Exploring Trossachs National Park – Scotland

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Fairy Hunt

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 🙂

Hiking skottish highlands with 20kg backpack. Is it possible?

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.

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