human ‘condition’ more questions than answers….
Beautiful picture 🙂
Thanks, it’s a magical place!
Why have I never heard of this place? These pictures are amazing, magical in the twilight, I wonder about the women who lived in these places.
I suspect that they were wild and strong and full of magic Gilly 🙂
The current emerging history is telling us that these were the very ancient ancestors, the aboriginal Gaels if you like, and rather than coming from Ireland it’s looking more and more as though it were the other way around!
Theirs was a sea kingdom, encompassing Argyll, the western isles and bits of Northern Ireland.the treasures they keep digging up show a very wealthy, well travelled society! The down side was that they used and traded in high numbers of slaves.
Now, where else am I going to see such amazing photos and learn about Killmartin Valley?
Look no further Bruce, I’m very happy to keep supplying a taste of Scotland’s ancient past 🙂
What an awesome place, Seonaid. I would imagine that sunset is the perfect time to visit this magical site. I love the idea of the past seeping “through the shadows and the gaps between the stones.”
It’s another beautiful part of Scotland 🙂
We had been away exploring a place called the fairy isles, and were heading back up to Oban later than we meant….but I’m so glad as the light and atmosphere were magical.
Love the echoes of ancient dreams! Great choice! 🙂
Thanks Amy, the skies were so dreamy I was going to post just on dreamy skies…..but I couldn’t ignore the magical setting 🙂