It has been few years, it has been a weird time, time we almost don’t remember anymore.
Getting on a plane, leaving isolation we so got used to was not an easy task. It has been first time I haven’t been back in Slovakia for few years and it did feel loong. It felt overwhelming coming back too, emotions I was not ready to have, people I was not ready to see, because everything was too much.
Yet once I crossed the door of my parents house I knew this is going to be a nice time together. And so it was. We made multiple trips to forest to pick up mushrooms, we did some little hikes, we just spent time together and I enjoyed and took in every single moment, walk and memory, because we never know when they are going to be last.
That was surely what pandemic thought me, we just never know and it can happen from one day to another, suddenly. I still cannot travel more often due to finances and life struggle, but at least I am trying to enjoy the times I am there as much I can.
These are memories I want to cherish, simple things, simple moments.
And Winter came…the winter has been very kind to us this winter. It has been the most snow I have experienced here in the past years. It has been only time I have experienced snow here in Christmas time. It is almost as a nature would give us a little present a reward for times spent at home, not travelling, not meeting friends and family or going to life music or other inside winter time events. Snow came unexpectedly and brought a joy to (for many) more and more grey days. I certainly felt a joy of a child when snow came. There were people playing snowball fights on streets in early morning hours, just enjoying the moment, the present. Joy of being allowed to experience cold white snowflakes on the cheeks. Going to snowy hills was certainly a little miracle of this Christmas. Beautiful sunsets and beautiful sunrises. People enjoying themselves in the safe hug of the nature.
Not long ago I was worried how these winter months will be. I promised myself to find something nice about them, because they can be here quite dark, sad and difficult. And this year without possibility to meet much or go visit family they could be even more difficult. But I was wrong. This winter is one of the happiest I have ever had. Very different, yet that makes it special I guess. So many surprising and unexpected beautiful moments and joy in little simple things. Come with me to have a look how the winter in Scotland can look like.
So we went on a journey of adventure, the journey I had in mind for about a year. Finally, I packed my backpack and we set on to walk ´Pentlands Way´ in Scotland. Not many people walk this path it isn´t even very famous, but everyone in the area knows it and walked at least parts of it if being ever in Pentlands. I do love these hills. Sanctuary from busy and noisy city not far from Edinburgh.
Determined to walk the path despite bad forecast so much in need of nature and break out of Edinburgh after so many months spend here in this year better said only here.
The journey was amazing but wasn´t easy. Nature showed us its very best and nicest the first day yet its worst the second one. I came back home sore from blisters and heavy backpack yet so happy inside smiling energy into the world. We had to cut our journey short because weather conditions were too rough and difficult at the end.
Come with me to walk this path together and maybe you set on your own one day. Maybe we will manage to walk it till the end next time.
Not long ago I was trying to capture our herbs picking with my family. The same day we went for mushroom picking, which wasn´t that successful 😀
Yet it was an amazing day outside in the forests very dear to me. I have seen my first deer running through the path at the early morning here, when all I could hear was stamping noise. I learnt here to recognise which mushrooms are good to eat and which ones are better left behind.
As a child I was aware of beauty surrounding me and felt that nature and forests are these magical places where everything is possible and everything is somehow beautiful. That´s not what always nature is though. It has its way to teach us often difficult and challenging bits about life and what does it mean to be a human as well.
After years coming back felt as a pathway to past memories which rushed through my head as we walked. Again I wanted to capture this old memory and this present moment which possibly could be source of inspiration for finding beauty in simple things for someone else.
I don´t know about you, but I just love walking through any kind of the forest, especially when it is nice and easy to walk around and ground is covered in fresh grass. That was exactly how morning would welcome us fresh dew on the grass and smell of the forest in the air.
As we entered the forest we were lucky to find a mushroom and it gave us hope for a successful day, but unfortunately few more we found and that was all for that day.
It hasn´t disappointed me though, because I again found some inspiration inside in between those trees.
