Monday, September 22, 2014

Fàilte gu Alba: lakes, castles and Butoh

I've finally found the time to edit some more photos and write more about that amazing anniversary trip to Scotland! Yay!  So, let's waste no more time!

the road to the sea

Our third day in Skye we decided to drive south from Torrin to the tony village of Elgol (Ealaghol), to catch a boat to go to a more isolated part of southwestern Skye.   The drive, of course, was really pretty.  It was a short drive, about an hour long, but the usual ritual of driving a bit, spotting a lake (or a hill or some other sight), stopping, admiring, photographing, and shaking our heads in disbelief at how many times we were doing this, repeated itself like all other days. 

Though near, reaching Elgol itself requires either good driving skills, or an automatic car. Fortunately, we had the latter, because the very last stretch is up and down some rather steep and twisting roads.  The views, of course, more than compensate whatever stress you might have felt during the climb and descent.  Elgol lies by Loch Scavaig.  And why don't I let the photo below say it all:

the cauldron of waters

Once in Elgol, we waited for a bit and then we finally boarded our boat to another part of Skye, to visit another Loch: Loch Coruisk (Loch Coire Uisg), which means the cauldron of waters in Scottish Gaelic.  As was usually the case during our wandering through Scotland, the way to the destination was as fantastic as the destination itself.  The clear skies, the shores of the isle, the hills rising in the background.  And, the icing on the cake - seals!  Aplenty! Basking in the glorious summer sun.  How clichéd and obvious, but it's just so much more beautiful to see these creatures in the wild!

And once there, it was just a short hike and we finally reached Loch Coruisk, at the foot the The Cuillin mountains.   Yeah, yet another stunning picture perfect place.  Gorgeous lake with pretty islets and surrounded by mountains; quiet and calm...  We strolled around, we took off our shirts (it was so sunny and warm!), I picked up some small flowers (which were everywhere!) for a last shoot of my beard weaved with them, I swam in the crystal clear and refreshingly cold waters, and we had a final peaceful long look at the lake from one of the mountain's slopes.   I mean, we knew we were in for a nice surprise at Loch Coruisk but this exceeded our expectations by so much!   

Of course, the boat-ride back to Elgol was as pretty, of not even more so (maybe the light was different?) than the ride to Loch Coruisk:

the castle by the lake

We had learned our lesson from previous days, so after our morning explorations we headed back to the B&B for a nap.  And in the early evening we drove east, for our last castle: Eilean Donan (Eilean Donnain).  And what a great idea that was.   The castle was already closed so, instead of swarming with visitors, it was basically deserted.  And the evening light shone on it beautifully, casting the castle's reflection on the water and giving the blue in the Scottish flag - next to the castle - a specially vibrant hue.  We had been looking for exactly this: our castle by the water, and just the right time of day.  This was as good as it could get.

sunset moods

Back on Skye, our very hungry selves had to have dinner, which included a Guinness - my husband's - and, to balance my huz's Irish choice, I had some beer from the Orkney islands, which lie north of Scotland.  After all, where on earth besides here was I going to find this???

Happy and grateful for our last day on Skye, we were simply heading back home.  The sun was coming down, the sky's colours were changing, the light was softening... When we drove past Cill Chriosd (Christ's Church, or Kilchrist) on the road to our B&B, we decided to stop.  It was just so peaceful...  

And, as at other times, my huz realized this was the moment to do Butō.   He donned his black braided wig, his skirt, and amongst the abandoned church's myriad flowers and crumbling walls he did one last emotional moving - as in "involving movement" - meditation.  For me, these are some of the best moments to see him perform, where the time and the place find us and seize him... 

The final drive for our final night at our B&B in Torrin was the best of our whole stay in Skye.  I stopped countless times, took numerous photos, and ignored swarms of midgets (not everything's perfect, right?).   Loch Cill Chriosd, just after the church, was the last an prettiest we'd see on this beautiful island of Skye.  

Our next stop would be Glasgow, where I had an absolute blast!  But that'll be my next post.  

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