I do believe that a great, mind-opening, soul-purifying and soul-fulfilling trip is not necessarily the furthest and the most “exotic”. You don’t need – and this applies to Europeans – to be flying to Bora Bora to have a trip you will always remember. Sometimes, you can have an unforgettable great trip even in your backyard – which in the case of Europe is Scotland.
I suggest you find your way to Edinburgh and then hop on a car and drive all the way to the Highlands (even north of Inverness) and then head west to Skye Island and then to the west/south-west coast before visiting Glasgow and returning back to Edinburgh. I even suggest a rainy, misty, autumn or winter period. That, I think, is the best period – the best set – to appreciate the glory and wild beauty of Scotland.
One place that I could say that more than anything else – and this is my cup of tea – is the pinnacle of beauty of all places in Scotland – and of course I am exaggerating a bit – is Neist Point and the Lighthouse.
Sometime in February, on a gusty and drizzly morning. Take the B884 road and ask for directions to Neist Point. Park your car at the car park and walk until the Lighthouse. Walk until the sea. Find a cosy place in the wave–battered rocks and let your body rest and your mind travel into virtual unchartered seas. See the rough seas. Look behind you and realise you are close to the border of Europe to the seas. Sets like these the first seafarers to the West and the Americas must have seen hundreds of years ago. Then cast you eyesight to the west again and the angry North Atlantic waters. If you are lucky you might get a glimpse of the Outer Hebrides and then you just let you imagination work overtime. Behind those island there is nothing – only hundreds of miles away there lies Greenland, Iceland and further to the West the Americas. Between you and these places, though, lie those cold and inhospitable waters of the North Atlantic. Imagine what it would be like for those first seafarers to set sail to the unknown. Let other vivid pictures of boat stories flash into your mind – Vikings or even WWII German U-boat stories – the latter being such an inspiration. Think how it might be to live around there – in the north-west corner of Europe.
If ever a hotel is built there – it would be a lifelong experience to spend a week and find shelter in its small rooms overlooking the west and get inspiration for a book, take life-changing decisions or just have a good time and walk these lands in the day and in the evenings just read books, sip your single malt and enjoy endless chats with friends and loved ones until the early hours. As a Spaniard from Alicante had put it so well back in 1998 when a bunch of Spaniards, Greeks and a Dutch were walking these barren lands “This is the perfect set to spend some days and in the evenings find a cozy and warm place next to the fireplace and while sipping small sips of Scottish whiskey read the Lord of the Rinks”. Such a place could easily be one – or similar to those – that may have excited J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy.
I truly suggest to visit Neist Point.