A Glorious Finish

My Oxford dictionary defines ‘hubris’ as ‘overweening pride leading to nemesis.’ Nemesis was the Greek goddess of retributive justice. Remember that at the beginning of the Highland Way, I was having trouble with my boots? The discomfort was in my instep. I dealt with it by wearing thinner than normal socks and keeping my boot …

Ben Nevis and Beyond

The boys’ search for more Munros took us to Fort William, home of Scotland’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. I had rented a house for three nights to give us plenty of opportunity for a good climbing day. This was the unexpected view from our bedroom window. Yes, that’s Ben Nevis! The Neptune Staircase is in …

Hump Day

The West Highland Way is my first long distance path.  In Spain we walked every second day for about 15 km; in Scotland I’m walking 5 days of varying length followed by a recovery day then another 4 days.  The distances don’t seem bad — no more than 22 km on the longest day — …

Niall’s Choice

We’re in Scotland again — a little under a year since our last visit.  (Sorry to disappoint Julian’s cousin Jan who, after our trip to Spain, was hoping we were working our way through the countries in alphabetical order). This time Scotland is Niall’s choice. We wanted to take him somewhere to celebrate the finish …

Quel Fromage!

Several years ago, we stayed in Rome at a small hotel that was run by a German named Carl.  Carl was married to an Italian woman.  In an early conversation, he gently warned us that we should be very careful about respecting Italians’ food culture because they are offended by tourists’ ignorance of it.  For …

Tidy Towns

The need to travel is like nostalgia in reverse: it is the longing for strange lands or unfamiliar places. So it is ironic that  I often feel nostalgic when travelling. As I walk through the English countryside and quaint English villages, I am  overcome with acute nostalgia for ‘home’ and the feeling of belonging associated …

Scottish Beaches

When I think of Scotland, I think: rugged mountains, whisky without the ‘e’, men in kilts, haggis and ‘neeps’, Robbie Burns, Highland cows.  I don’t think ‘beaches.’ I’d be wrong. On our first night in Scotland, we stayed in Dornoch, which is on the east coast, a few miles down the road from the Glenmorangie …