Into the Highlands

February 15, 2018

 – Scotland Expedition –

Part 1/2 

I remember years ago, sitting on the floor at my parents’ library room and running my fingers through the pages of that travel book. Somehow it always appeared as a favorite of mine, one of a few lost in that myriad of fantasies prone to happen whenever I found myself in that section. It was always a dream, a dream, that both me, my dad and mom shared. Sadly, life got in the way, presented me with loss and alas new ventures into the unknown.

It took me 10 years, since that edition, to embrace the idea of Scotland.

It was on a rainy afternoon, over a cup of coffee that I didn’t drink, that all the bitter-sweetness attached was replaced by the thrilling thought of it and a true journey into the Highlands was born. Bound to be an ensemble of all those imagined reveries, all those years of accumulated stories and references that grows unapologetic in a little girls head. This Scotland expedition was in the making of becoming one of the most glorious experiences that I’ve ever been part of, and I was decisive in making it so.

The plan was clear, we would start in Glasgow, and travel north, to the northern part we could reach. It would be a journey of land, air, and sea, of mountains and prairies, of orcas and dears. I would become a captain, a lady of a manor, an explorer of barren lands and finally, a city dweller in Edinburg. All of that in 10 days. And it was one of the best.

Forget what you are told about the best time to go, Scotland is a beauty whenever you find yourself. From the wintery cold months of December to the long and glory days of June, I believe you’ll find it different, but with an undeniable charm throughout the year.

Autumn is my favorite season of all, with all those brown and green hues coming to live. That was reason alone for grabbing up my passport in those early days of October.

Picked up a car in Glasgow airport, and headed north. Debated with the wrong side of the road for far too long, before embodying the spirit of Scotland. The people are surprisingly gentle and warm. Their good manners have no parallel while you are struggling to find your best driving skills in a one-way road on a rainy afternoon of all things.

But the views. No words.

The Glengarry castle was a sight in a meadow overseeing the lake. Neighboring local sheep and uncharted woods, it’s the epitome of the Scottish look of what a manor should be like. A crackling fire and a hot cocoa expected us in the library room and welcomed us to what life in the Highlands is about.

The days were spent roaming the boat on the lake, exploring uncharted roads and forests, taming the midst and the shy drops of rain that from now and then appeared to wash away the longing of home and bound us to the land.

From there, we picked the A87 all the way to Kyle of Lochalsh. Heaven was born on that road, and a part of me was awakened by the beauty of it. It’s one of those memories that are forever enshrined in the back of my mind, that makes me love life. Being there in that ethereal moody weather could make an unfathomable man cry, let alone I.

At the harbor our next adventure awaited.

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  • Reply Ruth Miranda February 16, 2018 at 09:50

    Scotland has been a long time dream of mine, for the silliest of reasons – I dated a Wallace loooong ago, missed a train to Edinburgh due to oversleeping, failed to get myself there once too many. I am currently writing a series of novels set in Scotland, it is so good to see these photos and to read this post, immersing myself in just the right mood for the ambiance I long to imbue into my books!!

    • Reply Ana Zilhão February 16, 2018 at 11:09

      That is so awesome! And what a story that Wallace is too, it’s so strange how some people appear in our way just to become something else in life 🙂

  • Reply Juliana February 23, 2018 at 07:05

    Your photos are magical and your words poetic. Scotland has long been on my list of places to visit!

    I look forward to part 2.

    • Reply Ana Zilhão February 23, 2018 at 12:08

      Thank you Juliana! I really appreciate your words! 🙂
      If you ever get the chance of going to Scotland, enjoy it, its beautiful beyond words!

  • Reply Wendy March 17, 2019 at 09:28

    You captured my home country so beautifully with in words and pictures.

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