The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Standing Stones


The sunrise visit 1.6.12

This is without doubt the greatest experience I have ever had at a prehistoric site.
I will do my best to adequately describe my feelings but I doubt I will do it justice.

After watching the sun go down the night before I just HAD to watch the sun rise. I awoke at 3.00am (to be honest I was so excited I hardly slept) quickly got dressed (warm clothing) and quietly left the B+B not to disturb anyone. It was dark but not so dark that you needed a light to get around. I decided that a walk was in order rather than drive to complete the ‘experience’.
A 20 minute stroll through the gloom and I was there.

Needless to say that I was the only person there (something I was pleased about) and I wandered thoughtfully around the stones. Although it was pretty dark the stones seemed to radiate the little light there was and (I know this will sound strange) seemed to ‘glow’ in the darkness. It was very odd that the stones appeared very clear and ‘illuminesant’ when all around was darkness; with the silhouette of the mountains in the distance.

I am sure that anyone who has visited the Western isles (or Orkney or Shetland for that matter) will know that there is a near permanent wind present (not helped by a lack of trees). This can vary from a gentle breeze to a full on gale but it is always present. Well, here was one occasion when there was no wind at all. Not only was there no wind but there was also no noise – complete silence. This obviously added to the experience.

After about 30 minutes when I just sat there trying to take the experience in the dawn chorus started. First just the one bird but quickly joined by several others. About 15 minutes later the lambs in the fields started to away and joined in with their bleating. This was soon followed by a distant cockerel announcing the start of another day. Magical.

I sat and watched in awe as the distant horizon started to get lighter and the black sky turned to dark blue and then lighter blue – one or two small clouds silhouetting black in the sky. I had now been amongst the stones for nearly 2 hours and cannot describe how different the experience is compared with a day time visit. At last it was time for the sun to make an appearance. I carefully position myself within the stones as watched as the top edge of the sun blazed out from behind a mountain – the camera was doing overtime!

To say this was a magical experience is quite frankly doing it an injustice.

With 5 minutes the sun was fully up and the event was over. I walked back to the B+B not feeling tired or cold but feeling elated, excited and overwhelmed by my experience. It was now 5.30am. I put the kettle on and looked at the pictures I had taken. One was (in my opinion) superb and shows the top edge of the sun rising above the mountain with the standing stones silhouetted black in the foreground. I plan to get this enlarged and framed so I can hang in on my wall. I couldn’t wait for Karen to awake so I could share my excitement.

I will never forget my experience at Callanish. It has had a permanent effect on me and whilst I was watch the sun come up I felt a sort of ‘connection’ with those that had come before me. I know this may sound like nonsense (and perhaps it is) but it is how I felt nonetheless.

If you ever get the opportunity to watch the sunrise at Callanish on a crystal clear morning please do so. I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Posted by CARL
3rd July 2012ce

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