Yesterday we reached Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. This was the furthest point north that we planned to sail while in Scotland. It is 58°12’N and even though the locals are enjoying summer in short trousers, we still find 7°C and the constant wind too cold. Today we turned round and began sailing south.
But first we took the bus from Stornoway across the island to the village of Callanish. Here there are numerous standing stones erected some 5000 years ago. Visiting Callanish has been on my “todo list” since I was a child so it was an achievement to finally get there.
The bus dropped us off at the bottom of the hillock that the main set of stones is set on. Luckily we had caught the first bus so, once we walked up the hill, we were almost alone. I found it amazing to think that these stones have been stood here a hundred times as long as I have been alive. They are certainly impressive set amongst the wild hebridean hillocks and inlets.
The wind and temperature quickly drove us into the heated visitor center which focussed on the fact that we have no idea why the stones were set up or what function they fulfilled. There was a short film which was followed by a set of amazing photos of the Hebrides.
Once we were warm, we walked to the other two sites of standing stones. As we passed the houses of this scattered community we couldn’t help but wonder what the people here do to earn a living. There is little sign of farming and no trace of industry. There are wind turbines but inexplicably none of the larger ones were turning.