While I was away (by the way, I'm home now - yeah, I know, even I can barely keep up with where I am, but for now I'm home), the Builder and I took a wee run around the Stratherrick and Loch Ness areas.
(And before I go any further, y'all DO know that a 'run' means a trip in the car....? None of you actually imagined for a minute that I was, you know, actually running? Phew, glad y'all were on the right tracks because after all, y'all know me well enough by now to know that I only run in emergency situations, and even then for a maximum of ten yards or so. Anyway, back to our car trip...)
I feel a bit the-king-is-dead-long-live-the-king ..esque. After all, I love the scenery here - the beaches, the sunsets, the moor and such like. Y'all know I love my island. But it seems like no sooner have we decided to move than here I am singing the praises of the scenery in another part of Scotland. Of course, the simple truth is this: Scotland is beautiful. Whether it's our beaches in Lewis, or the hills and lochs of the Great Glen, Scotland is stunningly scenic.
I have to be honest - its beauty just takes my breath away! Whilst on our road trip, I stopped the car a couple of times to take photos.
Okay, so it was more than a couple of times. A dozen.... or so. Well, what's a person to DO? Everywhere I looked, the beauty screamed out to stop, savour, and photograph. Except it didn't scream. The scenery I beheld doesn't scream. It is strong, and silent.
And very, very beautiful.
Looking down onto Loch Ruthven.
The hills, the emptiness, the isolated croft house ... so Scottish, so emotive.
Those who live in this home are not so isolated nowadays. The internet, roads, and transport mean that they can speak to people and meet with them on a daily basis. But when I see these kinds of scenes, my mind always imagines what it was like in the earlier part of the 20th century, and in earlier times. Was the lady of the house lonely? Did she feel the isolation? Or was it so 'normal' that she didn't ever stop and think of it? Was she so busy raising her brood, gathering eggs, cooking and cleaning that she didn't have a minute of her day to feel loneliness?
I guess she may have had seasons of her life when life was busy, and other times when her distance from others may have been more keenly felt.
Of course, I have no way of knowing ... but these are often my thoughts driving though Highland Scotland.
I don't wish to bore you with an overdose of photos,
but I can't but give you some glimpses of what I saw.
Driving through Stratherrick, we passed the Free Presbyterian church. Again, my imagination saw past days of Godly men and women meeting to gather here each Lord's Day. I'm not sure if a congregation still meets here, but if they don't, then the people will have transport to drive to other villages or towns.
And just beyond the church was this memorial.
To the glory of God and in memory of the men from Stratherrick who fell in the Great War 1914 - 1918
Their name shall live forever.
Bidh an ainm agus an cliù buan.
You fed up of photos yet?
Another isolated home; another opportunity for my thoughts to run riot.
I stopped the car every mile or so (and that's a lot of stops when we were driving a lot of miles ;) ). I could have stopped the car every yard or so!
We drove through the village of Foyers, which is now a definite must-visit-here-in-the-summer place. It was so pretty, and just beyond, almost hidden from our view was this campsite.
Right on the shores of Loch Ness.
What a fantastic time the holidaymakers must have been having over their Easter holiday with beautifully sunny weather over the past days.
And then, finally, we ourselves came alongside Loch Ness.
The sun was just dipping below the hills on the western side of the Loch.
Through the gorse bushes and the branches, you can (almost!) see Urquart Castle and the picturesque village of Drumnadrochit.
And just as Loch Ness ends and Loch Dochfour begins, directly across from Aldourie Castle Estate, is this bonny building.
I've yet to find out what it is, or was, but I shall make it my business to find out and will let y'all when I find out.
And so there you have it. I'm so glad you were able to join us on our wee run the other evening. Methinks there will be plenty more to follow ...