For ages we've been meaning to go to the Storehouse at Foulis Ferry, which is a restaurant with a couple of shops attached. We have called in to try it before but the queue was out the door as it's very popular. As I've got a couple of weeks off we were able to go on a weekday instead of our normal weekend and hooray, we got a table. Scrummy food in a lovely atmosphere. There was a stand in the courtyard selling fresh veggies, which all looked really good.
I didn't take a picture in the toilets for a change, but I did really like their signs to tell you which toilet was whose.
In the garden was this beautiful horse made out of metal and a lovely large sun dial.
We then went for a drive towards Cromarty, taking several detours down interesting looking lanes. The first one had this fabulous avenue of trees, almost creating a green tunnel for us. My beloved always says that you never know what you're going to find and that's why he takes all these detours.
The interesting thing down this lane was a beautifully carved tree trunk in front of someone's house.
The next detour started off as a single track paved road, taking us past this great sign for the farmhouse - note the mouse down below the cat.
Then the road turned into this, but we persevered as apparently there was meant to be an old churchyard down this track - at one point we did think we were going to end up in the sea.
We found it - Cullicudden old Churchyard. You may note two people in the picture, the man being down on his hands and knees. They were there documenting and measuring medieval tombs that have been covered by the grass and which are going to be moved so as to preserve them. It was great, we had a mini tour and history lesson, plus they took our pictures as we were interested in what they were doing.
Here's one of the slabs that they believe may belong to someone high up in the church as the symbols are a chalice alongside the pierced hand of Christ. There are also some letters on the top of the slab.
Pretty celtic design on one of the headstones.
As you can see, the churchyard is right down by the sea so they have a lovely view. It must be quite windswept and cold in winter as there is no shelter for the area.
Old headstones that are from the 1700's.
A gorgeous man - no more words are needed.
Another of the medieval slabs - this one is very ornate, with even the edges of the stone being scalloped.
View of part of the graveyard, with everything all higgledy piggledy.
One of the walled off tombs.
The bit of the church that is still standing - it was built in 1609 and was in use until the 1760's.
I love the little stone steps that lead over the wall, giving access to the graveyard even if the gates are locked.
We stopped at a nature reserve and if you look really closely, all the little specks on the bit of land in the middle of the picture are birds. There was a mixture of geese, gulls, and oystercatchers.
Guess why I have a picture of two very old landrovers? Yes, my beloved spotted them and we had to have a closer look. Apparently the one on the left is a series one which are rare and desirable (I know, I don't understand either).
Several oil rigs in the Cromarty Firth, which is where they come for servicing and repairs.
After being out for such a long time we were definitely in need of some major sustenance, so we stopped at one of our favourite cafes in Cromarty for coffee and cake.
Our final stop for the day was a Chanonry Point, which is a very popular dolphin watching spot. One of the really interesting things that we discovered there was the story of the Brahan Seer who was a highlander gifted with second sight. His story is recalled on a board as well as being a stone that marks near to the spot where he died in a boiling barrel of tar. I find these sort of legends fascinating and love that they haven't been forgotten. If you'd like to read more about the seer, click HERE.
The area has recently had a makeover and there are lots of lovely seats and gardens surrounding the carpark, and picnic tables so that you can sit comfortably whilst watching for dolphins.
Chanonry Point lighthouse.
We went for a walk along the beach to the very point of Chanonry Point, and discovered that it is a fabulous beach for sea glass, so we'll definitely be going back there in the future. There were also lots of bits of broken china and pottery which I always like to imagine came from an ancient sailing ship from the 1800's.
We didn't see any real dolphins, so took a picture of this one that is carved into stone and sits in the middle of the carpark. It has a lovely quote by Jacques Cousteau around the outside;
"The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist. For man it is to
know that and to wonder at it."
That was our day out exploring. Until next time, be good, stay safe, and have a really lovely week.
Pamela & Ken