land of my heart

We had a wonderful, relaxed, mostly sunny weekend at my Grandpa’s home in the Scottish highlands. The last time we were there we were snowed in, with a short six hours of daylight to dig out the drive and get some sledging in.

This time the drive was clear, the thousands of snowdrops were in bloom across the lawn and I got to introduce Rasmus to my favourite spots in the area where we have been returning like pilgrims for years.

We went to the Hermitage where I first walked beside the river and gazed at the waterfall on two year old feet. We wandered through the woods and gazed up at the impossibly tall trees that nearly touched the sky.

In the afternoon we visited Edradour Distillery, the smallest distillery in Scotland, and were told the romantic history of mafia links, the horror of being owned by an Englishman (gasp!) and got tipsy on the whisky fumes…

that’s me smelling the wonderful whisky-air, not drinking from the tank… 😉

The next day my mum and uncle arrived on the morning train and while uncle neil chopped logs, the three of us headed off up the hill behind Grandpa’s house to reach the Duchery, the summit! Two hours of climbing later we had made it, but the view was less than fantastic due to some pesky clouds.

The next day, after significantly bringing down the average age at the village church service and with the sunlight streaming everywhere, we headed out on a tour of three beautiful spots. We walked through the Killiecranckie pass first, passed Soldier’s Leap, stopping to sit on a random rock and daydream about the future.

Then we drove to Bruar falls and walked up to the top of the beautiful waterfall, to gaze out into the far distance at the step hillsides and snow-peaked mountains in the distance.

We stopped for coffee and millionnaire shortbread at the gift shop at the bottom as a reward for all our walking and then headed out along the winding road to Queen’s View overlooking Loch Tummel and Schiehallion in the distance, the fairy hill that one day I will climb…

This area is my favourite place in the world. It is beautiful, of course. But more than that, there are nearly 25 years of memories of walks and hikes, of biscuits eaten at the summit, cups of tea in the afternoon, jokes shared on random rocks and bridges, and the same stories told over and over again. For me, this is a place which always feel full of joy. I get out the car and breathe in peace…