Phallic Monuments & Landscapes (pics)

Ever since I took the photo below last December, I’ve been looking for a way up to the monument in the centre of the pic. Printed maps are useless for smaller trails and Google Earth showed nothing. When a friend recommended Virtual Earth, a Microsoft alternative, I was obviously sceptical. But no, it has highly detailed satellite imagery of this area and I could see even small pathways up from a loch a few miles south of here. So off I went…

The only problem is, you have to traipse along a main road in order to get the loch first, which is unavoidable for the first mile or so. In case you don’t know, Scotland has extremely lax laws regarding trespass. Private homes and their gardens are off-limits, as are fields actively growing crops, but aside from that you’re free to go wherever you want, as long you don’t act like a tit. So to avoid the cars I took a shortcut through some forest to a path I’d seen from the aerial map. It wasn’t quite as convenient as I had planned though, because this being melting season there was now a large marshland blocking my route to the monument which had not shown up on the (obviously photographed in late summer) map. But it did bring me this rather awesome brige that I would not have otherwise seen:

After some seriously knackering climbing off the not so beaten path I finally came to the monument, which is absolutely huge when you get up close. I guess it has to be, to be seen from miles away.

The plaques were in Gaelic and Latin, so I’ve no idea what they said. The rusty fence however did provide some nice foreground for a couple of shots:

Then moving off of the hill via a proper path, I could see some nice views that you can’t really get anywhere else, so I happily snapped away. Here’s the four best, including the final one where I actually managed to quickly get a miscellaneous bird of prey in the shot, despite my previous accidental animal disturbancy attempts yielding nothing. Or subsequent ones: I nearly stepped on three pheasants due to their tendency to flatten themselves on the ground while scared, yet fly off screaming when you get within a few inches. The one ‘scaring the crap out of a pheasent who then scared the crap out of a deer who then scared the shit out of me’ chain-reaction was particularly amusing.

This picture is no fake. This stonepenis really exists in Dangast, a small village at the north-sea.

Thanks for those gorgeous pictures, Achenar. Scotland is such a beautiful country. I’ve visited once and have always longed to return, never managed to do so yet, though.

The indoor ski resort in dubai looks pretty phalic as well…