Some of you have asked me to post pics of my recent trip. Since I spent most of May in Scotland I’ll start there and save Spain for another post. I took over 1600 photos so will try to share a few highlights here. After a 13 hour flight from Seattle, I arrived in rainy Glasgow and took Scotrail north. The train ride was incredibly scenic as we were in remote regions studded with castles and lochs as we traveled to Oban. From there my brother and I ferried over to the Isle of Mull, rented a car, and drove up the picturesque Mull coastline to the Glengorm Estate.
I‘d rented a flat at Glengorm Castle which is a 5,000 acre estate overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the Hebrides. Sadly, these photos don’t begin to do the place justice. Epic is the only word to describe it. God’s glory was on such display wherever we went – in the wind, the coastline, the sun and showers. I love that Scotland only has a few hours of darkness in May. More daylight to savor!
Being there at lambing time was especially sweet. I came across lots of twin lambs, ewes, and those ‘big hairy coos’ grazing. They’re humorous but harmless. I spent a lot of time walking and they went with me :).
A few miles away was Tobermory, population 700. This charming village is really like something out of a fairytale. We shopped at the local market and had one amazing meal at Café Fish, voted best seafood restaurant in Great Britain. The day was very warm and sunny so we ate out on the deck of the restaurant and this was our view.
Here is my writing chair by a sunny window and a big rock fireplace which you can’t see but I kept roaring. I hadn’t meant to do much writing, only research, but the writing bug bit hard and I found myself filling 2 notebooks with a story I’d hoped to start this fall which will be published 2015. I became so lost in Scotland and these characters that more than one night I looked up and it was 3 a.m.
Everywhere I went I had tea. Huge cups of it with lots of sugar lumps and cream. And maybe a wee bit of shortbread, too.
One of our most memorable days was our hike along the headlands. Here I am bundled up against the wind and ready to go. Eight hours and several miles later we finished but only after hiking down a seawall to a 300 year old whisky cave and then up a steep cliff to two 18th-century villages abandoned during the Highland clearances. Seeing those abandoned stone crofts deep in the headlands with their encompassing view of the Atlantic was very moving to me. I can only imagine the story history longs to tell of a people displaced and scattered to the winds, many coming to America.
The day of the hike was beautiful and sunny if windy. We had a delicious lunch on the rocks overlooking the ocean and could see 17 other islands in the Hebrides from where we were – Iona, Skye, Barra, St. Kilda, Islay, etc…
The pink thrift was in full bloom. I especially enjoyed finding little tufts of lambs wool caught on the heather and bracken along the way. It was hard to leave our little island though Edinburgh is my favorite European city. And they have the most wonderful Starbucks along the Royal Mile – several of them, in fact :).
Soon I’ll post part 2 of our stay in Edinburgh…
Glad to be home but can’t wait to go back!
Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend…