I’m dreaming of the highlands. And the lowlands, and the lochs, the mountains, the hills and the heather.
We’re planning a road trip to Scotland in October, driving up from Salford/Manchester. We don’t know for sure exactly what parts we’ll go to but I had a look at the Google maps and charted out a potential, albeit subject to change route. I’ve been to Scotland before, twice, on bus tours and it’s a spectacular country. When they say it’s “Big Sky” country, they aren’t wrong. You feel very insignificant under the broad skies, surrounded often by bare mountains rising up on either side of you.
Miles and miles of not very much, not even many trees aside from dark green swaths of tree “farms” patching some of the high hills. (Trees grow faster at theses altitudes so they farm them and clear cut them). You pass ruins of a croft now and then or you may spy the turrets of a castle in the distance. Look up to the top of the ridge and you might spot the stately antlers of a stag and mind how you go, pheasants can flutter out of the brush and flicker across your view.
We want to explore some castles and there’s no shortage of those in Scotland. We must see the Highlands, Loch Lomond and Ness and take the road to Skye. I want to pay respects once again to the fallen at Culloden and look over the Georgian Edinburgh from the ramparts of the castle. I expect we’ll find a country B&B or maybe a cottage for a few nights as a base. That might mean the route on the map changes slightly but the area covered will be similar.
I anticipate it will take a full week to cover it all and though some of the sights will be familiar to me, I know we’ll go off the main track and go to some areas of the country that are new to me, too. And because we’re going under our own steam rather than a bus, we can stop and go as we like through the days, for photo ops, for a meal, or just to enjoy the view.
Weather permitting. I say that, but even under stormy skies or foggy days, Scotland has a mystery and an allure that captivates you.
(Written for this week’s WordPress Writing Challenge – “Map it out”)