Seaforth to sky…

The Seaforth  http://www.theseaforth.com/  where I start my journey from last night’s effort

Nan and i had a wander along the harbour front to meet people. .. not hard to do …busy little spot. . Lots of folk wandering around looking very touristy. . But asides from the foreign languages being spoken there seemed to be a lot of scots accents as well. . The reason for that was some sort of rowing competition. .. teams of men and women using proper wooden rowing boats.  I couldn’t make much sense of the rules or where the start/finish was but they where giving it thier all..
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Nan seems to be a good judge of character. .. While walking up the harbour she was greeding as all dog’s do, she even tried herding seagulls without much success!  And she went up to and met many people,  apart from one family!! She took an instant dislike and made a wide arc to the other side of the street to avoid any contact!!!  Good job she wasn’t on the flexi lead. . Could have been a health and safety nightmare! !!

So… on to the Seaforth.

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Got in with two trawler men who bought me two pints of the irish dark water.. on guy was from Romania and found it fascinating that I new the story of vlad dracul… We talked in depth in a kind pigeon english. ..
The history of Vlad Dracula is surrounded by myth and legend I had a really tough time sorting out the facts from the legends, the truth is that nobody is too sure what is what. We do know that he was the character that was the inspiration for Bram Stokers Novel “Dracula” being the very famous Count Dracula. The book then brought about the very vampires that are well known to this day and made Vlad the Impaler a famous character from history.

Vlad the Impaler -Tepes (pronounced tzse-pesh) was born in the town of Sighisoara in Transylvania (now known as northern Romania) in 1431 and later ruled the area of Southern Romania known as Wallachia. His father was Vlad Dracul who was a knight in the Order of the Dragon which was a union of central and Eastern European rulers who were a tad worried about the rising Ottoman empire.

The Order of the Dragon’s coat of arms was a dragon (the Ottomans) and a cross (Christianity). Vlad Dracul bore this coat of arms on everything, flags, coins, and his seal. It attracted the nickname of “Dracul” I believe coming from the story of the evil dragon in St. George and the Dragon, Dracul meaning Devil in Romanian.

The second son was soon born to Vlad Dracul – that being Vlad II – therefore the name developed an “a” representing the son of Dracul – “DRACULA”, the son of the Devil.

The word “tepes” in Romanian means “impaler” and Vlad was so named because of his cruel and gruesome habit of impaling humans and leaving them to rot in the sun as a means of punishing his enemies.

In fact, Vlad was called Tepes (the Impaler) only after his death in 1476. Impalement was considered a particularly gruesome form of execution, the victim was stuck on a sharp stake usually the width of a big burly man’s arm (ohhh that’s gotta hurt!). Vlad was said to especially enjoyed mass executions, where several victims were impaled at once, and their stakes hoisted upright. As they hung suspended above the ground, the weight of their bodies would slowly drag them downwards, causing the sharpened end of the stake to pierce their internal organs causing a slow painful death. In order to better enjoy these mass spectacles, Vlad routinely ordered a banquet table set up in front of his victims, and would enjoy a leisurely supper amid the pitiful sights and sounds of the dying. I’m glad that I wasn’t around in those days to be invited to one of Vlad’s dinner parties.

It is estimated that Vlad killed some 20,000 men, women and children – the amount of people he killed varies from anywhere between 20,000 to 500,000. He showed no mercy and often tortured his enemies before killing them.

At the same time that Vlad became notorious for his sadism, he was also respected by his subjects because of his fierce campaigns against the Turks. He was a respected as a warrior and a stern ruler who tolerated no crime against his people, and during his reign erected several monasteries. He was a hero that was both worshiped and feared by his people.

But maybe there was a bit more to Vlad’s murderous bloodthirsty habits than we first thought. In 1985 an Idaho physician Dr. Thomas McDevitt suggested that he may have suffered from a bizarre allergic reaction to blood. He claimed that in some allergic reactions to a given substance, sufferers also developed an addiction to that same substance, and if deprived of it they could react in a highly bizarre and deranged manner. Could Vlad of just been throwing a tantrum every time he craved blood? Portraits of the price depict him with dark circles beneath his eyes, puffy cheeks and a sallow pallid complexion – classic characteristics of some types of allergy victim.

There are various descriptions of the death of Dracula. The most popular being that he was killed in battle against Turks near Bucharest in December 1476. It was also said that he was murdered by disloyal Wallachian boyars just as he was about to overcome the Turks and send them packing. Other stories describe the Impaler falling in defeat, surrounded by rotting bodies of his loyal Moldavian troops. There is another account of Vlad accidently being struck down at the moment of victory by one of his own men (now that’s a nasty accident).

Whatever happened to Vlad’s body? Well that’s surrounded by plenty of legends as well, none can be confirmed:

The general thought amongst Vlad historians and experts is that the body of Vlad the Impaler was entombed near the alter in a Snagov Monastery located on an Island in the middle of a lake accessible only by boat. It is well documented that his head was taken and put on display in Constantinople for all to see that the reign of this terrible man was truly over.

In 1931-32, archaeologist Dinu Rosetti, under orders from the Romanian Academy, visited the Snagov Monastery in hope of discovering the body of Vlad Dracula.

What he discovered was looted graves inside the monastery, local legend told of how the body of Vlad Dracula lay one step in from the doorway of the monastery. Not believing this legend he went to the worn out and hammered tombstone in front of the alter. Rosetti found the grave beneath empty. He continued to dig and pre-christian altar, with bones of sacrificial animals.

He decided to give the legend a go – he researched the floor in front of the entranceway. He soon found an unmarked grave that was un looted and appeared to be that of a nobleman. He took photographs of all the inventory of the tomb. The clothes of the body pointed to a rich man. A ring was later identified as a tournament ring of the kind given at Nuremberg. The skeleton however, still had it’s head. As mentioned before It is well documented that Vlad’s head was decapitated and sent to Constantinople.

Dinu Rosetti went forth and announced that he had uncovered the remains of Vlad Tepes Dracula but the leading historian of the time, Constantin Gurescu dismissed these claims. Dinu Rosetti’s claim is not recognized as a true one.

Its true that Monastery at Snagov suffers great humidity and most of the remnants of bodies and skeletons located in the monastery decomposed extremely quickly and much that has been found was beyond recognition, if the body of Vlad were there it probably decomposed very quickly. ..

We also talked about life at sea on the trawler and how it’s sometimes impossible to sleep. .espiecially in rough seas. .. they said you have to try and jam yourself in the bunk with elbows, knees. .. you have to sleep with your arm across your face, incase the boat hits a big wave and you get slammed into the bunk above you!!

Doesn’t sound like a fun job to me!!

Good craic and nice folk.. should really make this a once  a year pilgrimage. 
It was still light at closing time. . Light enough to take a photo

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Saturday sees me on the road to skye… with more stunning views

Looking back to ullapool
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Further around the coast
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With moody skies

And coffee time on the beach

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Followed by a stop to refuel. …. Me …..at
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Steading-Bistro/188765081328599?ref=stream

Took the Wester Ross coastal route around by Applecross….. just so I get an ice cream!
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It seems to have taken forever but my destination has finally arrived. .camping the night on the road to the Corran ferry. .. going to see if there’s any otters at kylreah tomorrow. .

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