dyllanne: (Spirograph)
[personal profile] dyllanne
Last night we went to Hinterland which is the old St Peter's Seminary in Cardross. I was a bit doubtful as our tickets were at 9pm which seemed really late to me and it was really quite expensive. When we got to the pickup point I could see where the money had gone. There were loads of stewards and at least four buses driving the loop. We queued at out designated time. The people that seemed to be going looked like old middle class people and students. Pog was the youngest there and I saw no other young people. We got on the bus and went to Cardross and the last bit of the road was in pretty poor condition. I can see why they decided to bus people in as there was no parking up at the site and the road was full of holes.

When we got there we were given light sticks. These were long (5ft) walking poles with a rubber grip and the last 12 inches was a bright light. I fell in love with mine right away. We walked up the dirt path which in the pitch dark would have been hazardous. In places it was quite muddy and slippy as we had been warned it would be. On the way up we could hear weird noises coming through the trees. Not scary but a bit unnerving. When we got to the seminary itself we followed the red light sticks into the building and up a long curving ramp. I was already really disoriented with the dark and that fact that some of the angles on the building are just not quite square. We walked onto a viewing ares where we looked out onto what Al said must be the main religious space. I thought I was looking down into a deep hole with galleries descending into the depths, then realised it was water reflecting the galleries above. There was a swinging censer and a light and sound show. I wouldn't say music as, although there were vocals, there were no words or real tune. Two black clad figures walked out and into the pool of water which, once again, I had misperceived as being really deep. It was about an inch deep. I had sincerely thought that the black clad people were going to descend the steps into the water which was going to rise way over their heads. They refilled the censer and set it swinging again. We watched for a bit and moved on.

As the building is just a concrete shell now I actually found it very difficult to determine the functions of various parts of the building. I couldn't tell if the galleries were real or just decorative to create interesting looking spaces. Also I'm not sure how much of the building would have actually been visible when there were still floors and ceilings. In which case the building, when it was in use, would have looked very different from the way it does now.

We found ourselves round the other side of the pool. We had been told to switch off our lights at this side and we were looking back at the people who had just arrived with their lights on. There did seem to be something profoundly symbolic of life and death in that. Worldly and afterlifey. Here there were lights and images projected onto the ceiling which Pog said reminded him of evolution and echoed the spotlit birch trees outside. I remarked to Al that this would be an awesome place for a music festival or rave. Or as an urban LARP environment. Some of the graffiti is really very attractive and makes the concrete look great.

We stayed here quite a while. Time had no meaning. Then Al said we had about 20minutes before the last bus. I actually would have liked to stay a bit longer. We tried to get photos on the way out, but the building defied us on that and would not be adequately captured on an iphone. In contrast the coffee hut looked quite festive, but there was no time for that. On the way back down one of the volunteers told me the light sticks were made on site, custom for the event and couldn't be bought anywhere. The S4C security guard had to pry my light stick from my hands as I did not want to give it up.
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