Sunday, June 24, 2018

Three days in Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway

Mostly this post will be taken up by photos, three marvellous days in a remote place but with a zing that is hard to put down. We went to the Samye Ling monastery, and one of the female Buddhists told me all about the founding of it.  So simple, there was me thinking Cistercian monks finding a place in the wild - but it wasn't.  Two Buddhists were offered a falling down old house because the owner could not keep it up.  Over the years it has turned into a complex of dormitories, retreat, magnificent temple and shop and small cafe. Is it not extraordinary?.... inner sanctum is full of detail.

Taken from the internet...

It was but a mile away from our lodgings which were also Tibetan inspired in the colours of yellow and orange.  And then just down the road we had a couple of stone circles Girdle Stanes and Loupin Stanes and this on the 21st June, the longest day of the year.  But these stone circles event happens at the other end of the year in November.

All this in a countryside somewhat overshadowed by industrialised forestry but beneath the great trees the bones of the earth were beautiful.  Rivers shallowly murmured their way along, lapwings flew overhead, the valleys were gentle moulded, a bit like when you knead dough.  Houses, some in a terrible condition, as if the owner had died and left the home to rot, with cars overgrown with vegetation and dirty curtains flapping at the broken windows.

The river had moved and cut this stone circle in half, across the river to the right was a small graveyard with old graves but no church in sight and no houses either.  Weird, had they planted their dead by the circles?

The sun shone  most of the time we were there, and following the line of the river through the valley we came across some beautiful places, even the dark spooky atmosphere of tall evergreens can hold their magic, though not the great lorries full of tree trunks we met on the first day.

The other smaller circle

The negatives: Two towns both about 14 miles apart, Langholm and Lockerbie.  Langholm was a disappointment, we managed to find the Co-op  stuck at the end of a housing estate.  And of course no pubs in the vicinity as well for Paul!  The place we stayed in, Eskdalemuir was sparsely inhabited though it did have a marvellous cafe called The Hub that had been built on to an old school which housed an art exhibition of prints. Trying to buy one at the moment....


  1. Thank you for that, I write as I think trying to capture the moment.

  2. What captivating photos - I can understand the lure of the Buddhist monastery, and imagine it must have a very serene atmosphere.

    Interesting stone circles and I am intrigued by the churchyard being built by one, as if to reference it. I wonder where the church was?

    Lovely photos, and I hope you get your painting . . .

  3. It is a print Jennie called the 'Spring Witch' by Colin Blanchard and yes I have got it, he writes poetry to go with the picture and when I said had he done anything with prehistory, he sent me a poem for the hill fort Castle O'Er, he has an illustrated book in mind.