Posted by: christinelaennec | August 5, 2011

Over the Sea to Harris (via The Wanted)

Oh it’s so nice to be blogging again.  Here is the first installment of my posts about our trip to the Outer Hebrides.  Usually, we drive across to Skye via Inverness to catch the ferry to Harris.  But this year, a certain band called The Wanted were playing near Glasgow the night before our ferry.  So we drove South a day early, and the Dafter and her Dad went to her first concert.  They waited for SIX HOURS for a standing place – and came back to the hotel completely euphoric, having had a fabulous time.  So that was a good start to our holiday.

The Dafter at The Wanted's concert, July 2011.

The next morning, we drove to Skye a different way from usual (still a day’s drive).  It was a memorable day, marked by three mishaps that happened to others (and were okay in the end).  Firstly, stopping in Crianlarich, we encountered a distraught South African woman who’d been been left behind by the bus to Glasgow!  The local policeman was very kind, made lots of phone calls and found out there would soon be a train going to Glasgow (very luckily she was stranded in one of the few towns in the Scottish highlands served by a train!).  We later heard that she was reunited with her luggage, and did make her flight home, helped by others along the way.  We’d been delayed by about half an hour, so rushed up the road through Glen Coe only to witness what could have been a dreadful accident, but was not.  We finally arrived at “our” cottage at 10 pm, to be flagged down by another visitor who’d found a sheep completely tangled in barbed wire.  Michael helped out the two locals who took charge of freeing her.  Half an hour, several cuts, and numerous midge bites later, the sheep was hoisted back over the fence and galloped away.   We gave thanks that evening for our safe journey!

Crossing the Minch, heading for Harris. About 8:30 pm, 23 July 2011.

The crossing on Saturday was just beautiful.  (Can you smell the fish and chips being served in the cafeteria?)  On Sunday we were joined by dear friends from London, and their daughter who is a great friend of the Dafter.  The weather for the next few days was just superb.  As you can see, the colours of the water in Harris really are tropical, even if the temperature of the water is far from it:

Traigh Iar, west coast of Harris, July 2011. Taransay in the background.

It was wonderful to catch up, cook (them), knit (me), and chat.  There was great hilarity from the girls’ room and no small amount of singing and dancing as well.  We had some superb sunsets, too.  It was like going back a few weeks in time, because it was light later on the Western Isles than in Aberdeen.  In fact, although we had clear skies, stargazing was out of the question for me because even at midnight it was too light to see stars.

Harris sunset over Luskentyre. July 2011.

We were visited by one absolutely amazing rainbow, which we could see in its entirety, although it was impossible to catch all of it on camera:

A rainbow touching the inlet between Seilebost and Luskentyre, Isle of Harris

This photograph from the end of a busy day of walking and beaches tells you everything you need to know!

Having sandy fun - the end of a day on Harris!

We’ve stayed in this cottage every year for the last 12 years (mostly summers, but sometimes Easter).  The last day of our week always entails a rather futile effort to remove the sand from the hall carpet!

In my next post, a visit to Willie Fulton’s studio.  I hope you all have a great weekend!



  1. sounds like a wonderful time…love the photos. So glad the concert was worth it after the long wait. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Wow! What gorgeous beach. I would never tell that was on the Outer Hebrides. Amazing blues and greens in the water. Sounds like you had a lovely time with friends and in nature.

  3. Now THAT is fatherly love!

    You’re convincing me that a visit to the Outer Hebrides is overdue. We have friends who rent out their house on Lewis…

  4. It looks beautiful. We have friends staying for the week and we are hoping to take a boat trip over to Lewis for a day trip while they are here providing the weather stays good!

  5. oh Christine, the photos are so lovely. i am still fascinated with the Scottish islands and have recently read a couple of books on Islay. your pictures are so beautiful and the peace almost comes right out of them. the scenery ones are great but the hallway full of shoes speaks volumes. Looking forward to hearing about the art gallery. I am glad you made it to your cottage safe and sound and I’m happy that the South African lady made out okay and also the sheep fella.

  6. I was so looking forward to your holiday posts, and what a way to start the weekend – a lovely read, and great pictures, too.

  7. The sea had a magnificent colour there. Hebrides seem like a real natural experience. It is true that sand gets everywhere. It can be found weeks later from pockets.

  8. My next Scotland trip must include a trip to the outer Hebridies!

  9. What fantastic photograph’s..the colours of the sea are quite something. It sounds as if you had the most fabulous time and the concert…well I know Anna-Maria will love to hear about that. She has seen them in concert twice and I think next time I will have to go too, as I am partial to their music too. Looking forward to the next installment. x

  10. So The Dafter finally got her Wanted concert….great.Love your trip, thanks for sharing and especially for mentioning “mine” Crianlarich…..
    Beautiful pictures…

  11. Lovely photos! WHITE shoes though?! Is that wise?!

  12. Dear All,

    Thanks so much for your great comments!

    Lisa – yes, it must have been a great concert to be worth a 6-hour wait and no seat!

    Luciana – the colours there are really extraordinary, they have to be seen to be believed.

    Linda – ooh, now you’re talking! Lewis has some extraordinary beaches too, as you’ll know from the Barefoot Crofter. And yes, the Dafter could not wish for a more devoted father.

    ann – I do hope you get to take your trip!

    ajb – we were relieved the South African woman made it okay, too. We felt really mortified that this had happened to her in Scotland of all places! Luckily she found friends along the way. Michael said to her, “Just think of it as your Scottish adventure.”

    Martin – you’re too kind! I think, loving the sea as you do, you will like some of the other posts.

    cloudbusting2 – yes, the sand gets everywhere and stays everywhere. There’s a cowrie shell and sand in the pocket of my raincoat that’s been there for a few years, leftover from a Harris week, and I haven’t yet wanted to clean it out!

    Dorit – I wonder how much would seem different and how much would seem similar to you? It’s strange to think that the Western Isles was ruled by Scandinavia/Vikings until the 15th century.

    Knitsister – the Dafter was very pleased to hear Anna-Maria shares her tastes. I’m going to the next one myself, so we can compare notes!

    Erna – I thought of you as we were in Crianlarich! Glad you liked the photos, and thanks for being happy for the Dafter’s wish coming true.

    Roobeedoo – well, as you know, at 13 wisdom does not come into shoe decisions! (Does it ever, in fact?)

  13. Christine, your vacation seems just dreamy…the lovely sea, the beautiful countryside, and the rainbow to end the day! Isn’t it just so devoted of your dafter’s father to stand for 6 hours with her to see her favorite musicians! And the caring and concern with others and the poor little sheep on your way speaks volumes about how kind you must be and a good example for your daughter. xxx Karen

    • Dear Karen,

      Yes, I agree he is a very devoted father – and now a devoted fan of The Wanted! I’m really glad you liked the photos. And as for helping others, I have received much help and kindness from strangers in my life, and still feel I am very much in debt!

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