Eilean Donan Castle sits on a small island connected to land by a bridge. At around 600 a monastery, or actually just a small group of huts that housed the monks, occupied the island. St Donan was responsible for their being there and thus the island and the castle attained its name. Evidence of a small iron age fort still occupied the land when the current castle was constructed.
We arrived at Eilean Donan by way of Loch Maree. I was later told by a very entertaining and helpful gentleman named Richard, who worked as a guide in the Billeting room, that we were brave women because tourists don’t normally take that route to Eilean Donan. It was a one lane road with lay-bys and went over mountains the size of the grand canyon. It is that route they advertise ferry tours down the loch to Eileen Donan. So you can take your car down Loch Duich to the castle. Had I known I’d have done that in a heartbeat!!!
If any of you have seen the latest movie featuring Eilean Donan, Made of Honor, featuring Patrick Dempsy, the people invited to the wedding ferried down the loch to the castle, just as he mentioned.
We entered the castle through the Billeting room. I actually got to lay my things down on the table there so I could write the name of our guide, Richard, down. The plan was to leave one of my books there, but Richard talked me into signing it for him since he collects things about Eilean Donan castle. He even promised to read it.
In the billeting room, you could imagine military men sitting around the table planning a campaign to quell the next Jacobite uprising because it was certainly a room for men. Stone walls, stone ceiling, and stone floor covered by a neutral colored rug. And the large table in the center. There were single shot muskets hung over the fireplace. The vaulted ceiling arches over your head.
Eilean Donan did what we had seen in a couple of other castles, they had figures depicting life in the castle set in place. They had created some that represented Lt. Colonel MacRae- Gilstrap and Farquha MacRae as they studied plans on how to construct the castle.
They also had figures in the scullery that were very humorous. I would have loved to have taken pictures but was afraid it wasn't allowed.
The Banqueting Room was beautiful. Oil paintings of family members hung on the walls and a tartan rug woven specifically for the castle by the grandson of the Colonel covered the floor depicting the MacRae tartan. Wooden beams crossed the ceiling. Weddings are often performed there. You can see the hall up close and personal in the movie I mentioned earlier.
I loved that there were window seats in the bedrooms so you could look out on the loch. I pointed out a set of bedwarmers that hung on the bedroom wall. Wish they were still in style today.
Mitsi and I have laughed at how many of my pictures have her back in them. She said she was going
to create a slide show of them and set them to music.