Small things came my way as fallen bird nest, colourful bug trying to get his way or deer running in the distance. It was a time when I have started recording small bits of these beautiful moments and thinking about the way how could I capture the feeling and the memory I got here. I guess it was the beginning of my video editing journey as a way to be creative yet make sense of the experience as well.
Everything is always happening for its reason, so the fact we haven´t found any mushrooms that day had its purpose as well.
That was a special day spent with my parents, remembering times we used to go there when I was a child. Admiring hard work of ants who tried to steal every small bit of our sandwiches which fell on the ground and creating new memories together to hold on for later when we will be apart once again.
People sometimes ask and wander why would I live so far away. Maybe there will come a time I will feel a need to move closer but so far the fact not being close taught all of us to value even more greatly than before our relationship which is certainly valuable lesson having.
I hope and believe there will come a time that I will be allowed spend maybe more time with them but not losing the life here in order to do so.
Come with me then for this little poetic forest walk which can maybe inspire you as well to find your own inspiration in small things life have to offer.
Last year I made myself a promise that I will explore nature of Scotland much more than I have been doing until now. There have been few years when I just didn´t get much out of Edinburgh for various reasons from luck of money to studies responsibilities or work commitments. Last year was a turning point for me where I realised that nature is the place where I feel the most home. I did few trips either with friends or on my own to highlands, bought some hiking gear and at least few times tried it out.
This year was meant to be year of long distance hikes.
2020 had a different plan though, first half of the year we were stuck home in our neighbourhoods and when finally, was hiking and wild camping allowed I was coming back to work. So I have started exploring Pentlands close by mountains where I have been so many times since I moved here that they feel as my second home. It is amazing that just half an hour away is whole new world far away from the city.
Pentlands story is for another time though as today I would like to come back in memories when I had a chance to visit Trossachs National Park. Come along with me on the journey…
I was so excited to take my big backpack and just spend few days in Highlands. I didn´t gain enough courage to do wild camping so I thought taking it slowly and just stay in a hostel and do some one day trips around to get to know the area a little because one day I would like to hike 4 days long distance hiking road around here. What I tried was my kitchen equipment if it is actually working and if I am able to get it working.
What I love about solo hiking is that there is an opportunity to take everything in undistracted by other people.
I love nature trips with friends who have a similar way of hiking, but sometimes probably from artistic and inspirational influence I just need to be alone and listen carefully to the silent voice of nature which can get lost in conversations with others.
Very often I am most lucky to get inspiration keep it inside and be able to take it out later when I hike and observe nature on my own. I guess these are two polarities which need to be balanced. Experience nature with others on outside level and then experience it alone on inside level. For me at least one doesn´t go without the other.
Trossachs welcomed me greatly.
It was nice and sunny most of days just when I was leaving and had no more hikes planed it started raining. There is something special about this area.
Mystical forests and plain bold mountains creates just the right contrast.
I love the feeling entering mountains where all you see are mountains for kilometres and kilometres in distance. It makes me feel free and all I would love to do is just run and never stop. Sometimes it almost feels as the body is a limit which gets tired, cold and hungry but deep inside there is this free spirit which longs for freedom of the mountains.
I was stunned by the beauty around here. Not only the village Callendar where I was staying was the most beautiful tiny village with river crossing through and mountains on its backdoor but the whole area resembled something very special.
As I walked through the forests nature showed me beautiful places and moments where light just played with the colours of trees and I happened to be in the right moment in the right place to enjoy it.
Few seconds later the moment passed and I stood there grateful for being showed such a beauty.
I guess that´s where is the believe in forest creatures who protect and guard the land is coming from, because this kind of moments and encounters are way too special to be merely coincidence. And I do love keeping this child like part full of imagination present inside of me.
