Thursday, September 13, 2012

Macbeth's Cawdor Castle, Inverness, and The Trossachs of Callander, West Highland Scotland

"Fair is foul, and foul is fair."  Macbeth Witches, Act I 

The heather-clad hills of the Trossachs are centerpieced around Loch Lomond which is the largest and most famous of Scotland's fjordlike lakes.
"There's no art to find the mind's construction in the face."  -Macbeth Act I 

The area enthralled the Scottish writer, Sir Walter Scott who penned the wonderful Rob Roy about a bandit similar to Robin Hood.  (Pictured above Inverness lays like a solemn monument to the stout people of this area.
 "Look like the innocent flower, but be the serpent under it."  -Lady Macbeth, Act I

But YOU KNOW ME!  I'm here for one thing... to sack Cawdor Castle, the fictionalized home base of Shakespeare's most bloody monster... Macbeth.
"By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes."  -Witch, Act IV 

Of course, when you arrive at Cawdor Castle expecting to see all this cool Shakespeare stuff... I mean, who wouldn't advertise a Shakespeare on a medieval castle?  You quickly realize the good folks running Cawdor want nothing to do with the Bard.
"The wine of life is drawn..."  Macbeth, Act III 

Cawdor Castle likes int he village of Caladar in Naimshire which is about 12 miles from Inverness.  The structure itself was once a Roman Fort but was actually restructured during the 14th century, which post dates any kind of Thane of Cawdor reference... even the Weird Sisters could have told you that.
"There's daggers in men's smiles."  -Donalbain, Act III 

The house is now the living home of the Countess of Cawdor (What?  No Lady Macbeth?) with a 9 hole golf course and plush with amazing roped off furniture where everyone from visiting diplomats to the Royal Horticultural Society visit regularly.  (I know... can't there even be a little Mike Myers whisper of... well, could they be an "EVIL" Horticultural Society...?)
"What's done is done."  -Lady Macbeth, Act III 

Anyway... Cawdor Castle is cool, but don't expect any Shakespeare... apparently the 5th Earl of Cawdor wrote, "I wish Shakespeare had never written that damned play!"  I know... I'd like to "Untimely rip him from his mother's womb."  (Yes, that's a Shakespeare joke)
"Till Birnam Wood remove to Dunsinane."  -Witches, Act IV

Of course, the real star here is the land itself, and whether you are a Sir Walter Scott fan or Shakespeare, the beauty of the Scottish Highlands is undeniable.  

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