Today we left the far north of Scotland and made our way down to Inverness, the scenery along the way was breathtaking.
Prehistoric Burial Cairns of Balnuaran of Clava, there are three burial cairns at Balnuaran and they are part of a line of seven dotted along the south side of the valley of the River Nairn. These together form part of a group of some 45 very distinctive cairns in northern Inverness-shire, all called Clava Cairns after this location, which is where they were first studied. What sets them apart is their construction within a "kerb", a ring of large containing boulders. Clava Cairns come in two types, and both are represented in the group of three you find in the truly wonderful wooded setting at Balnuaran. The North East and South West Cairns are knows as passage graves. Here the inner chamber remains linked to the outside world by a passage. Both are no more than a metre or so in height, but when originally constructed the cairns are likely to have been around 3m or 10ft in height. Both of the passage graves have a surrounding circle of widely spaced standing stones: though sadly the stone circle surrounding the South West Passage Grave has a road going through it, leaving one stone marooned on the far side of the road and another forming part of the fence. The central cairn at Balnuaran is of the second type of Clava Cairn, a ring cairn. This differs from the other two in having no passageway linking the central camber with the outside. Like the others it is surrounded by a ring of standing stones, nine in this case, of which some have been broken. One unusual feature is the way that the central cairn is linked to three of its enclosing circle of standing stones by lines of turf covered stones. No-one knows their purpose, and it might well be possible that they were added very much later than the date of construction of the cairns. Another later addition is likely to have been the much smaller ring of kerb stones on the north east side of the site not far from the central cairn.
|North East Passage Grave built about 4,000 years ago|
|Central Ring Cairn|
|South West Passage Grave|
|The setting mid winter sun comes directly into the chamber of both the cairns who face the same way|
|Cup Marks inscribed on the kerb stone of the cairn|
|Loch Ness - Moralachd Loch Nis|
|Viperfish was launched and built by American inventor and submarine enthusiast Dan Scott Taylor in 1969 for the hunt for Nessie. It has been said that it inspired the Beatles song of the same name.|
|St Andrews Cathedral Inverness construction began in 1866 and was complete by 1869, although a lack of funds precluded the building of the two giant spires of the original design.|
|One of the foot bridges crossing the River Ness|
|"Nessie" must have followed us on our walk|
|The Highland Council today however the Town House of the Royal Burgh of Inverness completed in 1836|
|Inverness Castle 1834 today serves as the Sheriff Court House|