It is so hard to try and capture in one blog all I experienced during the six months I spent in Scotland. I have decided, possibly to appease myself alone, that I will begin with a tiny collection of photographs, whittled down for the mass of over 800 pictures I took, to give a glimpse into some of wonders that enticed my eyes and excited my soul one year ago in Scotland. I will say again this is barely scratching the surface and I will do in time a series of compartmentalized posts to document my many exploits and adventures.
To begin I lived on site in a farmhouse provided by the company I worked for for the first two weeks of my six months. I arrived to snow and no heating so it was a system shock to be sure however with a location out of a novel there was no way possible to complain.
The first spectacular sight I saw was Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven which was located just down the road from where I worked in Glenbervie and beautifully on the coast. I returned to this stunning site several times and each time found peace and awe.
Next I ventured to Edinburgh for the first of many trips and was instantly and forever more captivated by the city.
My roommate and I made an eventful journey to Balmoral beginning with a bus crash, failure to get off at the correct stop and ending in a hike through a golf course and village on the Balmoral estate. Never a dull moment.
As luck would have it the indescribable life-force that is my friend Cian bough a car whilst in Scotland and so a traveling team was assembled and a start to many adventures was made. First we ventured cross country from Aberdeen to Fort William, we stayed a night then drove through Glencoe, took a gondola then hiked to a peak of Ben Nevus. After this we returned to the car and ventured north to the Isle of Skye. We spent two nights here and drove the entire and I do mean entire Island. We stopped constantly and with Cian at the wheel, an experience both utterly enjoyable and terrifying, saw such sight I dared dream possible.
A photo taken along our journey, such beauty was everywhere.
The Isle of Skye
Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye and its grounds
Its just rude not to dip ones toes in the North Sea, although it is incredibly cold.
One of my little sisters joined me in Scotland and together we boarded a bus early one morning, followed a line and got on and off at various locations. It was a satisfyingly hot day, illuminating the surroundings magically and allowing for precious memories to be created. I value that trip dearly. Here is a picture taken whilst wandering through the grounds of the incredible and impressive Fyvie castle. Also the lavish Duff house which is still a breathing time capsule of 18 century art and culture. Both were polar opposite dwellings, one a medieval castle of powerful presence and the other a symmetrical relic of true opulence and British nobility. We also visited Braemar castle and Craigievar Castle during our time together.
My final road trip saw us once again pile into the car and travel this time first to Sterling for a night and a suitable amount of walking to patrol the town. Then we drove with no definite plan but ultimately arriving at Loch Lomond. After much effort we secured a boat and ventured out on the very rough waters. We pulled our vessel onto numerous shores of small islands dotted within the Loch and took to what can only be described as exploring other worlds. We hiked trails only traversed by the island inhabitants, the goats and took in panoramas second to none. We dined at the very opulent Cameron House Hotel, an occasion for which my damp tracksuit was most definitely not suitable. Finally we attempted to drive to our next residence on the trip only to find the road impassable. We then hiked uphill, in the dark with absolute total uncertainty if we were even headed in the general direction of our hostel. Three hours and a lot of fear later we arrived. After surviving the night we awoke to a valley that was transformed by light to something truly special.
This again does not even come close to a summary but it seems ridiculous to make a post excessively long and most probably boring so for now I shall leave my adventures as to be detailed more fully and continued in the near future. I cherished every moment of my time in Scotland and hope sharing it brings a little joy and fire to travel and explore yourself.