Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dunure Castle & Labyrinth

Entry for 24-27 Feb 2013:

Last week one of my MSc students told me that there is a labyrinth at Dunure, so of course we had to check it out.  Dunure is cute little seaside village a bit down the Ayrshire coast from Ayr.  At one end is a rather impressive square stone harbour, while at the other end you can find the ramshackle ruin of what was once a grim and imposing castle perched above the rocky shore. 

We started with the castle, and had a ramble about what’s left of it after more than 400 years of neglect and the usual appropriation of building stone by locals.  We’d been wondering where the labyrinth might be, when suddenly, through the remains of one of the castle’s windows, we spied it a bit further along the shore from the castle. 
Because the sun is so low in the south in February in Scotland, the labyrinth was already in shadow.  We left the castle and walked along the top of the bluff until we were overlooking the labyrinth, nestled in a flat ledge, halfway between the bluff and the rocky beach. 

We descended to the labyrinth, and discovered to our delight that it is lovely, compact 7-circuit Cretan labyrinth of the same design as the Murray Creek labyrinth.  As we walked our way, back and forth, first into and then out of the labyrinth, with the cliff above and the rocky shore and sea below, I suddenly remembered walking my first labyrinth on a little island offshore from Goteborg (Gothenberg) in Sweden.  The Murray Creek labyrinth at my parents’ place outside San Andreas, California, also sits near water, the small stream that runs through the valley there.  It seems that there is a natural affinity between labyrinths and water, maybe even going back to the ancient Crete.  

To complete the feeling of being at home, the Dunure Labyrinth even has a mother stone at the centre, part of a kind of altar. If even I get lonely for Murray Creek and need a real wild labyrinth experience, this is a place I can go, a kind of portal of interconnection, the World Wide Labyrinth nexus.

Afterwards, we had a very nice afternoon meal at the Dunure Inn and finally drove down the coast a few miles to check out the Electric Brae, a “gravity hill” where the angle of the road in relation to the slope of the surrounding brae is supposed to create the impression that you are going downhill when actually you’re going uphill, and vice versa.  It’s a pretty shall slope so it’s hard to tell without a ball or a level; mostly it just feels vaguely confusing, which I suppose it the point.

All in all, this made for a wonderful Saturday Adventure on a cool but bright February afternoon.  Diane has now gone to the US for a month to help take care of her mother, so this Adventure will have to last us for a while.

1 comment:

David Cowan said...

The Electric brae is more than a simple optical illusion, as I have discovered in my research of the ley line system that there are no less than FOUR volcanic basalt plugs in a line with this road, each one being slightly magnetic, but certainly not nearly enough to cause cars to move up hill - this is an obvious optical illusion, but could it be caused by the energy having an effect on the brain? Website is;