Exploring natural beauty in Scotland (1 Viewer)

Raggamuffin

Wanderer
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
62
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UK
Side note: my trip to Scotland was a lonely one, certainly not in a bad way but a needed rip away from society / emotions just for a short while. I feel stupid even calling it traveling as I currently reside in England.. so it wasn't really that far away. Definitely more of an exploration. Either way, for me, this little segment of adventure was time for solitude, isolation and enveloping by the natural landscape.

The bus on the way up had not only wifi, but a wireless charging thing for smartphones that you're meant to just sit your phone on top and it charges... anyway it was fancy for a bus but it didn't work, however it gave me a single opportunity to look up and out the window at that time to get this picture just as I was crossing the boarder.

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One of the first things I checked out on Scotland's east coast were the beaches. Vast stretches of sand that seemed to continue for ever. The colours on the ground, in the air and all around were amazing and I learnt that MANY credited wildlife/landscape photographers are Scottish, simply because of the amazing natural light they have to capture shots. I have a shitty hand-me-down iPhone that's hanging in there by a thread, and it still managed to capture the essence...

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... on the beach you have to turn to face the direction the wind's blowing otherwise you'll get sand in your eyes that feels like tiny daggers... but just as the wind picks up, and before the sand reaches you, if you look closely to ground you can see what I called 'sand snakes' or 'spirits in the sand' when the sand that's caught in the wind bends and curves over the surface like serpents winding their way towards the shore, and then disappears...

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Check these colours... The island to the right is called Bass Rock, where you can see the world's largest Gannet (a type of sea bird) population. And Puffins! Wrong time of year though :(

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Sunlight hours were minimal. By 3:30pm it was dark, and I mean dark. Inspires an early wake up to grab whatever sunlight there is! If the day was kinda overcast, you might only get 3 good hours of daylight.

So this was the first hike up a volcanic plug, or as the Scots call it a 'law'. It forms when magma hardens within an active volcano, then erosion can lead to the volcano disappearing while the hardened magma remains and creates a land form resistant to erosion. Climbing half way up I came across this depiction of Sottish beauty, a half standing stone structure. Maybe once somebody's home...?

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Reached the top to see this amazing whale jaw bone... and also DEFINITELY cheesy stencil paint on the marker at the top... but I'll give it a pass, it shows a nice little piece of somebody's inspiration and they've taken time and care to put it there, which is always nice to see.

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I also scaled Arthur's Seat. This was an extinct volcano that overlooks the city of Edinburgh, at 822 ft, and as mentioned in my status, one of the possible locations of Camelot. A hill for magnitude and a mountain for virtue.

The walk up was kinda funny, I saw a guy quite a way ahead of me, who I knew had seen me sat at the bottom as he began his hike up. Dude was in super skinny jeans too. So I used him as my personal checkpoint to get to and pass. I was overdressed with multiple layers, boots, hat, gloves etc so as I picked up my pace I began to sweat, but I still wanted to make it past this guy... so I walked and little faster and did pass him, but then I had to stop and shed some clothing... at which point the guy must have thought 'nah I'm not having that', picked up his pace and rushed forwards, glancing as he passed me. Alright. If he looks back (I had a feeling he would) I'd play the game, and sure enough as he looked back at me still standing there, I visibly reached to get my water bottle out of my bag and have a drink. He must have thought 'safe' and turned and carried on... at which point I tucked everything back away, turned up the dial on my pace and skipped back past him and carried right on to the top!

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The peak. Indescribably windy at the top, I really wasn't sure how someone didn't get hurt - you can't tell by this that's for sure! Let me paint you the picture of the handful of people at the top scrambling around, mostly tourists holding on to their friends/partners and unbalancing them as well as themselves, tissues flying, hats flying, people struggling to hold on to their phones while holding on to the rock, let alone take a selfie with all their hair in their face - it was fun to perch on a rock and watch everybody's movements. 3 points of contact and staying low and close to the rock was key.

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Overlooking Edinburgh through the wind, cloud and rain. After my time spent at the top, and after I had scrambled down the rocks onto an easier path, I stopped to pick a flower and then did a little skip over some rocks, right past dude in skinny jeans on his way to the top ... his face! I guess my quick paced stomp up was A LOT quicker than his!

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Lucky Heather. A beautifully Scottish flower picked near the peak of Arthur's Seat. A flower that gypsies used to sell in posies around London for good luck. Has always been synonymous with luck and prosperity.

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After Arthur's Seat I walked straight into Edinburgh, I wanted to conquer seeing the old castle as well in the same day. Got to see a couple of familiar things from the film 'Trainspotting' (if you haven't watched it, it's a classic) a sign to Leith being one of them. Anyway I walked right up the 'Royal Mile', which is the incredibly wealthy tourist zone, in my sweaty clothes, trampy gloves and rolling cigerattes right up to the castle in town - I tried to go inside, they tried to charge me £19.75 ... ha no thanks, I'll just get a free picture. Castles are better from the outside anyway.

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Last thing, this is the Fortingall Yew tree, the oldest tree in Europe. Also among the oldest living things in the world. It's been estimated anywhere from 3,000 up to 9,000 years old! Could easily have been alive long before Stonehenge was built .. I bet she's seen a lot! There's not much that remains now, but at one point it had a 17.5m trunk! Over here, there's Yew trees in church graveyards, but actually the Yew trees were sacred to the Druids long before Christianity came along, stole the sacred sites and built churches there.

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Deleted member 21429

I closed my account
Thank you for a nice descriptive post. As you do most of the time. ~ peace and good on you beating skinny jeans dude
 

Phuen

I'm a d-bag and got banned.
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Oct 14, 2017
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Awesome adventure!

There are adventures to be found everywhere. Even close to home, where it's easier to start, easier to finish, and safer to practice ideas.
 

scumplucker

Lurker
Joined
Nov 23, 2019
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1
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pittsburgh
that stone structure is beautiful! I'd love to head back to Scotland one of these days. It's a gorgeous place, thanks for the great post!
 

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