The it dawned on my dream self that I was on the main island of the Orkneys.
I woke way too early and rather disturbed. The Orkneys are not a place I dream about (usually), and not a place I'm eager to return to, although I must say it is one of the more fascinating places I've been.
I went a few years ago because I wanted to see a stone circle but not deal with the crowds and car parks of Stonehenge. And Orkney has two circles, nearly side-by-side, that only get a handful of visitors each year. It's a journey to get there. And despite it's strangely beautiful landscape and wonderful residents, it's not the most welcoming place on the planet. Even in June, it's damp, cool and fog-shrouded, creepy in a Gettysburg Battlefield sort of way.
Additionally, when I was there, night was only a few hours long (it was light at 11 p.m. and the sun sorta lingered on the horizon until it "rose" again by 3 or 4 a.m.). I hadn't been so twitchy since Mannie and I shared a pot of Ginseng tea years ago.
Oddly, the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness are the only non-creepy places on the island. The Ring is complete enough that when you walk around it - in a clockwise pattern, please - you get a sense of what it was supposed to be. Archaeologists still debate what it was used for. Recent work has shown a thriving settlement all around the Stenness Stones (about a 1/2 mile down the road). But there's a point where all habitation ceases. One woman was quoted as saying it was as if someone drew a line around Brodgar and no one crossed it.
If you ever get the chance to go, go. Because it's the kind of place that will haunt your dreams and wake you up way to early on a work day and make you wish you could be there.