Happy Birthday Loganair

An excerpt from The Scotsman today on Loganair’s 50th birthday:

“Loganair, which is based in Dundee, operates services to Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles and has hubs in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen. It has operated under the Flybe franchise since 2008.

Its flight between Papa Westray and Westray in the Orkneys covers 2.8km and can take as little as 90 seconds – making it the shortest scheduled flight in the world.

In Barra, Loganair’s Twin Otter planes land on the beach – making it the only place in the world where scheduled flights have to be timed in accordance with the tides and where cockle pickers have to clear the runway before landings.

A copy of the summer timetable from 1971, reproduced to mark the airline’s 50th birthday, shows Orkney inter-island flights could be bought for £1, while flying between Stornoway and Glasgow cost passengers £9.80. Today a flight from Stornoway to Glasgow costs £172.14, flights from Westray to Papa Westray cost £39 return, with all passengers offered a drink of Highland Park whisky.”


Downhill cycling on Isle of Arran

In February, there are some fun activities organized on the Scottish Islands and I came across something called the Arran Bike Club Night Ride on February 2nd.

Riding for about 3 hours, beginning at 5:30, the mountain bikes go off-road on forest tracks and single tracks.  Anyone is welcome and if you don’t have a bike, you can rent one from Arran Adventure Company.

The information says, “Night riding is very exciting but you do need some hi-viz clothing and good bright lights as most of the rides take place off road in some very dark places!”  Ah.  Bright lights and high visibility clothing.   Wise move, I’m thinking.

I’m not really one for cycling myself but I found the scenery pretty amazing on this youtube clip.


Lewis Chessmen meet Dr. Who

The Lewis Chessmen have once again popped up in the news.  They are magnificent chess pieces, believed to be from the 12th Century and in 1831, more than 90 pieces were found buried in a sand dune on Lewis.

Ayrshire-born Jenny Colgan has written a new Doctor Who book, Dark Horizons, that includes the historic Lewis Chessmen.  The story involves Matt Smith’s Doctor being on the Western Isles to play the famous boardgame.  Vikings, a kidnapped princess and the islands under attack by a mysterious fire are all part of the plot line.

For more information on this BBC book, please see the website.

Taigh Ciuil Tobermory

hello!  sorry i haven’t been around for about a week but i was away on holidays for a couple of days and then the craziness of september has hit.  i’m still recovering from “back-to-routine”-itis.  i thought i was ready for it but it always comes in like a storm.

therefore, i have resorted to youtube once again and have found a lovely little place called Taigh Ciuil in Tobermory.  i hope you enjoy the clip.



Broch of Burrian Necklace

Ola Gorie produces some fantastic Celtic jewellery. This Cross necklace was featured today on her blog and I have taken the liberty of sharing what she has written about it. I am still trying to figure out the reblog business so I hope Ola Gorie is okay with me just cutting and pasting for now. 🙂


“The Broch of Burrian is on the shore on North Ronaldsay, the most remote and northerly of the Orkney islands. This cross suggests the presence of Celtic Christianity amidst Pictish culture in the middle years of the first millennium. The broch, a defensive tower house, is thought to date from the first or second centuries BC although there is some evidence of earlier habitation.

The mighty broch has four defensive ditches and there were Celtic dwellings beyond the tower. Inside the broch there was a well or chamber and perhaps the beginning of stairs to a series of underground chambers. The most significant find in 1870 was a stone engraved with a cross and Ogham script. The Burrian Cross, on which Ola has based her Celtic cross necklace design, has since become one of the symbols of Orkney. It is now displayed in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Celtic Cross Necklace Based on Symbol of Orkney

The builders of this stunning broch placed their stout defences next to the fierce tide roosts where the sea boils and roars where the tides meet. Visitors today may see cormorants drying their wings on the shore and seals basking on the rocks.
The Pictish Ogham script has yet to be translated although there have been several attempts. Current thinking is that the language spoken by the Picts, was a form of British similar to P-Celtic Welsh rather than Q-Celtic Irish.
The broch was excavated by Dr William Traill in 1870. It is suggested the cross shows evidence of the existence of a Celtic Christian community. Also found was an ox-bone with Pictish symbols and a pebble with Celtic designs. A Celtic bell of the earlier type (5th – 9th century) was also found and three bone dice and a perforated bronze needle.”


Craggy Island Triathlon

“A challenge for the experienced, and plain daft!” is how this race is promoted.

550m open water swim from Gallanach on the mainland to the Isle of Kerrera.

15km off-road mountain bike once you’ve made it on the Island.

4km off-road run somewhat akin to a “hill race”.

off-road is mentioned several times and they aren’t kidding. there were no roads where these enthusiasts were running and cycling; it’s all pretty boggy and wild.

this all happened this past weekend (September 4th) and if you are game for trying it out next year, here’s the website.

here’s some photos from The Tri Centre facebook page. there are a few more on their page.