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Gracelle
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Posted on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 18:38

 

[Continued]It was a vast stretch of grassland, its colour so pure that as though it had just been rinsed, crystal-like, the deliberately trimmed seed-bed of God. Flocks of sheep were scattered in the fields, resembling white flowers on a gigantic piece of emerald.  I noticed several black lambs among them (This was the first time I saw a black lamb). Ah, ha, was it the one in the nursery rhyme about Mary’s Little Lamb?


“Look at the rainbow over there!” Yes, at the edge of the sky was a rainbow. The nearer we came, the clearer it appeared: the seven colours of the spectrum merged into a huge arc of light beams, splendid and magnificent. “Castle!” Almost at the same time, a castle on the top of the mountains came into my view. “Oh, my God!” I said breathlessly. It was Manifique! The huge rainbow hung in the pale blue sky, the medieval castle perched on the blackish green hills, and white sheep strewed in the vivid green fields below. At that moment time seemed to stop and everything was framed into a perfect picture. Still, yet overwhelmingly powerful, my heart and soul were totally captured by such a power, the force of beauty, the magic of Nature. 

The castle remained as it had been in the Middle Ages. Standing in the yard, I gently touched the giant stone of the wall, and sensed the air filled with the history of ancient times. I could even imagine a scene: the knights in full gear holding their swords, noisy troops, restless horses, an emergency rally in the yard…… Evidence of the defensive functions of the castle could be spotted everywhere, from arrow slits in the walls to the specially designed passageways within the castle, reminding the tourists of the ever impending danger and severity of battles in those days.

While I wandered through large chambers, the typical lifestyle of the nobility could easily be discovered, a delicate and complex lifestyle. It seemed that the master had just left for an outing and we were the waiting guests. In one side room, the staff, who dressed up as maids, sat around the fire doing some sewing work. Wearing brown gowns, white aprons and white lace caps, they resembled the figures in an old canvas. Gazing at their graceful backs, I felt as if I were there back in that age.

Scottish ceremony was taking place in the garden at the rear of the castle. Accompanied by the cheerful sound of bagpipes, young women in traditional costumes were dancing hand in hand. Game was roasting on the bonfire, the mouth-watering scent wafted round, jugs filled with wine were laid out to cater for the guests. Occasionally, the fragrant smell of herbs from the woods outside the castle was wafted inside by the breeze bringing some freshness to the banquet.  

The next day, sunny, after lunch I had a quiet saunter down the path nearby our cottage. It was a placid village. The wall of the pub was strikingly spread with bright pink flowers, highlighting the big P-shaped black signboard, quite a smart match. An elderly local couple sat on the bench, “hello”, they smiled at me, whilst two wild ducks were strolling around, enjoying a sunbathe.

Shortly after I came to a tarn. The surrounding hills were mirrored in the crystalline waters.    The tranquility of rural life blended with the beauty of landscape created such a fine view. Sat on a rock, I took a photo. This inviting and evocative photo is still on my desk now. I often gaze at it to recall the picturesque scenery and the peaceful mood of that sunny afternoon.

Edinburgh was the last stop. Amazingly, the castle in Edinburgh is in unexpected harmony with the landscape. I could not but admire the designer’s remarkable imagination and creativity. The castle is built on the mountain; in other words, the mountain is a natural castle, and the castle is a deliberately transformed mountain. I associated it with the Potala Palace, the most sacred architecture in Tibet. Sharing a similar design idea, the Potala Palace is such a grand edifice and retains its stunning delicacy as well. The only difference between the two castles is that the Potala Palace seems to possess a hint of divine nature, like a castle in heaven, pure and flawless, without any trace of human affairs, while the castle in Edinburgh is an appealing resort on earth. 


Although on my first arrival I was not accustomed to the Scottish accent, different from the Londoners', the hospitality of the locals could be easily felt.

The trip to Scotland was a brief but marvellous experience, a breath-taking glimpse.



Life is a piece of dance. You need to find the right partner to make it beautiful.

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Gracelle
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Posted on Sat, Dec 28, 2013 04:24

Thanks. My pleasure.



Life is a piece of dance. You need to find the right partner to make it beautiful.

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MizzSunShineHere
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Posted on Fri, Dec 27, 2013 21:43

Sounds amazing! Thank you for sharing.  I must add that to my bucket list.  :-)



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