Europe | United Kingdom (UK), Great Britain | Scotland – Day 16 – Calanis Standing Stones
Left Steornabhagh travelling around the loop in a clockwise direction… unfortunately the lay of the land didn’t match up with my map… or is it the other way ’round? Am reminded of a passage in a book by Lillian Beckwith where she is chatting to a man on one of the Hebridean Islands about his conversation with a cartographer… ‘Ach, what does he want to know the right names for? He doesn’t live about here at all. He’s only after making a map’.
It wasn’t very pleasant travelling out of town, there was quite a bit of traffic. As I headed past Acha Mor (Archmore) I noticed what a wild and desolate place this would be to live. The moor a uniform green/brown colour with a patchwork of small locks, many rows of hills rising in the distance. And the wind! Washing was hanging parallel to the ground and I was thinking there must be a real market for Hebridean wind proof pegs until I saw a single sheet with 8 holding it on the line… I guess quantity, not quality is the key (or the peg! He, he!) to keeping your laundry.
My first stop was the Calanis (Callanish) Standing Stones. There are 2 small groups of stones before you come across the main site, 3 of the stones in one set supposedly representing the Celtic Triple Goddess. The main group of stones, high on a hill, is probably one of the UK’s most intricate prehistoric monuments. The stones are set out in a symetrical pattern from east to west rather like a large celtic cross although they predate Christianity by more than 3,000 years. Astronomy and Ley Lines obviously played some part in the design but like similar structures from that age we can only guess at the significance of these stones.
My next ‘prehistoric’ port of call is the Dun Carloway Broch, a fortress structure perched on a hill that, well… didn’t excite me much really! I then visited the Black House Village at Gearannan (Garenin) where you can actually stay in the houses, some are set up as self catering cottages and one is a hostel. The houses have actually been renovated so technically they’re not ‘black’. The have had the walls and floors done and a chimney installed. It was good to look at them though and it offers a contrast to the ‘real’ black house about 10 miles away. Splurged on another camping site, this time at Siabost (Shawbost).