Scotland has an unfathomable allure to almost everyone you meet. The mention of Scotland elicits the almost universal comment “Oh, I love Scotland, it is so beautiful!” My husband, who has Scottish heritage, is one of these and is quite obsessed with all things and places Scottish.
I have no love for the barren cragginess of much of the highlands but I do adore the lush greens and burbling waterways of Perthshire. I have written previously of the absolute beauty and serenity of sitting by the River Tay on the flower studded grass of Dunkeld Cathedral. Continue reading
I have touched on Scotland with the seals, gannets, puffins and elusive otters. However Scotland is not just about the wildlife. My husband’s grandfather came from Scotland and it has always held a special allure for him.
Dunkeld,in Perthshire, is situated on the River Tay. We came here in July 2001; midsummer and peak tourist season, but the place was quiet. I just loved the cathedral, not for the cathedral itself, though, of course, it has its history and its merits, but for the location. The cathedral is separated from the River Tay by a verdant expanse of lawn. At this time of the year the grass was sprinkled with a carpet of exquisite tiny flowers. There was a bench down by the river and it was truly the most serene place I have ever encountered. The sun glistened on the water, and the Tay, which was quite shallow at this point, burbled away. A great spot just to relax, or to contemplate the meaning of ‘life, the universe and everything’.
Wildlife is a particular passion for us and we actively seek out experiences which will (hopefully) bring us up close and personal with a range of local animals. I’m going to jump around, both chronologically and geographically to share with you some of the awesome wildlife encounters we have had.
I have a thing for puffins! They are comical looking birds with brightly coloured beaks, short wings and sad expressive eyes. When they fly they beat their wings extremely rapidly, resembling clockwork toys. They are very amusing to watch. Wherever we travelled where puffins were known to nest we made attempts to see them. We had an abortive trip in July 1984 to the remote island of Røst off the coast of northern Norway. When we arrived after a very long-boat trip, an immensely dense fog descended and it was not safe for the puffin tour boats to go out! Røst is very small and flat and positively reeks of drying fish, so we left.