This Side of Paradise

A fourth year sheds light on the beauties of the Highlands of Scotland.

As soon-to-be graduate the looming feeling of finality (I’ll never be this carefree, I only have four months left in St Andrews therefore I need to have a bucket list, I don’t want to face the ‘real world’, I like my Bubble just fine thank you very much, etc…) inspired a group of us fourth years to explore a little more of Scotland, pushing us to wander beyond the boundaries of the Kingdom of Fife. We aimed to go north. Beyond Glasgow. On the west coast. It was definitely unknown territory, and when we found ourselves on a three-hour bus from Glasgow to Fort William in the dark, we had absolutely no idea what to expect.

We arrived at Ardgour House in the evening, enveloped by darkness and completely disoriented. It wasn’t until the next morning that we realised that the house was placed at the foot of a towering hill (perhaps a mountain by Scottish standards), adorned with a majestic waterfall, and snowy peaks. The surrounding scenery was just as magnificent and breathtaking. It was a complete surprise to our uninformed and ignorant selves to discover such beauty.

Ardgour, or Ard Ghobhar in Scottish Gaelic, is a small town on the Ardnamurchan penisula. Almost an island considering that the area is practically completely surrounded by sea lochs, it is wild and raw. The colours of the flora range from the deepest reds and browns, to startling emerald greens, only to plunge into the dark azure of the waters. Although this area may seem remote to us now, thanks to its single track road and poor land access it used to be one of the strongholds of the ‘power barons’ (a.k.a. the Bravehearts) of the past.

Over the course of the five days we explored the surrounding areas (weather-permitting, of course) and found that the surrounding area had everything you could ever want from a landscape:

 

Sea Lochs

 

Fields and Mountains

Waterfalls and Rainbows

And these are only a few sneak peeks of the area. Therefore, first years, second years, third years… You don’t have to be on the brink of graduation to begin feeling a sense of impending nostalgia for this beautiful country. Go out now and explore, because it has much more to offer than you could ever imagine.

 

Maria-Christina Marchi

Images – Maria-Christina Marchi

One Comment

  1. How beautiful!