Friday 31 October 2008

Scotland and the Sunshine Break

Now is the time of year for a few days on the Mediterranean, a last blast of Vitamin D before the dark Scottish winter.

We have just returned from a sunshine break. It was our first flight for a couple of years, but the short, instant hit of sunshine and warmth is something that could become addictive at this time of year.

It was cold when we left Barcelona - from the beach, snow could be seen on the mountains - but this was nothing compared to the shock at returning home. A cruel wind whipped across the near-deserted streets of Edinburgh, its grey Georgian buildings raw-faced and frost scoured. The flat was a deep freeze. Yet glimpses inside the windows of pubs and bars showed a city going about its business socialising, young clubbers dressed up for a Halloween night out, scurrying to their venues.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona:

This weekend I'll head into the Highlands. It might be colder still than Edinburgh, and there is nothing in this city to match the Modernisme and easy living of Barcelona. But is there even in Gaudi's joyful, colourful facades, a fire to match the falling leaves of Killiecrankie, sun-caught in beautiful death?

Tummel Bridge, near Killicrankie:

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