No matter how much you plan and try to eradicate risks when travelling, things will never go according to plan. You might miss a flight, or your child throws up on his only t-shirt, or you have your wallet stolen. These things do happen, although we tend to not talk about them, or we try to gloss it over. In most cases, little mishaps and unplanned events do turn out to be funny stories to bring back home, so not all is lost.
When Coralie from London blog Tea Time in Wonderland and I planned our trip to Scotland this year, it was supposed to happen in the Scottish summer. We booked ourselves in for a week in July, hoping that this month would bring us sunshine and mild temperatures. We were not expecting shorts and t-shirt weather, mind you, but at least blue skies and some soft cloud cover would have been nice.
Unfortunately, most of our trip we were greeted with endless, continuos rain from morning to evening. Not just a drizzle, but full-on rain showers that would pour down on us while we were standing on muddy roadside stops, skipping puddles and trying to get a picture of the scenery. Photography in rain is no fun. Capturing pictures without catching raindrops on your lens is almost impossible.
Despite our careful planning, from Glencoe to Galloway to the Isle of Skye, our median daily temperature was a frosty 12 degrees, with the rain to match.
But you know what? It didn’t really matter to us. We were here, in Scotland, together, on our girly road trip through the highlands. And as the saying goes in Scotland: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.”
Screw the rain, screw the cold winds, we could still see the beautiful scenery unfolding in front of us as we were driving down the winding roads. We might not have had the same colours as on a sunny day, but we had the opportunity to build this very special bond with the highlands which seemed to reveal their true colours to us.
In fact, the Scottish Highlands in rainy weather are not just showing their raw and unmasked features, they also magically turn into a very different place altogether.
A place, where thick clouds touch the peaks of the mountains, only to roll over them onto the other side like cloudy avalanches.
A place, where the rain collects on its way down the mountains and comes together in spectacular spontaneous waterfalls that can fall several metres along the sides of the mountains.
A place, where the lush colours of the meadows will only appear after an invigorating downpour that gives way to occasional sunshine.
In fact, Scotland needs this amount of regular rain. Without rain, Scotland wouldn’t be the Scotland as we know it – less green, less spectacular, less enchanting.
And coming to think of it, all that water is put to good use in Scotland. If there wasn’t all this clear water then there wouldn’t be all these exceptionally tasty whiskeys that you can enjoy all over the country in dozens of distilleries. And is there a better way to finish a day in unforgiving whether with a warming glass of Scottish whiskey? See, told you so.