Before I started vagabonding in a tiny trailer, I traveled around the world as part of my job. When my responsibilities extended to Dublin, I took the opportunity to jump on over to Scotland and visit what became one of my favorite places on the planet: the Outer Hebrides. It was a total bucket list destination for me and it did not disappoint in any way. So while I’m on vacation this week, I’m sharing a series of memories of that trip, which was five years ago this month.
After a few days in Edinburgh, I made a mad dash up and across the country where I caught the late afternoon ferry from Ullapool to Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis. I’d waited a overly long time in Edinburgh for an automatic (not stick shift) rental car and had missed my first choice of a ferry from Skye so Ullapool was my last shot at getting to Lewis before the next morning.
After a day filled with rain, the clouds lifted just a bit and I waved goodbye from the stern of the ferry to the mainland I was leaving behind me for a week on the islands of the Outer Hebrides.
The ferry was huge, with all the cars locked below decks for most of the 2-3 hour voyage. I wandered the decks and snapped the nautical chart showing where we had begun. Lots of little islands for captain and crew to avoid. When I asked, a crew member said we were taking the lower route this trip.
For one brief, glorious moment, the sun came out and lit up the sky. It’s a wonder the ferry didn’t list to starboard, as I think every passenger was outside enjoying the break in the rain and the sight of blue skies overhead.
This time of year, the sun doesn’t set till 10PM, so it was still somewhat light as we approached Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis. I had an hour to drive before I could stop for the day, but thanks to a quick telephone call from the mainland before I left, I knew the person renting me a croft house for the week would be waiting up for me when I arrived.
I’ve got no photos of me driving across the Isle of Lewis from south to north because I was so busy trying not to miss the turns. There are few roads, so missing a turn means going a long way before there’s a chance to reverse direction.
I went back a few days later and did take photos, and this was my favorite along the route I took that night.
In Scotland, there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing.