June 21st 2014: Wick and around Caithness

Our first order of business this morning was to visit the Gunn Clan museum, who I’m distantly part of. My great-great-great grandfather immigrated from Scotland during the Clearances, and we’d always wanted to come back and look at our ancestral stomping ground. The museum was in an old church looking down on the sea, surrounded by green fields.

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It was small, but had nice displays about the original Norwegian Gunns, the conflicts with the other clans and all the loosely affiliated names and people. Then we went searching for our “castle”, which was destroyed by the Keiths. We found two mildly promising ruins, one defended by cows and the other by rusty old farm equipment. It was fun anyways.

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You see that pile of rocks completely surrounded by cows? That’s ours!

For lunch we bought crab sandwiches at a pretty little harbour, then drove north to Duncansby Head, near John o’Groats. Home to big cliff formations (the witches’ hats) and nesting birds, it was very pretty!

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You could see the Orkneys straight across the strait.Then we went to the Castle of Mey, where the Queen Mother had lived. East of there was Dunnet Head, our next stop and the most northern part of mainland Britain. Looking back, we were looking at all of Scotland and England, where we’ve been for the last couple weeks. Just down the coast was our last visit, the town of Thurso. It was dead quiet when we arrived, so we went down on to the sandy beach. On the way back up, we saw and heard some bagpipers. Scotland!

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