Scotland: Fort William, Ben Nevis & Stirling
August 14, 2014 § 1 Comment
I went to Scotland few months back, specifically to Fort William which is where Ben Nevis, the UK’s tallest mountain is situated. Unfortunately I never finished the post for this trip, so here is condensed version of what I wanted to write.
My brother had a bike race deep in the Scottish highlands near Fort William, which is a settlement on the shores of Loch Linnhe. Basically next to huge lake.
The journey was about 8 hours by car, needless to say I slept through some it, and I tell you it wasn’t a pleasant sleep. I slept more out of necessity ( I wouldn’t be able to see anything in the dark anyway) because I wanted to feel awake when we arrived to our campsite. I hate to sleep on long car journeys, the idea of missing out on epic scenery is just too sad.
Scotland did not disappoint, I had never been to Scotland before, and honestly I didn’t know what to expect, except of course dramatic landscapes.
I still can’t decide which was more breathtaking: the huge open spaces with river and lakes, surrounded by mountains- or the sheer isolation and barrenness of the beautiful land formation.
When we arrived our accommodation of choice was a static caravan, it really felt like home after a week there. It wasn’t luxury, but we were out most of the day so it didn’t matter. Who needs luxury to have a good time?
Here are some photos from our trip, driving to and from Fort William.
My father, sister and I also decided that we would climb Ben Nevis, the UK’s tallest mountain. Unfortunately we didn’t have the right clothing and shoes so we went into town and bought waterproof jackets, trousers and hiking boots.
It took us around 8 hours to walk up and then walk down. There is a path carved into the side of the mountain, snaking back and forth up the side. When we got close to the summit, about 40 minutes walk from the top there are snow fields which you have to plough through (not the easiest thing even with hiking boots). It was crazy because depending on high up you were the snow was all different, some was loose and icy while higher up it was fluffy and airy.
We pretty much experienced 4 seasons in one day. It was amazing to see the formation of clouds in front of your own eyes, like a time lapse clip of nature. Sometimes a mist would come in and the entire view would disappear, and then it would rain and a gap in the clouds would slowly get bigger revealing a sunlit valley. At one point there was an intense storm of hailstones, and at the top (when we finally reached it) there was a full snow storm. Meanwhile in the valleys it would rain and the sun would shine.
Throughout the climb perseverance was the key, something I learned from Tae Kwon Do. I didn’t know how far up I was or how much further I had to go, but I told myself to keep going. I had never walked that long in my life. And people climb mountains- climb-not walk up.
Photos from Ben Nevis:
On the way home, we stopped by in Stirling. A city famous for the William Wallace monument. If you have watched Braveheart with Mel Gibson, the film was based on this man. He led a rebellion against English King Edward I, and defeated the English army at Stirling Bridge with his legion of followers. He is a patriot a national hero of Scotland. Unfortunately he was executed in 1305 and hung, drawn and quartered with his limbs displayed in different parts of the country.
Hope you enjoyed the photos.