April 10, 2012

Isle of Lewis: a place of past times

Last week I got to hop on a plane (or two or three) for an unexpected voyage to the Outer Hebrides. Stornoway, the capital, is a burgh on the Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It is a place

- where people greet you with a hearty smile and mean it
- where places with unpronoucable names turn out to be of breathtaking beauty
- it is the kind of place where you have breakfast in the hotel restaurant in your slippers
- where you can have porridge, grilled kipper or smoked haddock for breakfast ... every morning
- where desolate landscape turns stunning thanks to light and space
- where you spot heards of stags at night roaming around the moors
- where wellies are indispensable rather than fashionable
- where the taxi driver has been from the Falklands to Ascension Island and ended up in the outer Hebrides serving the RAF
- where total strangers invite you to their home for a cup of tea because you ask for directions along the road
- where there are definately more sheep than inhabitants
- where the light is brighter but the winters longer
- where people speak with an accent that I'd love to be able to call mine
- where life is simple and uncomplicated and so far away from today's reality

Although this corner of the world is definately off the beaten track it is worth a visit. I promise you your Scottish adventure will be different from anything you have experienced beforehand.

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