We just returned from a long vacation in Scotland. There were too many highlights for me to try to cover in a single posting. It all started with our experiences in the vibrant city of Edinburgh. This was followed by our travels around the country, including the Highlands, the Isle of Skye, and the Outer Hebrides.
Scotland is a beautiful land with a unique landscape including:
Rugged coastlines – with their massive weather-worn cliffs and their lonely lighthouses; beaches of white sand and clear blue waters; and meadows of soft wet grass above the cliffs that your feet sink into, with streams of water running through the meadows, with content sheep, and sometimes cows, grazing in them;
Impressive rock-faced mountains towering over the landscape, sometimes with their tops in the cloud, their lower levels littered with patches of yellow gorse at this time of year, and including trails that would challenge the fittest person;
The numerous streams and rivers flowing through the valleys amidst the hills and mountains;
The landscape inter-spaced with its many lochs and firths lending a unique charm;
The numerous castles and ruins that surprise you at many a turn in the roadway;
and so on and so forth….
I should not leave out:
Walks and challenging hikes taken in our beautiful surroundings;
The thrill of the challenging drives through the narrow winding roads of the highlands, with single lane roads, timing yourself to pass cars going the other way in the occasional passing areas;
The experience of being at the Gordon Castle Highland Games.
Perhaps I should also not fail to mention:
The welcoming and easygoing people that populate this unique country;
Evenings at Bed and Breakfast establishments with their gracious hosts;
The family dinners at the pubs after long tiring days, accompanied by a pint of beer and/or a dram or two of scotch whisky;
Falling into a state of deep slumber at night that nobody could disturb, knowing that there was more to be experienced the next day;
Waking up early in the morning to start your explorations once again, only because the sun rises early in Scotland these days.
It all comes back to me in an jumbled and perhaps incoherent flow of thought. Words will fail in any attempt to present a more organized picture of what we experienced unless I take a long time going about it. So, for now, I will just show a sample of some of my pictures, with the hope that I will continue to feel the glow of the experience and am able to talk more about Scotland in future blogs. Life will now return back to its regular pace, but the memories will not go away.
This picture of Edinburgh Castle taken from Holyrood Park.
This picture was taken near Glencoe in the highlands.
The following are from Cairngorms National Park.
This is the Eilean Donan, reputed to be the castle most photographed. The weather did not cooperate for the picture.
This one is from our walk at the Butt of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
This is from Hushinish in the Other Hebrides.
We climbed Meall Mor outside Ullapool.
Early morning in Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides. (I awoke at 4am that morning because I could not sleep!)
People awaiting the sunset on Calton hill in Edinburgh.
From the Gordon Castle Highland Games.
These are a small sample of pictures taken. I hope to share more of them in future blogs.