Thursday, 22 September 2011

Ben Dorain

GB and I had our first trip to Scotland in the early 1960s (any photos GB?) with Mum, Dad, family friend, Phil Moss, and a caravan. It was great fun and a lot easier to stop by the side of the road in those days. Phil’s Rollei with its square format slides was in use frequently. Unfortunately, when Phil died his slides disappeared so we have no record from his perspective. On our way up through Scotland in July GB and I could not resist stopping to take a picture or two of one of Phil’s favourite mountains – Ben Dorain.

Ben Dorain (Gaelic: Beinn Dòbhrain 'hill of the streamlet' or 'hill of the otters'), is a mountain located in the Bridge of Orchy hills of Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It is one of the most recognisable mountains in Scotland, as it curves gracefully up from the West Highland Way. It is the subject of Duncan Ban MacIntyre's best known Gaelic poem, "Moladh Beinn Dòbhrainn" (English: "In Praise of Ben Dorain"); MacIntyre had worked as a gamekeeper in these parts.

An t-urram thar gach beinn
Aig Beinn Dòbhrain;
De na chunnaic mi fon ghrèin,
'S i bu bhòidhche leam…

English translation:
Honour beyond each ben
for Ben Dorain;
Of all I have seen beneath the sun,
she is the most glorious for me.

The English composer Ronald Stevenson composed a work for full chorus, chamber chorus, symphony orchestra and chamber orchestra based on MacIntyre's poem in 2007.


  1. What glorious photos. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Thank you, Brought back memories for me. I don't recall it looking like that though. It's usually wetter.

  3. Lots odf charactor in that hill. And a perfectly exposed sky behind it!

  4. How very interesting - a mountain is female in Gaelic! In every language I know, mountains are male: Der Berg, le mont, il monte...
    It looks a fascinating and beautiful landscape. Ben Dorain is like "THE" mountain; if one had to explain the word mountain in a game or to a foreigner, one would draw it just like that on a piece of paper.

  5. I have pictures of Ben Dorian but they are not scanned yet. I was hoping to do a post before I came to France. I'll find them and do one after I get back to Lewis.

  6. I had a strong urge to get my walking boots on, merci beaucoup,



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