Many Scottish people I have spoken to say that the beaches of Harris are their favourite part of Scotland. I didn’t have great weather but they were still pretty amazing.
I just love driving through the Scottish landscapes: the dramatic profiles of the hills, the lochs, the subtle variations in colours of the heather, bracken and grasses, the different rocks – sometimes dramatic cliffs and at other times scattered throughout the hills.
I love how the colour of the hills are different every visit. This time the hills are very green and there are lots of buttercups and bog cotton on the flats…
We went down to Harris for the day.
It was nice to be sitting in the back seat (rather than driving) so I had a go doing a little sketching of the hills as we drove south. The line sketch is a 2 minute sketch of Scalpay after lunch at a fancy Bistro.
My wee niece was hanging out for the cattle grids along the way – “when is the next cattle grid?” So here she is pointing them out on a big map of Harris. The map shows the big hills in North Harris and the many sea lochs and beaches in the south.
A view of Scalpay where we had a fancy seafood meal…
In the afternoon I drove back down to Harris (on my own) to spend the weekend with very dear friends of mine – the minister and his wife in the small village of Leverburgh. I stopped a few times on the way down however not the places I had planned on Friday – low cloud meant total white out! But I was pleased that there was one break in the clouds so I could get this one of one of the hills of North Harris.
As for the Harris beaches – the colour of the water is amazing even on a very wet day. What would they be like on a sunny one? (sadly I had a wrong setting on my camera so this photo isnt as sharp as I would have liked)
I had a wonderful Lord’s Day (Sunday) with my friends who worship in this small church. My church in Sydney has strong connections with Scottish Presbyterianism so I feel very much at home here – well except that I can’t join in with the Gaelic parts.
I love hearing the Gaelic psalms being sung (here is a little BBC video about it). The Christian Sabbath observance is a big feature of these islands and regular readers of my blog will know that it’s a big feature of my life too. Scottish Presbyterianism is often portrayed as strict but I have only felt uplifted and surrounded by warmth as a visitor worshiping with these dear people. I can’t imagine anything better than a whole day devoted to worshipping God with fellow Christens.
I was treated to a evening fellowship as well – about 15 people all sitting around in a small manse living room asking questions and putting the visitor (me!) on the spot to share my story. A truly wonderful day!
I haven’t had the best weather but its been ok. Hoping that we will be able to get to the beaches at Uig before I head to the mainland, but if not, I have a new area to explore on my next visit!
To read other reports from the trip click here