Trossachs and Callander are on my future bucket list once again because this time I got a tiny glimpse of the beauty of this Mountain range. On the way back I have visited Doune Castle which is very special place as well. Maybe you got to know it from Outlander series or Monty Python and Holy Grale. Castle was under reconstruction so I didn´t get to see it in its full beauty yet still the magnificence of the place and secretes hidden in the castle walls were still present.
I loved creating the collage once I got back home where I used my sketches from the trip and kept the feeling these mountains gave me forever – to see how it worked out watch the video above.
Have you ever visited Trossachs National Park in Scotland or would you like to? What was your experience? Is nature your inspiration as well?
When I moved here what I was most taken by were stories about mythical creatures and fairies srill fairly lalive among the people. They are very proud for this heritage which I find fascinating and somewhat similar to my own culture where many fairy tales about mythical creatures still live among the people. Maybe not in such extend as here yet I remember stories to be told as a child or attending events and festivities closely connected with old traditions.
With all this mythical knowledge once you see the beautiful nature here or wherever else there you can let your imagination go and meet fairy behind the trees.
I have few stories of my own while frowing up. There used to be a tree close to my parent’s field. I spent hours talking to it and back then I believed it is talking back to me. Sounds crazy right? Yet I don´t think it was that crazy at all, because as much I learnt there are different parts of our personalities and probably this one was one of them projected by my ´child me´ into a tree. I gave her even a name – Agatha. It certainly was my good wise fairy always providing comfort and good advice.
My mum taught me hug trees when I was little, because they carry beautiful energy from the source. Every time we would go to the forest she would hug trees I would follow until I entered ´cool´ age and found that to be somewhat crazy. I am realizing just now how much these small rituals meant and how they created my strong connection to life, nature and everything alive.
Walking through a beautiful forest thinking that there are tiny creatures protecting its beauty gives me joy and reassurance that not all is lost yet that nature will always find a way. Little painting I did here inspired by nature was very free flow illustration of possible worries and yet freedom of the fairies. It´s more of a study then final piece yet I enjoyed every second of the painting. Come with me for a little fairy hunt today.
Do you have any fairy stories of your own? I would be happy to hear 🙂
Do you know that feeling that you are somewhere and you think that you know it there and yet still something can truly surprise you?
That´s why I love Scotland. It is beautiful green country where nature shows itself in its fullest. Every time I go somewhere I am stunned by its beauty. Always I found hidden treaures of this country and little suprises which inspire my soul.
Breath taking mountains wilderness and nothing just nature around is why I love hiking. It can be overwhelming sometimes but same time it´s one of those things which make you realise you´re alive.
Once you look from top of the mountain around feeling almost as a part of clouds and heaven. Do you know that feeling? Not just slight rush through your body and stomach, proudness of what you have just managed to climb but as well that feeling of freedom, being part of something much bigger which seems to be almost reachable on the top of the mountain or you can almost smell it in the air surrounding the mountain lake.
Do you need to get out of busy life of the city but don´t have much of spare time? Want to go for a short trip (1night) somewhere in Scotland? Are you very much skinned but still need to clear your head?
What about ´bonny banks of Loch Lomond? I can assure you they are even bonnier then the song.
I was walking through the forest when fairy appeared: ´You´re in forbidden fairy-tale land, no many people access this different realm.´ Do you like fairy-tales as I do? Scotland is full of them. Let me tell you about one of them.
There is one place not far from Edinburgh and very well known for Down Browns movie – Roslin. Today I don´t want to talk about the chapel although one day I will get there too. I would like to talk about the trip from Rosewell across the hill to Roslin and passing by legendary William Wallace cage.
That was quite rainy day when I took a trip from one village to another. My main goal was to find Wallace cage as I tried it once but I wasn´t successful. I have to admit I wasn´t prepared that time and that was very last minute idea once we went to visit Roslin chapel. This time my goal was very clear I went on my own and enjoyed very rainy scottish walk through fields and forest to find William Wallace cage. There is actually not very easy walk there. Without nowadays technology I would never find it, well I didn´t even have a map just navigation in my phone.