Escape to Nature – Scotland Style

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.  Some see nature all ridicule and deformity…and some scarce see nature at all.  But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.” – William Blake

Gatekeeper of Beauly Priory
(my bestowment, not his)

In the first half of November, 2022, my sister and I visited Scotland (my third trip, her second).  While there, I had intended to blog nightly about each day’s activities and share photos of all the things we’d seen.  Grand intentions and all. Turned out I didn’t have the time or mental energy to write and I didn’t want to ultimately end up unloading all 4,000+ photos on everyone (you’re welcome), so the blogging thing didn’t happen at the time. 

However, now I can re-live this trip in the coming weeks (months?).  At times, I’ll combine my Scotland photo posts with my blogs for Blogophilia as the prompts tie in. For instance, with this blog – I’m focusing on nature and pulled random photos I took throughout my trip to keep with the theme of the above quote by William Blake.  I’ll go into more detail of each of these visits in future blogs.

During part of our trip, we reunited with a beautiful friend who lives in Scotland and we spent two days driving along the Fife Coast, stopping in pretty much all the little seaside villages that I wanted to visit.  We had mixed weather (duh, Scotland) and saw puffy clouds in Anstruther, pelting rain and a grey, stormy sea in Arbroath, stunning blue sea in Crail and the making of a sunset in Pittenweem.

Puffy Clouds in Anstruther

Rain, wind and an unperturbed gull in Arbroath           The next day in Crail

The day closing on Pittenweem

We also spent several days in Aberdeen, during which we visited Johnston Gardens.  Billed as a “photographer’s dream,” it did not disappoint.

Now that’s living on the edge

My sister and I also visited Old Aberdeen and took a walk along the River Don, starting at the Brig O Balgownie and walking past the Bridge of Don to Donmouth Beach. It was a beautiful day for a nature walk, which began in the woods and ended in my happy place – a beach (this beach being the North Sea, a first for me as I live near the Pacific Coast and have only ever been to the Pacific Ocean).

Along the River Don

The Bridge of Don

Donmouth Nature Reserve meets the North Sea, Aberdeen

Aberdeen ended up being a great base to stay for a few days – there is a lot to see there both within the city or just a very short drive or train-ride away.  One day we hopped a twenty-minute train to Stonehaven. It was overcast and foggy and reminded me of the weather in Fort Bragg, California (albeit a wee bit colder.)

Stonehaven

We also spent several days in Inverness (technically before we traveled to Aberdeen or the Fife coast). Below are a couple photos taken both from the train from Glasgow as well as via tour bus.

Train passing through Dalwhinnie  /  View from Urquhart Castle car park

Scenic stop along the A87 – Inverness

One of my priorities while in Inverness was to take a walk through the Ness Islands.  I’ll just say once wasn’t enough (though honestly that holds true for every place I’ve visited in Scotland). And if we had another day in Inverness I’d have loved to come back here for an extended visit.  It was such a tranquil place…

While based in Inverness we took two Rabbies tours (which brings my total Rabbies’ tours to three so far, and I highly recommend them.  The bus drivers are so great, filling the time with stories, history, humor and music, and we saw a lot of different places that I wouldn’t have been able to see on my own). 

One of these tours covered, in part, the Clava Cairns (below) and Glen Affric (a little more below).

Clava Cairns

It was raining when we arrived at Glen Affric, but the rain stopped a few minutes after we departed the tour bus and we had a beautiful nature hike.  We took the easy, shorter path along the river, as requested by my knees.  But I’d love to come back and try taking the longer hike, which crosses over the river and comes back around the lower route we took.

Our other Rabbies tour was to the Isle of Skye.  This was a highlight for me since I expected to still be years away from visiting Skye.  As it was a one-day tour (in November when it gets dark at 4:00 pm), I knew I wouldn’t see everything on my list, but I was fortunate to be able to see a small part of this breathtaking island during this trip.

One of our first stops before reaching Skye was at Eilean Donan (as with every place mentioned here, more on the castle later since I’m just grabbing nature shots for now).

Finally, we’ve reached Skye!  I have arrived at the place I’ve yearned to see for nearly ten years.  Here is a taste of Skye:

Kilt Rock

I’ll close with another quote from William Blake:

“If a thing loves, it is infinite.”

This quote could be interpreted a couple ways, but I’m going with this: I’m the thing and I love Scotland, ergo, my love of Scotland is infinite.  This, down to my soul, is truth.

© Dahlia Ramone:  December 11, 2022

This was written, in part, for Blogophilia

Topic “Back in the Saddle”
Writing Prompt:  Include a quote or line by William Blake

(Afterthought to comply with topic (because I’m all about compliance😏)):  I have been largely absent from writing and engaging in social media for the last few years as I’ve been working through some issues and, while I’m not quite back in the saddle again, I’m at least looking at that horse now (a sideways glance at best sometimes, but stepping in that direction).

18 thoughts on “Escape to Nature – Scotland Style

  1. Beautiful!! Just beautiful!! Stunning photos and grand details to go back down your memory lane of this dream trip come true!! So happy for you that it all came to pass and you made through. Also happy to see you writing again and looking at the saddle. Love you my friend. Only more great things ahead for you. I can see it and feel it. xo

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  2. Beautiful reflection of something you love. Honestly if I went there I don’t think I could ever leave I don’t know how you do. So beautiful and grateful that you share this wonderful experience with us!

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  3. Somehow I missed the beauty of Scotland on my world tour! These photos are magnificent, and we at the Marvin house look forward to seeing and hearing more about your trip! KUDOS, Earthling! And I will link you to the current blog because…. I CAN! HA!! xoxo

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  4. Wow such a fantastic collection of beautiful photos from one of the most amazing places on Earth! It’s been way too long since my last trip to Scotland, can’t wait to go back soon. Thanks for sharing and inspiring 🥰 Aiva xx

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