I booked a pleasant 29 British Pound, “Sail and Rail” deal from the Belfast harbour, courtesy of the Stena Ferry group. I wanted to see the highlands and isles of Scotland but it just seemed an impossibility due to my time crunch- I went directly to Edinburgh in the southeast part of the country. Travelers, check for major events or regional holidays in the area you will be visiting as it will cause major inconveniences if you are caught unaware. I myself was blindsided.
Upon arrival, I walked and walked through Edinburghs gothic streets and hills, alleys, and paths to find neither vacancy nor accomodation; neither ramshackle nor Ritz could provide a bed. The entire city was slammed and booked due to a marathon being held in the city. It was also a bankers holiday which in itself, flooded the city with tourists. I was almost out of luck but realized I had in my pack, a room in itself- my tent that is. The day was growing into night and I made a decision to head out to the country for an evening among the wild heather in the East Lothian hills.
Among the wild Heather. Photo courtesy of Louise Phillips, Crime Novelist.
I was aboard the train and figured myself resigned to a night in the rough when two friendly ladies from the region invited me for drinks at their local pub, West Barns Inn. I agreed!
Well the night passed quickly with a game of darts, pool a few rounds of whisky Cokes and a few cans of the Scotish lager, Tennents. I was invited to spend an evening in a guest room at one of their homes in the small village of Innerwick. What a great coastal view!
The next morning she toured me around her village of Innerwick. Now, this is what I was after, a town with a population of more less 500, the open country, a view of the sea and a castle (also a power plant, but no bother- seriously, it adds more than detracts!) Authenticity! Here are some of photos of the region:
People call the regional Power plant an eye soar, frankly, I think it adds to character to the scape.
Dunbar Road Sign
The Path to Innerwick Castle
Rape seed under dazling blue skies- the hills of Dunbar
What I really wanted to draw attention to was this incredible monument tucked away on an obscure country road. First I want to say that, religion aside, to have this in a town says volumes about the community itself. I will write the engraving out:
A man of kindness,
To his beast is kind,
But brutal actions,
Show a brutal mind,
He who made thee,
Made thee brute,
Who gave thee speech and reason,
Formed him mute,
He can’t complain,
But god’s all seing eye,
Beholds thy cruelty,
And hears his cry,
He was not designed thy servant,
Not thy drudge,
Remember his creator,
Is thy judge.
Just the other day, I mentioned a man by the name of Luke Kelly of the Dubliners. Part of the reason why I chose the town of Dunbar was because of his rendition of Robert Burns’ poem, Tibby Dunbar. I wanted to see if there was any correlation- there was none that I could find. But, please listen to the beauty of an Irish balladeers timbre of voice and the power of Burns’ romance. This is the taste of Scotland that he was perhaps imagining.
Here is a video of the blue sky of summer and the blooming yellows of rape seed that seem to stretch on to the the quaint coastal town; the road, winding, leading right up to the legendary harbour that sports the remains of the Dunbar Castle: