When we were visiting Scotland, our family did quite a few walks and hikes. We climbed up mountains and cliffs, went to look for castles and waterfalls, we walked by the lochs and old ruins.
We also went looking for standing stones and stone circles!
These were not particularly famous standing stones in Scotland. We just went to look at them because they were marked on a tourist map, near to where we were staying.
In all honesty, they were a bit underwhelming.
They weren’t perched on a cliff. They weren’t on top of a hill. They weren’t surrounded by a pretty forest. There was no information board explaining the history of the stones.
They just looked like some medium-sized rocks in a farmer’s sheep paddock.
(Maybe the local sheep farmer used a bulldozer to make a circle of rocks to attract tourist like us??)
They weren’t exactly the best example of stone circles for our kids to see.
NONETHELESS, we discussed their possible age, mythology, history and local folklore around the stones – and if we used our imagination, it was kind of amazing to think what they could have meant and how long they could have been there.
Now before I left for Scotland, a few of my girlfriends alerted me to the “Outlander Phenomenon”.
There is a book series called “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon, about a 20th century nurse who, while holidaying in Scotland, touches a standing stone and gets transported back in time to 18th century Scotland, where she meets a rugged Scottish hunk and falls in love. It’s a historical fiction / romance / adventure type novel – which I read in 2001!
What I didn’t know was… it was turned into a TV series and everyone is quick to describe it to me in five words: Sexy. Erotic. Hot, Scottish guys.
Apparently the tv series is rather sexy… and there’s a lot of sex in it.
And apparently it’s been SO popular, that you can now go on “Outlander Tours of Scotland”, see some of the Scottish Highland locations from the novel and you know, touch some erect, standing stones ha!
So what do you know, I was going to some of those places.
With all that in mind, (and not having seen the TV series), I sent some totally innocent photos of ME TOUCHING A STANDING STONE to my girlfriends, which made them hoot and snort with laughter.
Ah, what are girlfriends for?!
(No one seems to know the exact purpose or function of a standing stone, so if they ever find out and it’s something sacred, I do apologise for making light of the whole situation!)