The love of the journey {and a good map}

I always say my favorite thing to photograph is stones. I have spent many hours searching for stones – stone circles, standing stones, quoits, dolmens, almost always successfully. The entire act of photographing stones brings me joy. The destination truly is the journey.

First I get to add to my map collection. I have a great collection of OS maps, (Ordinance Survey maps) for much of England, Scotland and Wales. Every time I plan a journey, the first thing I do is buy myself the map of the region. Maps are obsolete my daughter tells me. We have yet to search for stones together out in the middle of nowhere when I will have my trusty map, and she, if her battery is not dead, will have no service. I feel they might not be obsolete just yet! And besides, I love them. I love perusing a map looking at place names, finding places you might never have known existed, exploring when you’re just at home in your slippers with a nice, hot cup of tea. One of my favorite possessions is my dad’s OS map of Kent where he lived. Worn at the folds. Favorite places marked in ink. I wish I had photographed his hands holding the map…

Then there’s the search. Finding the route, determining landmarks to help keep on track, deciding whether to pack a picnic, the important things. I love being in the middle of nowhere, with nothing as far as the eye can see except for maybe some stone walls and perhaps a sheep or two. I am always my happiest then.

And then, if you’re lucky, and you’ve been paying attention, you find what you were looking for. There they are, each unique to itself, a stone waiting to whisper secrets only you can hear…

Callanish II Stone Circle

Callanish II – Cnoc Ceann a’ Gharaidh – is in the Outer Hebrides, Isle of Lewis in Scotland. One of the smaller circles around the Callanish Stones. I loved how the clouds formed a circle over the stone circle. Callanish is one of my favorite places in the world. Their story is still waiting to be told…

My visit to Achnabreck Cup and Ring carvings in Argyll, Scotland was with one of my very dearest friends. We met in Glasgow, and drove north to catch the ferry to the Isle of Lewis to visit Callanish, and then winded our way back again. It was a magical journey with oh so much laughter and so many fabulous stones. How lucky I am to have a friend who shares the same love as I do of them.

Achnabreck cup and ring stones

We had some guide books with us, (yes, Adriana, I know guidebooks are obsolete too, but you can’t have any of mine) one of the books stated that the rings were perhaps a sign for a tattoo artist’s window. Yep, we’re pretty sure these prehistoric carvings were that, a sign for a shop window. Still makes us giggle! That’s part of the fun of it all too, trying to imagine all of the hows and whys… The journey truly is the destination.

ed. note: Neither of these were tricky to find in the least, lest I start getting millions of comments on how easy they are to find, (haha, oh how I wish I got comments!!) my stories are a never ending continuation and meet up along the way with one another…

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