Thursday, April 13, 2006

Eilean Shona


Some places are out of, and beyond, time. Tourists don’t discover them, preferring the obvious landscapes that are ingrained in the popular memory, or those that are promoted as national icons.

I haven’t been to the central highlands of Vietnam, or slept on a Kashmir houseboat. I probably will get round to doing these things, when I can find the time, and when funds permit. In the interim I have to be content with the local and intimate. It’s a worthwhile exercise to contemplate what is on your doorstep.

Patrick Kavanagh bemoaned the fact that he had rejected the landscape of his birth: had ‘flung her from me and called her a ditch, although she was smiling at me with violets’. It’s easy to overlook what is outside your own front door, and aspire to things that are promoted as superior.

Eilean Shona, on the west coast of Scotland, doesn’t appear on many tourist maps. It should . J M Barrie, author of Peter Pan, spent time on the island, and it may be the inspiration for Neverland.

The island is owned by the Branson family. It lies across a short stretch of water from Castle Tioram, a twelfth century castle in a ruinous condition. While the tourist hoards descend on the obvious sites, it is possible to experience this sublime place, even at the height of the tourist season, in something approaching seclusion.

8 comments:

Kyahgirl said...

I love it when you introduce us to places in Scotland garfer. Your pictures are beautiful and strangely, always remind me of B.C. around where I grew up.

Arabella said...

This has set me off day-dreaming; Tobermory, Tobermory, Tober.....

suburban wonder said...

Oooh, pretty!

First Nations said...

beautiful, garfer. i'm with kyahgirl on this one. it does look like b.c., but dang....a castle!

slap me happy said...

Love all this info, how did you find out about this place. Lived in Scotland for 24 years of my life (now in Australia) and on the west coast too but never ever heard of this place before. Beautiful picture. Thank you

MHN for short said...

Garfer Darling,

Everytime you post a pic it is beautiful beyong my comprehension, and I have a great capacity for the said comprehension. You are making Scotland a more desirable destination with every post and picture. You are quite fortunate to live among such beauty.


I'm jealous.

Rowan said...

INteresting that you should mention this, I was thinking along similar lines recently when trying to decide what kind of tourism Canada offers...besides Muskoka area, I don't think we're known for much abroad. Then, I sat and looked at my surroundings as I do when I first step off a plane into a foreign land and took in the sights and smells. To someone visiting canada, these mundane things I see day in and out might be picture worthy or worth remarking on as a visitor. Therefore, why shouldn't I take delight in it too?

phlegmfatale said...

I went to Scotland on my winter honeymoon, and the vistas remain unparlleled in desolate beauty. Isle of Skye was magnificent, devoid of tourists (other than us), and a drive through the highlands was breathtakingly beautiful. Can't wait to go back.