‘ Why do you have to go?’ Gergő, the Hungarian stranger asked in a slightly sad voice while we sat behind the bar of the Parlour. ‘ Because the mountains are calling me’ I replied. That moment flashed through my mind while I was looking outside. I quickly woke up from the daydream when the bus driver stumbled on a big rock on the highway. The sun almost said goodbye which illuminated the entire sky with orange and pink. It looked euphoric, as if this was the trailer to a big movie I was longing to see. It felt like the world was saying that I had to have patience. That everything I desired will come my way, only if patience is in my soul. With that in mind I tried to sleep.
Waking up, the bus was almost to its stop and people were already trying to gather their bags so that they could rush outside. Just like on airplanes. We walked up the streets and saw a beautiful river across the city. It’s River Ness! The same river Loch Ness swims in a few miles down. It triggered my appetite to see more of this beautiful Inverness. I quickly went to sleep to say hello to tomorrow’s adventure.
It was just before Christmas Eve that I booked a ticket for the train from Inverness to Dalmeny. Dalmeny is the city which you need to go to if you ever want to see the highlands at its best. The entire twenty minute trip, made me more eager to walk the mountains that I was seeing in front of me. ‘Today I start living and truly experiencing the things I’ve seen behind the windows of comfortability’. Today will be the first of days wherein I start to do rather than to read about it’.
Once we arrived, I immediately went to a tourist information centre to ask for info on walking up the mountains. ‘Aye sorry love, but today it’s closed because of storm Barbara’.
I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t want to believe it. Only if I would see with my own two eyes. Therefore I went up to the top, only to see two barriers with a big sign saying; no entrance, high risk of death. ‘Don’t let a simple sign screw up a big adventure, come on, let’s walk a bit more’. Seeing the mountains from a close distance it reminded me of Kurdistan, my homeland where I was born a long time ago. The mountainous area with wild green bushes, trees and moss felt like the warmth of a mother that cradles its young until she falls asleep. All of the troubles and frustrations that we experience in our busy lives these days, will fade away. The wind helps you do that when you’re surrounded by only nature. No more phones ringing, no cars rushing to go to work, no traffic lights or footsteps. The only footsteps you hear are your own. The only sound you hear from afar is those of wild birds singing to you. How beautiful life is when all you need to do is take a breath.
After walking fifteen miles I could hear the sound of water clashing as if a river was very close. It immediately pulled me to see what I’ve been hearing, like a magnet that you put on the door of your fridge. Strolling for ten minutes, At first I felt the soil under my feet feeling strange. The path that was first stone became sand. It lead me to a mesmerising beach surrounded by uncountable mountains. The wind and water became tempestuous. It was as the lady predicted it. Nevertheless I did not feel cold at that moment. My heart was
content at the very sight of the stormy water, rough wind and calm highlands. It was a breathtaking contrast. My soul got warmer. Knowing that of all the places in the world, I was where my desti
ny needed me to be. I screamed: FREEDOM, and laughed sheepishly because of sheer joy. Maybe the proverb is right; The Scots only needed the Highlands and a Bagpipe to form a rebellion. Hell, I would start one too if these mountains are the grounds I’m protecting.
Walking for hours I was grateful
that I only took my hiking shoes with me on this adventure. It saved my feet from the cold many times before, but this moment it was needed the most. The sights I have seen I can’t entirely describe with words. For that my dear reader, you have to see it with your own eyes. There are some things in life, all the words made my humans, cannot compliment the beauty of its essence.
It’s this essence of the world I long to see more. I smiled all the way back to Inverness, knowing that this amazing hiking trip through the Highlands was merely the beginning.
How this lead me to a Castle on a Hill will be continued in the upcoming blog of G’s McTravels.