Few mythical creatures—of Orkney or anywhere—have as direct a connection to a real-life person as the island-altering giant known to centuries of Orkadians as Cubbie Roo.
“For ethereal, almost otherworldly beauty, it’s tough to beat the beach at Luskentyre, where a pair of friendly equines punctuate the vivid seascape.”
"As visitor numbers soar, iconic attractions like Fairy Glen, Storr, Neist Point, and the Quiraing are suffering increased erosion, danger and damage from insufficient parking, and a lack of public toilets. I’ll point you to ten of my favorite less-visited Skye spots, as well as a few I haven't made it to yet."
"Standing at the bottom, you feel almost physically assaulted by the relentless power of the angry turquoise sea as it crashes in at you, onto rocks speckled by bright-yellow lichen."
"Perched high up on an eroding cliff that will no-doubt dash the entire structure into the sea before too many more decades pass, this modestly sized dry-stone structure has stood watch over this dramatic landscape for perhaps close to 3,000 years"
"I adore Scotland, and there’s certainly a whole lot of it left for me to see. But I don’t expect to my eyes to land on anything more breathtakingly, vastly beautiful than Neist Point unless and until I finally make my way to St. Kilda..."
"Walk up close to any of Orkney’s standing stones, the exposed walls of Skara Brae, or even one of the many recently built stone walls that keep the cattle penned in on one of Orkney’s modern farms, and you’ll notice an abundance (and likely a variety) of lichen."
"...as I crouched down, taking in the surrounding countryside with my senses and my camera, I leaned into the wall for support and felt the whole thing move, not a little, but inches, back and forth with every strong gust."
"The alerted MacLeods proceeded to slaughter every member of the MacDonald party, then dragged their bodies up behind a dry stone wall (or dyke), and pushed the wall over on top of them."
"Located in the quiet Setagaya Ward, about an hour's ride from central Tokyo, and then another 20 minute walk through twisting residential streets, this temple is not easy to find--particularly in Japan's oppressive humidity when you're a tourist who can't read the local signs. But find it we did, after first passing a beer vending machine on the street--an amazing discovery on a 100-degree day."
"Much of what remains is a sprawling collection of ruins made low by time and by nearly 2,000 years of locals using the stone blocks for their own purposes. But it's still a grand sight to behold, set off by a backdrop of some of stunning scenery."
"Whether or not it was considered 'the right thing,' by the judgment of some, it should be considered a terrible thing by all."
"This secluded area was the central point of Christianity in the Hebrides from the 10th to the 16th century. Before that, it was probably a significant Pictish site."
"Now the only occupants are the sheep, oblivious remnants of the agricultural and societal shift that brought about the town's demise."
"...I took quick stock of my life, and in one swift movement reached down, picked up a stranger's fallen wish, put it back in an empty spot in the pole, and continued my determined march up the mountain."
"When I sat on one of the many rough wooden benches, one fox came up behind me in a matter of seconds, grabbed the strap of my backpack with its teeth, and started pulling. Another fox was fascinated by my wife's umbrella."