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.
I made my first proper stop at the unique Smoo Cave near Durness. The front part of the cave created a tide, surf and salt water, but the inner part was deepened by the water of the Smoo River, which now supplies a 20-meter waterfall inside. You can reach the first “sea” hall and the waterfall, and you can book a boat tour with a local guide to other parts of the cave.
Directly at Smoo Cave I was caught by a heavy Scottish downpour, from which I subsequently dried in the fireplace of the local tea house. A moment later, however, the sun began to shine through the clouds, providing a spectacular spectacle. The wet, rocky surfaces of the surrounding mountains reflected light, almost as if they were glass mirrors, the landscape literally shining for a few moments.
Unfortunately, after a while, the sun's rays were replaced by rain and a sharp wind that kept me going until the evening. Completely soaked and frozen, I arrived at Oldshoremore, where I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and observing the bay at the wonderfully friendly and hospitable Airbnb hosts. But just before sunset, the clouds over the horizon had broken for a moment, and the whole surrounding landscape and ocean was lit with golden light for a few tens of seconds.
The next day I went back into the rain and set off along the rugged coastline to Unapool. Behind him I turned onto a small winding road still along the coast, albeit deliberately a significant detour. The landscape has changed again and the rocky hills have been replaced by a relative plain with hundreds of lakes and lakes. However, the majestic gray hills still loomed in the background, and I returned to them on the great Lake Assynt.
I stopped briefly at the ruins of Ardvreck Castle and the nearby waterfalls and then fought without stopping with wind and rain all the way to the port town of Ullapool. Behind him the weather smiled at me again, but you will not read about this part of the journey until the next episode.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Autumn is an unusual time of the year to travel. For a long time, we were thinking if to even set out despite less dayilight time, winter, often rains yet Scotland captured us with its beauty and we would eventually buy our flight tickets. There is a regular connection between Prague and Edinburgh. Glasgow is about an hour of car ride from Edinburgh. Yet first we would travel bit further to the west and make a trek in the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.