Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ivory Flame & Alex Ingram - in Scotland?!?

My trip to Scotland this month was a short but lovely one. I got to see lots of people and had a super wonderful time.

I'll do a full post about it when I can but for now I want to focus on just 3 days of my stay. I got a train to Inverness where I met Mr Alex Ingram. My train journey was beautiful. Train journeys in Scotland are some of my ultimate favouriates out of everywhere I have been.

My top 5 includes the East Coast Line, London to Edinburgh. I start getting excited when the train pulls into Newcastle. From their on the scenary is familar and never boring. Scotland has this rugid beauty. It's the rough and ready kind. It looks good no matter what's going on, come rain or shine. Or 10ft of snow. It looks bloody wonderful. The train leans round the coast speeding you through the boarders. I always get a train that will see me through sunset. It's well worth the bother of checking train times. It's just so insanely beautiful to look at.

The train journey I took to meet Alex and Ivory Flame was no different. Polmont to Stirling. Stirling to Inverness. Beautiful. Alex was waiting for me at the platform. It was a bit of an occassion for me as normally I would of seen Alex at least once already this year but due to him being snowed in and then me being snowed in. The weather has but a stop to any plans. So simpley arriving was fantastic. Alex even took a photo to mark the event!

Just moments after I arrived Ivory Flame's train was pulling in on the platform opposite my train, just minutes apart. It was a marvelous example of trains running on time and just doing what they are meant to do. Which makes me happy. People slate the trains so much, and I feel this overwhelming need to stick up for them. I spend so much of my life on them. Being on a train  feels like being at home, and I'm sure people don't like their homes being insulted. So this was lovely, two on time trains arriving next to each other. One for me and one for Flame.

And there it was, the first time the three of us had been in the UK together. We've managed to meet up in other countries, just never our own. Madness!

                                                       Left to Right. Alex, Ivory Flame, Joceline, Me - Australia 2009

It was also the first time Flame and I have been together in Scotland. We've managed every other part of the UK and Ireland but some how Scotland has just never come together for us. So we snapped a picture of us at the Inverness Train Station sign. Proof we were there, bags and all. I look some what like a fat penguin.

The drive back to Alex's was stunning. Cross country from the East coast and over to the west. I love the West Coast of Scotland. It feels like going home. I recognize most things and have a real interest for the area. I do my best to remember names and places, routes and directions. I want to know all there is about it, it's such an inspiring place. One of few I know where humans really are just a small part of the landscape, not a dominant feature. The highland cattle, the deer, rivers and mountains. Every one should visit this place in their lifetime.

We got up the next morning to some rather dismal weather. It wasn't great. The moountains were half covered by cloud. But it didn't dampen our spirits as we hoped into the car and off location scouting. Everytime I go I ask Alex for a new location. And most recently locations new to him. These aren't easy to find when you've been living in the area for so long. Driving up the Bealach na Ba - look it up it's worth it - and back down again. When suddenly Flame scouted a beautiful lochan with wonderful reflections on the near still water. Loch Fada it was. New to all of us.



Mission complete. Although this was a social visit as neither of us had seen Alex since October 2009 we all wanted to get an image done. It's unfortunate that I can't simply can't convey how cold that water was mind you, it might make you appreciate the end image even more! We hit the road once more and off to Kinlochewe with a fabulous view of Torridon Mountains as we went. It was a great trip. Beautiful scenery. Lots of picture stops as we went. Originally I wanted a snow photo. I've wanted one ever since I first went up to stay with Alex. But once more it was not to be. But the image we did get more then made up for it.

All to soon it was time to pack our bags and get to sleep ready for heading off the next day - this will be one of my next blog entries with any luck! I had a marvelous time and simply can't wait to go back. I'm planning my next visit already :)

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