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Dornoch CathedralThe Gardens at Dunrobin Castle
Dornoch Cathedral and the gardens at Dunrobin Castle

It was cloudy with a hint of rain so macs and brollies were carried at all times but, apart from about 10 minutes, were not needed. Our tour in the morning was to Dunrobin Castle, the home of the Dukes of Sutherland (who are in our very extended Family Tree!) and the guide was excellent. On the way we spent a short time in Dornoch (Cathedral photo above) and passed the large statue (on a distant hill) of the hated 1st. Duke (an Englishman who is the connection in our tree). He was responsible for the Highland Clearances of his tenants. I didn't like to admit our connection and point out that he thought he was doing the best thing for his tenants and spent a fortune doing it! Aristocracy 200 years ago could not understand that someone who is happy would rather earn £50 per year than earn £100 doing a different job in a different place where they were unhappy. Unfortunately the hated Englishman left the details to his employees who used very violent means to carry out "his wishes".He thought he was a benefactor, the locals thought he was a monster! Who was right? If we found an isolated people living in the stoneage (I know they weren't in the stoneage but to a Duke in the early 19th. Century they might as well have been) should we bring them into the 21st. Century. The answer is almost certainly no but it would be difficult to resist the temptation to bring them somewhat up to date. You know he was wrong, I know he was wrong but he didn't know he was wrong! Anyway, excuses for the 1st. Duke over.... Dunrobin Castle was magnificent. There was a Falconry display but we didn't have time to see it, too much in the Castle. Great!

Invergordon MuralAnother Invergordon Mural
Invergordon Murals

Back on board for a late lunch and then ashore again for a walk around Invergordon. Invergordon is, it would appear, trying to become the mural Capital of the World. As far as I'm concerned, it's working! Let's be honest, not the most inspiring town but the murals put it in a different class. Walk along the wide, quiet High Street and see the paintings on the walls. The two above are just a taster. A wonderful first stop on our cruise.

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