I cannot tell you what attracts me so much about Scotland, what makes me want to go back so many times. What was it about the old fairytale like streets of Edinburgh, the gothicism of its cemeteries. I have seen the cutest old towns in so many other places, and London is rich in beautiful cemeteries. Was it the mess of Glasgow, the industrial and yet somehow artistic atmosphere of its boroughs? No… it was the mountains. And yet I have seen mountains. In my own country, in Switzerland…but those highlands. They conquered a place in my heart for some reason. Was it the greenery of those slopes? Not quite green at the time… yellowish from the cold winter. I guess I felt those rocks had emotions. Sentiment. So many stories to tell, so many whispers, secrets well kept in the sealed lips of Nature.
So my eyes are always set in going back to Scotland. And for three years now, reaching the famous Isle of Skye. So, I got into a plane to Inverness, I took a day tour with Rabbies, the same company I had used a couple years ago to visit the Loch Ness from Edinburgh, and got to Isle of Skye.
This is the place where the winds from the west transform the weather in seconds in such a way you can literally experience the four seasons in one hour. That was exactly what I felt – be prepared for wind and cold, even in a summer day. In these parts, summer is not a thing – take some waterproof clothing wiht you as well, as I’m pretty sure it will rain. If not, it would be a wet wind, that will soak you to the bone without you even notice.
People have demonstrated some sort of surprise when I said I was heading north to Inverness, to visit the Isle of Skye. I guess most see it as a boring destination, for old people looking for a peaceful place to retired. But my guide also said how this place has been attracting what he called “sensitive souls”, personalities of the Arts. I guess that is why it attracts me so much. Deep down, that’s what I am. A sensitive soul, that is so easily seduced and touched by the beauty of it. It inspires me. It makes me humble. It makes me want to write about it, to shot it. It brings up in me what makes humans so special – what we believe to be the existence of a soul.
This is truly a magical place. The misty slopes won’t reveal their secrets easily to the commoners eye. This is a land of pagans, a land belonging to the Nature only and who knows what creatures, aside from cows, sheeps and eagles.
It does spike the imagination. I could think of witchcraft and magic spells whispered in the winds from the mouths of witches. Hiding in the rocks, coming out at moonlight to praise their gods. I could also think of the gods indeed – this could be there place, their Olimpo. The Norse gods. The Vikings. Elves. And in those deep waters, who knows what one might find? Tritons and mermaids, monsters and wonders of such kind?
My experience of Skye was very limited tough. I really wished I had the means to rent a car, to be unafraid to drive on the left side of the road in the mountains. I would then be able to stop wherever I wanted, to spend the time I wanted taking the shots I really really wanted. This was sort of a taster. Perhaps the future will be kind enough to provide me with such opportunity.
But the other thing you need to know about Skye is that it receives every year more people that it can afford. With only about 10,000 inhabitants, Skye gets 10 times the number of visitors per year. And this is about to change for worst – not sure if you heard, the the million dollar series of Lord of the Rings produced by Amazon will be filmed here. It will attract thousands of fans, adding up to the increase of tourism in the past few years. It got me worried about the impact this will have in the island. I’m afraid of hearing about such natural and pure beauty being destroyed in prol of road and mass hotel construction. Once again I’m afraid of my own species. I’m afraid another paradise is jeopardised by the ambition of men.
And I’m hoping that won’t be the case. There aren’t many paradises left on earth. Don’t take Skye away from us. Even if that means I might be able not to visit it anymore.