"Im really looking forward to going to Scotland",
I think when after an one and a half hour crossing I set foot
ashore in Carnryan at the Scottish West Coast. I follow the
coastline leading up north. A herd of long-coated cattle is
staring at me with prying eyes. Along with the typically Blackface
sheep the will be my conversation partners for today.
A small ferry takes me to Dunoon where I enjoy a day of rest,
which unfortunately turns out to be the wettest day of the
week. But the friendliness of the Scottish people makes up
for it. Nobody objects when I put up my tent in the lvillage
green. « No problem. Make yourself at home! »
From Dunoon I cycle to Glencoe, the heart of the Highlands.
I stay there for four days and make trips to Fort William
and Ben Nevis, the highest top of Great Britain. For once
no challenge by bike as the treacherous paths are covered
with pebbles. I take out my mountaineering boots and moments
later Im enjoying surprising panoramas, splashing waterfalls
and colourful rainbows. I put my glasses on and peer at the
37km long almost black lake: no sign of Nessie splashing in
world-famous Loch Ness and surprisingly enough neither any
sign of the well-known Scotsman wearing a kilt! I presume
they only come out on sunnier days than these last few days.
The spell of poor weather turns into a complete week. I practically
swim by bike to Edinburg. In the distance the red-painted
Forth Railway Bridge pops up. This spectacular rail bridge
is one of the greatest engineering achievements of the late
Victorian era. It looks like it has to stand up to an earthquake.
The saying: « its like painting the Forth Bridge
» has become a byword for non-stop, repetitive endeavour.
In Edinburgh I have time to go and see an exhibition. Our
Dynamic Earth takes you on a journey of discovery from
the beginning of time to the unknown future of the planet
we call home. 4,500 million year in one day! Exactly what
I want to see! Later Im tempted to go and see a film.
I havent seen one in more than 3 months so I have to
get used to it again. I set my mind on a comedy but apparently
I dont understand it too well because from time to time
half of the audience is rolling with laughter and I havent
the faintest idea what they are laughing about!
Majestic Edinburg is full of beautiful buildings that need
urgent sandblasting. As a fully-fledged tourist I walk through
the busy streets, my guidebook to hand. At the newspaper stand
Im curious to see todays covers. The British are
once more under a spell. Not Nessie but Beckham-mania: «
Im an animal in bed » the headlines of some magazines
point out. Is Beckham the perfect reincarnation of Nessie
or maybe a Highland bull? Read more about it in tomorrows
newspaper! Has nothoing more world shocking happened today?