|The ‘daytime visits’ – 1.6.12 and 2.6.12
Up early with the children whilst Karen had a lie in.
How to keep the children occupied for an hour?
Erm……… I know – how about a walk to Callanish?!!
I strapped Sophie into the buggy, stood Dafydd on the buggy board and we were away.
One 20 minute slog pushing them both uphill later and we were there.
It was another lovely sunny day and I promised the children an ice cream if they behaved (perhaps that should be bribed?). We went into the visitor centre and I had a quick look around the shop – not bad actually. I then paid my £2.50 to watch a 5 minute film presentation on the standing stones (rip off but at least I didn’t have to pay for the children). The H.S guide book is very good and well worth buying.
We exited the visitor centre and walked up the path towards the stones. It seemed a bit strange to now be approaching the stones from this direction but it was good to view things differently. There were quite a few people about but not too many to spoil things.
This was my first daylight look at the stones and the swirls and patterns in the stones really stood out. Every time I looked at the stones I noticed something different – it was like seeing the stones for the first time.
Towering above everything of course was the huge central stone. When you get up close to it you realise how tall it is – a wonderful stone.
Sophie and Dafydd played in the central cairn whilst I took in the surroundings.
This really is a magnificent place to visit. One can only wonder how it would have appeared to the ancients seeing it for the first time.
Time for that ice cream I promised (bribed)
The following day we returned to the stones with Karen in tow. This time we drove and parked next to the visitor’s centre. In the field next to the car park were a sow and a litter of about 10 piglets. As soon as they saw us the piglets (pink with black spots) ran under the fence, out of the field and straight towards Sophie and Dafydd. They thought it was amazing and laughed as the piglets ran around them. The piglets followed us all the way to the entrance before running back down the slope into the field.
After a quick look around the visitor centre again we all headed up to the site and I was interested to hear what Karen thought? Now Karen isn’t one to enthuse about ‘old stones’ (although to be fair she isn’t anti them either) but it’s not really her ‘thing’. So I was surprised and pleased to hear her say how much she liked this place and see her go off taking photos of the stones from all angles and point out ‘faces’ in the stones. She had to wait quite a while for a photo of the tallest stone as a woman insisted on stroking it for an unhealthy length of time!
Dafydd then insisted of giving his mum a personal ‘guided tour’ of the cairn and explained in detail what it was used for, what was inside it and how you entered! Karen displayed her usual patience on such occasions. Sophie smiled her smile at the ‘presentation’ before her.
This time our visit was in cloudy weather and yet again different patters emerged form the stones in the varying light – incredible. We walked the avenue and along each of the axis, studying each stone and admiring the patterns and swirls. By now it was getting busier and by the time the second coach had arrived we decided it was time to go and get another ice cream.
It sure is hard leaving a place like Callanish but we had a full days exploring ahead of us.
Posted by CARL
3rd July 2012ce