Friday, August 21, 2015

Fort George

Welcome to Fort George.
After Culloden, the English set about building forts to keep the Scots in line should they decide to try to put someone else on the English throne.  Fort George, Fort Augustus and Fort William were built during this time.  Fort George is still an active army base, with warnings that you may be searched upon entering, but we weren't.

The original plans had the fort built in a star shape, but years of use and remodeling for modern guns and armament, have changed the shape a bit.  However, you can still see much of the star.  It is built with two walls, with a deep, grassy moat inbetween.  The tops of the walls have grass growing on them, as well.  On the inner walls, to reach the top, one walks up a grassy ramp.  There are no protective barriers to the inner area, if you get too close to the edge, you fall!

Draw bridge leading from the outer fortifications into the central walls.

The English Royal Arms, but not quite.....
the explanation: they have the
Arms of Scotland wrong.
In the Grand Magazine is a wonderful collection of arms, military clothing and shoe buckles.  One interesting little tidbit; shoes were not made for left or right feet, but were the same, so the wearer would change which foot they were worn on, to keep the wear patterns even.  The things one learns.

The Grand Magazine would hold 2800 barrels of black powder.

Cannons are in place to guard the Firth.  I don't believe there are any cannon balls, however.
The fort is still an active Army base, which was a little odd.  We would be walking around looking at historic items, when someone in full uniform would walk by.  There were barracks where boots were set out on the window ledges to air and modern music was playing inside.  Several areas were off limit to tourists, too.  I'm not sure what the Army does here, but it surely involves protection or warning of invasion from the North.

It was very cold and windy on the walls.

We have been looking for dolphins since we arrived in Scotland and learned they lived here.  We finally found them swimming off Fort George in the Cromarty Firth. They put on a show which we watched for about 20 minutes.  So glad we were able to find them!  Now to keep looking for a whale.   Perfect!
Jumping out of the water!

You can see the whole Dolphin.

Look closely, there are two of them playing here.
On our way out, we found the main gate guarded by Scots; barefoot, of course! Quite a lovely pair, with a third little one hiding to the left of her big sister; you can see her long blonde hair.  They were having quite a lovely day, as were we!
Scots on the battlements!

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