Last year, I took some ‘time out’ and travelled to Scotland.
I have been to three or four cities in Scotland before, but they were ‘flying visits’, the emphasis on such trips was not one of a tourist, which my recent outing was.
For this journey, I simply got in the car and drove north.
To be honest I was a little more organised, or rather my wife was organised. We packed clothing, food, soft drinks, a camping stove, pans and stuff, just in case we got lost or decided to stay out in the wilds overnight.
To all intents and purpose and in my own mind, we just drove to Scotland on a whim, which is almost true, because the entire idea from initial concept through to leaving home only took about three days in total.
We had no real destination in mind, so decided to head for the West highlands and pointed the car in the rough direction towards Loch Lomond & Loch Awe.
My wife and I are seasoned travellers. we have strayed from our little suburban home in England as far as Australia and Hong Kong, South Africa and United Arab Emirates (all Seven of them). We have been from New York to Florida, right down to the southernmost part of mainland USA.
I think we have visited, at least on one occasion, every country which has a coast on the Mediterranean Sea. We have been to Brazil, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda (wonderful pink beach) and several other Caribbean islands, to name-drop a few places.
I count myself lucky.
Yet I can say, for all the beauty and excitement, the amazing experiences and sights I have seen in those far-flung and exotic places, I was totally blown away by the scenery in Scotland, the hills, rivers, mountains, lakes…. sorry Lochs…are absolutely stunning.
Why I have never taken the time before, to ‘drive north’ the few hundred miles from my home, I do not know; probably because it is so close and so easy for me to do so, I have simply never bothered. I mean, if something is that close to your home it must be boring, right?
The raw, natural beauty of Scotland encompasses every thought and notion which I scribbled about in other travelling writings. But more so, the warm, friendly, welcoming, helpful and humorous nature of the people made my visit amazing.
What did I do while I was there? I hear you ask.
Well, apart from walking inside a Hollow Mountain, Flying birds of Prey, Dining al-fresco on the banks of Loch Lomond while watching the sun set, stumbling over a hidden Waterfall of Granite rocks and White rapids, finding out where the Air Tree grows, walking through forests of lichen covered trees which grow out of rocks that glisten silver and gold, watching a great wheel lift boats high into the air and deposit them in a canal on a hill top, I visited the slowest Whisky distillery in the world….the unhurried one!.. I drove on quite roads though some of the most amazing vistas in the entire world, I walked amongst Kelpies (and lived to tell the tale).
I did all this and I was only in Scotland for four days.
So, I am going back to Scotland this summer. I want to do all the other things and see all the places I never had time to do, or visit, on this short trip.
I plan to travel further North along the wild West coast, visit some of the islands and allow the fresh clean air and crystal-clear waters to wash the debris of daily life from my soul.
I could go into far more detail about this trip of mine…. (if are you reading this Scottish tourist board? I am open to commissions!) … but alas, my wife calls my name, it is time for me to eat my evening meal so, I shall finish by saying please put Scotland on your bucket list. Include it under ‘Places to see before you die’, but do not leave it too long, because I am sure you will want to return again and again and again!