On a gray, misty and nippy September day, I found myself standing in front of the ancient Ring of Brodgar in Scotland. To be more precise, I was on the Orkney Islands along the Northeastern coast, which is an archipelago of Scotland. Orkney is at the tip top of Scotland, and quite a ways from Edinburgh or Inverness. I felt that if you really wanted to visit the Ring of Brodgar, you would really have to want it.
The Ring of Brodgar is a Neolithic henge and stone circle, and is part of the heart of Neolithical Orkney. It is interestingly the only major British henge stone circle that is almost a perfect circle. Brodgar is a large ring and striking, it ranks with Avebury and Stonehenge as among the greatest of such sites.
In 1999, the Ring of Brodgar was inscripted as part of “Heart of Neolithic Orkney”, the title under UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to UNESCO’s website “The group of Neolithic monuments on Orkney consists of a large chambered tomb (Maes Howe), two ceremonial stone circles (the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar) and a settlement (Skara Brae), together with a number of unexcavated burial, ceremonial and settlement sites. The group constitutes a major prehistoric cultural landscape which gives a graphic depiction of life in this remote archipelago in the far north of Scotland some 5,000 years ago.”
I have seen and done many things within my travels, and I always had a fascination with ancient or early civilizations. I have always found remains of temples, cities, and buildings amazing and thought provoking. So walking within and outside this ancient ring from the later part of the Stone Age (Neolithic period), was an impressionable moment for me. The chilly weather and gray skies with a slight mist on my face, made the experience even more mystical. I felt the ancient energy of the stone circle, and it was generous but humbling.
Getting to the Ring of Brodgar:
The Ring of Brodgar is located on the archipelago of Orkney Islands, and there are several reputable online tours that will take you throughout the Island. I had chosen a tour that included a round trip ride from the city of Inverness through John O’ Groats Ferries.
Since this is the tip of Scotland be prepared for windy and chilly weather, so remember to dress warmly and in layers. Also wear sturdy closed shoes that are comfortable since you may be walking on uneven surfaces.
Everyone is an explorer. How could you possibly live your life looking at a door and not open it?– Robert Ballard
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