Posted by: christinelaennec | April 13, 2016

A beautiful evening on the Isle of Scalpay, Harris

The first of my three days on Harris dawned bright and beautiful:

The North Harbour, Isle of Scalpay. April 2016.

The North Harbour, Isle of Scalpay. View from my room at the Two Harbours Guest House.  April 2016.  The houses in the distance are the village of Kyles Scalpay, on the Harris mainland.

(If you would like to see my hand-made map of Scalpay and vicinity, you will find it here.)

After breakfast, I just knitted and read.  It was such a strange and delicious sensation to know that I wouldn’t have to jump up at any moment.  I felt as if I had never actually knitted or read before!

I took my friend Catriona out to lunch.  I did take a photo of her but on condition that it would NOT appear on the internet.  Catriona is soon going to be 81, and doesn’t have a computer, but she is well aware, through her children and grandchildren, of Facebook and the like.  After lunch, she invited me in for a cup of tea and the usual spread of cakes, which I didn’t need much arm-twisting to help eat!  Then I drove us into Tarbert where I shopped for presents to take home.  It was such a lovely day!  We walked along by the harbour, and were greeted by beautiful daffodils:

Daffodils in Tarbert, Isle of Harris. April 2016.

Daffodils in Tarbert, Isle of Harris. April 2016.

You can see how the trees lean at a bit of an angle, from the prevailing wind.

I was introduced to almost everyone we encountered, and heard quite a bit of Gaelic, which is always nice.  People tend to switch quickly into English in the presence of a stranger, and perhaps they didn’t realise that I could understand them very well.

I brought Catriona back home, and after a snacky tea (my lunch plus cakes-and-tea more than sufficed for two meals), I went for an evening walk.  I took the road to Aird na Cille.  Aren’t these trees so brave?  See how they cling stubbornly to whatever earth they have found to grow in, amongst the boulders:

Trees clinging to the rock, on the road to Aird na Cille, Isle of Scalpay.

Trees clinging to the rocky hillside.  On the road to Aird na Cille, Isle of Scalpay.

And can you see the very handsome conifers that someone has grown in their garden:

Looking back at the South Harbour and the Village, Isle of Scalpay. April 2016.

Looking back at the South Harbour and the Village, Isle of Scalpay. April 2016.

Trees do not have an easy time of it out on the islands, and many of the conifers are rust-coloured in places, due to the salt spray they endure during the winter storms.

It was a beautiful evening, and I could see the shadowy cliffs of Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, off in the distance:

The Isle of Skye, beyond the Minch.

The Isle of Skye, beyond the Minch.

It was unusually calm, and the water was like a mirror:

Stillness: reflections in the water.

Stillness: reflections in the water.

I watched the evening ferry from Uig, Isle of Skye, coming into Tarbert.  So many times I have been on that ferry, watching Scalpay go by.  But this evening it was the other way around.

The evening ferry coming past Scalpay, headed for Tarbert.

The evening ferry coming past Scalpay, headed for Tarbert.

It was about 8 pm, and the colours in the sky were becoming very beautiful indeed.  You can easily see where Tarbert lies, looking as I was from the east:  it’s the place where the land dips down almost to the sea.  Tarbert is on an ithsmus, a very narrow neck of land.  (The name ‘Tarbert’ means ithsmus, and there are a few places with this name in Scotland.)

Sunset behind Tarbert, Isle of Harris.

Sunset behind Tarbert, Isle of Harris.

As I came back to the guest house, everything seemed to be settling down for the night, including this thoughtful-looking sheep:

Ruminating sheep.

Ruminating sheep.

It had been such a beautiful, relaxing day with time to rest and please myself, and time to visit with a dear friend.  And I still had two more days to go!

To be continued…

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Responses

  1. Beautiful photos!

  2. Love the window shot! xx

  3. It looks so amazingly peaceful, Christine! I’m glad you got to soak in all that loveliness. I was able to take my 80 year young friend out for breakfast to celebrate her birthday Saturday…precious friendships with which we are blessed, yes? xx

  4. Such beauty, I dream of living there one day soon. I am thrilled to hear you are enjoying the peace and time for yourself, much deserved break. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  5. May I suggest that you daughter read one day per day of the following Blog … it makes for a great escape from the daily grind and four months later one finds one misses the routine … All best wishes Swiss Frank.

    https://searchingforalbion.com/about/

  6. Such a beautiful day in every way. Even reading your post I could feel myself relaxing into the island pace of life. Looking forward to reading about day 2.😀

  7. I can sense the peacefulness from your photos, absolutely beautiful, and that sunset is magnificent.

  8. Beautiful photos! Sounds like you had a very nice time. 🙂

  9. Thank you everyone! Yes, there is a great peacefulness on Harris and I’m glad my photos can convey that to some extent.
    Gracie, your young-at-heart friend sounds like a delight.
    Swiss Frank, I will point that blog out to her.

  10. It is a firm goal of mine to improve my painting skills in the next 5 years…..I can only imagine how delightful it would be to paint all these amazing scenes on the islands. Everywhere you look it is a “painting”.

  11. Oh goodness, I miss the Islands so much!! I think it would be almost impossible to have an unpleasant holiday there. I’m glad you had such a beautiful time.


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