Up in the clouds: Scottish Highlands (Part 1)

2016-03-05 10.26.04

A beautiful few days were spent in the Scottish Highlands.

Nestled between the mountains in the town of Fort William, was a candy pink observatory hotel run by a warm local couple, who welcomed my boyfriend and I.

Reminding me slightly of The Grand Budapest Hotel, we were spoilt with an entire section of the house, with a cooked breakfast included in the rather reasonably priced accommodation. A beautiful place to stay, in an idyllic town.

An absolute highlight was our hike up a mountain – like, a legit mountain. It was located opposite Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the British Isles.

Our hike was a four-hour round trip, navigating the rocky path that was currently under construction… So, not much of a path, really!

Not going to lie, I was climbing on all-fours on the steep sections. Especially where the ice-licked stones were.

I had my incredibly comfortable new brown leather hiking boots on, and we went striding past people who actually looked like they knew what they were doing; with their Bear Grylls branded gear and hiking sticks.

reese witherspoonI felt quite proud! Was I Reese Witherspoon from Wild on that day? Yes. Yes, I would say I was.

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I did my hair like how Reese had hers in the movie Wild. And I am with a spoon. I am Reese Witherspoon.

On the way up the air was so sharp, it made my nose stream and my eyes water. We were so lucky with the weather though – the sun was out, which gave us beautiful clear views all the way up the mountain. (I even got a little bit sunburnt!)

During a brief pause in our adventure, my boyfriend and I were joking about how watery my eyes were and how my nose wouldn’t stop running. He thought it would be a good idea to wrap me up… Where photos did not go amiss!

 

 

balaclava3Jodie with balaclava

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we reached the peak, the snow was thick. The wind was ushering the dark blue clouds quickly, and not far above us either. Despite the sky changing so rapidly, the feeling of being so far away from everyone and everything gave an absolutely serine feeling.

2016-03-05 11.49.18The lack of sound and sight at that altitude is indescribable – we might as well have been on another planet entirely.

2016-03-05 10.37.05After clambering down the mountain – which reminded us of Mount Crumpit where The Grinch resides – we booked into a fancy seafood restaurant. It was very posh indeed, with delectable dishes! Simply perfect with a view of the mountains that stood adjacent to the one we had conquered.

The colour of the moody sky would change so frequently. On a couple of occasions we would watch a sleety, dark cloud approach us from between the mountains, adamant we would be drenched in just a few minutes. Yet it seldom reached us. The mountains surrounding Fort William had their own climates entirely – perfectly visible, but wouldn’t always affect us.

Getting out of the cities was such a treat. I aim to go for more hikes and see more of the countryside. After going out through Fort William, I felt refreshed and energised, rather than exhausted like I would in the city.

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How clean the wilderness was, the clear streams and fresh air reminded me of the South Island in New Zealand (especially due to the amount of sheep we came across).

I thoroughly enjoyed the calm serenity, and I would love to explore more of the Highlands.

Another post is to come about the Scottish Highlands – there’s too much to talk about!