Scotland: Land of Heather, Lakes and Sheep VI
Fortunately, in south part of Lewis there are hills that flawlessly continue to Harris. Islanders also need wood so they planted there a small forest. Now I lay in a warm sleeping bag, in a tent attached to three trees, I listen to an ugly sound of drops constantly hiting my tent. Well, I have to get up eventually. After all I come here to learn about the islands, not to lay all day long.
Inside the tent, there are about three signs warning me from using open fire inside. But I think that in this weather it is impossible for the tent to burn down. So I set up my cooker to heat up my favorite baked beans – in tomato sauce.
Now I have to pack my tent. I am pretty grateful that no one sees me doing it. Due to the fact that the wind stopped blowing, millions of hungry midges emerged out of nowhere. They like to get particularly to your eyes, nose and ears. It is absolutely unthinkable to stay still. Due to this I ran back and forth on an adjacent hill. I am getting rid of water on the canopy, pack bars and I try to put everything to the package. I immediately run from the place hoping someone will give me lift.
When I called the Orkneys weird in my message addressed home, I do not know how to call Harris. The landscape is repealing. On the other hand, it is just beautiful. Right from the sea surface emerge high hills covered with grey rocks. Occassionally, there is a bush between them. I wonder what sheep there eat. Along the road (somewhere on it) there are quite large numbers of them, however, there is almost no grass.
In a stylish old van I ride the hilly part of Harris down to the sea shore. Right in front of us there is a view of a large sand lagoon. It reflects sun rays. IF the weather was better, Harris would be one of the best destination in Europe. White sand, clear sea make a contrast to surrounding unwelcoming landscape. No wonder that artists try to find inspiration there.
To be continued...
Text/photo: Matouš Vinš
When one is in Scotland he/she should’t miss Edinburgh, its capital. This city located near the sea is worth at least several day stay. Still, you should bear on mind that you wouldn’t see everything.
After a short introduction to Glasgow in the last part of our series, today we move on to its streets to explore the most famous sights and places.
The Scottish referendum is popular topic in world media. Even if the Scots decided not to get out of three hundred year long relationship with England. It is almost certain that London would loosen its tight to Scotland. It is a question how would Scotland do as an independent country and how its would fare on international level.
Today, we get to the last part of the series of articles on rough yet magical Scotland.
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.
Already in the summer of 2011, I was in Scotland for a few days visit. But this time it was different. And maybe even a little crazy. At this time I was a fresh adult student, only with a flight ticket to home, about three hundred pounds in his pocket and an overnight stay for the first night.
So what next you should miss when in Edinburg? For example Royal Yacht Britannia that traveled astonishing 1 million naval miles in its existence, it is as if the yacht traveled around the world for 40 times. In 1997 it was put out of service and today it is opened to the public.
Near the village is Yesnaby, perhaps the most popular cliffs we just had to visit. A look from above on wild waves made took one’s breath. After we explored the surroundings we headed to mysterious stones.
After a half-an-hour ride I get off in Aberdour, a fishermen town in the Forth Bay. I have no idea where to go so I just follow arrows of the Fife Coastal Path. The reason is perhaps that it goes along the railway (and thus along the coastline as well).
We continued along the coastline to east and we were amazed with a beautiful road without holes and patches. There are just three main roads on Mainland, however, unlike ours they were in splendid condition.
Cold and raindrops hitting a side of my tent wake me up. It would be better if there was no thermometer for knowing that it is just 1 degree above zero is not very encouraging. Fortunately, the wind got better. I quickly pack my tent hoping that my hands will not freeze.
The last part of our visit of the islands we spent on Mainland and neighboring island on the south. These islands are interconnected with the so-called Churchill barriers.
Again, I woke up cold. This time it was not on the Orkneys. It was about half the way between Inverness and Perth, close to A9 road. Islands on the north, I had left 19 hours ago. Strong wind is blowing outside. Fortunately, it does not rain.
The Orkney Islands are located on massive cliffs north of Scottish shore. There are 70 islands and only on about 20 there is some permanent settlement.
I have almost no water, no battery in my cell left, thus I travel to Mallaig, a port town from where ferries heading to Skye, Rum, Uist and other, smaller, islands depart. Right next to the port, there is a small train station. Its loading platform has not been used for a long time, obviously. It has two platforms.
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