(Can I use my computer here?)
I am in the Highlands. This is why I came.
I’m in Inverness (Inbhir Nis), where I just now got access (for the past two days there’s been something wrong with the wireless where I’m staying). Yeah, you can get online at the library free, but you’re limited to two separate 15 minute sessions per day, and there are no usb ports there to upload a blahg from. Otherwise, access is outrageously expensive…the going rate translates to $1 for 5 minutes! I have wireless for one more night, and then I’m off to Orkney. Then back to Inverness, but to a different, cheaper guest house, then to Lewis, and then back again. Inverness is ‘the capital of the Highlands’, and all the railway & bus lines end up here, so it’s my base. Except when I go to the islands, I’m sleeping here & making day trips with my nifty rail, bus and ferry pass.
My response to being here again is so huge and exquisite and multifaceted that I can’t find words for it. But it’s ongoing, and it began shortly after the train left Edinburgh and the city dissipated and the hills began to appear…and then the first bilingual town sign. We went up through the Cairngorms, and since my words won’t work, I’ll show you the trip, shot from the train windows. Missing from the sequence of landscapes are patches of forest before the mountains and after.
First, my last walk down…and then back UP…this hill in Edinburgh. I was staying at the very bottom. Trust me, this photo doesn’t convey the grade. But, there was a nice view of the Firth of Forth in the background, to commemorate by last Edinburgh day.
There were fields and field of this bright yellow stuff planted in the farmland…the darker yellow on the hill is (I think) gorse…it’s blooming everywhere.
The hills begin. My heart beats a little faster, or fuller, or deeper…
…and then the forests start, and while we’re hurtling through dense trees, the hills grow.
Somewhere in the forested part, we passed the Grampian mountains, and then we headed into the strange, moody, deceptively desolate Cairngorms. The sky did its thing, set the stage:
And on into Inverness.
The River Ness (yep; it flows out of Loch Ness, six miles away).
Chi mi dh’aithghearr sibh!
(See you soon).