Scotland: Through Wilderness to Rannoch Moor – VIDEO
In the long valley between Fort William and Pitlochry in the middle of Scotland lies a large heath and in the middle of it one of the most deserted train stations. Surrounded only by lakes and heathland, you can still have tea inside it.
On small roads I went through the mountains from Lake Tay to Lake Rannoch and then through the moor to the very end of the road to Rannoch Station. The surrounding countryside was flooded with early evening sun, and after the morning rain there was only perfectly clear air. In addition to Scotland's typical large herds of sheep, I passed several groups of majestic deer. I stopped at one and waited for them to escape. They run away when they feel a man. Here the deer did not move, just watched me for a moment. And I photographed them in a reflective biker outfit and with a white helmet on my head.
Just before sunset I arrived at the train station. Just one of the trains between Glasgow and Fort William had just stopped here, a few houses had come to life for a moment so that she could return to the wilderness.
In the station building you can refresh yourself with tea in a small tea shop, in the visitor center you will learn something about the history of the railway and the heath that it crosses. It is interesting that during the construction the track under construction almost sank several times. The workers had to create a floating raft of trunks, roots and plenty of soil under the rails.
In addition to the station itself, you will also find the award-winning restaurant Moor of Rannoch, where you have no chance to get without a reservation. It is also written in the famous Michellin Guide.
Originally I planned to drive the heath to the other side of Glen Coe along an unpaved road, but in the end I decided not to risk the road in the dark and set up a tent near the station. I was rewarded with a view of the last rays of the sun illuminating the surrounding mountain peaks, some with snow-capped peaks.
If you go to Scotland for treks, Rannoch Moor leads one of those who will stay in your heart for a long time. You will pass by beautiful lakes, in which only the clouds and the surrounding rugged mountains are reflected, you may not even meet the sheep, let alone civilization, along the way.
For me, the road to Rannoch Moor was one of the best random turns, and I made a lot of them in Scotland.
In the morning, we set out to beautiful Highlands situated in the northwest. On our way, we pass snow-caped mountains veiled in morning mist. This tempts us to stop and take a beautiful picture. This time we are heading to a place to what we are looking forward the most to – Skye island. A road bloc complicates our travels. It absolutely confuses our GPS which frighten us a bit. We are running of fuel while gaining kilometers and there are not many gas stations around. Eventually, everything works out well and we continue in our journey.
The Hogwarts School of Magic is located somewhere in the Highlands, so it's no wonder the landscape is literally interwoven with references to Harry Potter books. J. K. Rowling, who wrote the books, was inspired mainly in the streets of Edinburgh, where she lived at that time. On every corner you can find some unobtrusive reminder from the books, be it street names that look strangely reminiscent of the names of the key characters, or the places where the books themselves were written.
Are you fascinated by Scottish castles? Against the dark sky, walls with gothic windows over the centuries lashed with rain and overgrown with rich green grass provoke our imagination longing to know at least a small piece of their stories. Castles and ruins of churches, monasteries and medieval buildings built from the local dark stone are a typical decoration of the beautiful and dramatic Scottish landscape.
The mountains in the north-west of Scotland rarely exceed 800 meters and roads usually run along rivers or coasts. Therefore, I would not expect here to be as beautiful and high as Applecross pass. Let's go to there!
After a whole day in the wetlands in the north of Scotland, I headed west along the coast to get back to the mountains. They are much lower than those in the center of the country, but it does not detract from their beauty. Because of the harsh climates, heather and grass are often not kept on them, often leaving only majestic gray rocks.
It is time to leave the landscape of lakes, mountains, and long valleys in the center of Scotland and head through the inhospitable wasteland to the north to Thurso in sight of the Orkney islands. Instead of the highway A9, leading along the coast, I also chose deserted roads through endless moors and wetlands.
Our Slovenian adventure full of knowledge continues. After visiting the Kranjska Gora, which is surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery, we move on to another natural gem - the Vintgar Gorge (Blejski Vintgar, Vintgar Sotesque).
In connection with Scotland, everyone will surely recall the fierce people fighting for independence throughout the history of this wild country, be it the Norman and Viking raiders, or the English and Irish usurpers. For the first time, however, the Romans attempted to penetrate the area at that time inhabited by the wild tribes of the Picts and the quieter Britons under the command of Agricola. However, they soon found that the land was not profitable enough for the long-term stay of the soldiers, so they decided to leave the north of Great Britain again and leave the newly built roads, fortresses and ramparts lying fallow.
Early in the morning we set out to explore the beautiful Scotish island of Skye. Today, we are about to expect the rain whole day. We are disappointed by that because the place is beautiful. However, as rains are quite common around here it is nothing easy to plan your trip accordingly.
Upon our walk around Loch an Eilein lake, we return to have quick lunch in Aviemore village. Then we set out back to snow covered Scotish nature. This time we walk through a 5 kilometer trail in Ellan Wood, close to Carrbridge village which itself is situated about 20 minutes of car ride from Aviemore.
When I first went out into the world at 18, it was Scotland. I still remember the moon in it, when I almost traced it all to this day. For 7 years I wanted to go back and finally it was time. I got on a motorbike in Prague and set off for about 2000 kilometers long way to the northwest.
Near the famous Lake Ness, there lies at the mouth of the river of the same name into the sea and the ancient city of Inverness. Today it serves as a natural center for the entire Highlands of Scotland. But the city itself is worth a stop and a little exploration.