High up in the highlands

I’m in my room, it is 1pm, I have just finished watching a film and I clumsily knocked over my bowl of cereal. Oh yes, it is one of these days! I won’t be of much use reading articles for my upcoming tutorials, so I decided to give writing my second blog a go. Here we are!

I had a browse through the blogs of my fellow writers and – luckily – the theme seems to be how amazing Edinburgh is. I cannot agree more. To be honest, I have already started thinking about doing my master degree here. Of course the vibrant city life, the university itself and the people I’ve met here play a part in this decision, but one other BIG factor is outside the city: the highlands.

During my first week here I joined the Edinburgh University Hillwalking Club (EUHWC) and that was a great decision. Now, about six weeks later, I’ve already spent quite a few days amongst the hills. I have done some hillwalking in the past, but considering I grew up in the Netherlands, a country in which the only ascent consists of dykes, preventing the water to flood the land that itself has a negative altitude, my experience is very limited. My parents love hillwalking though, so during my childhood we’ve spent a couple of holidays in Scotland, and I can only say it’s great to be back!

Nothing beats spending a day outside in the wild and mesmerizing scenery of the Scottish highlands. Yes, I know, I am romanticizing it. During the walks I sometimes felt like my legs were completely done and the summit seemed to just keep on moving backwards. Somehow, I always managed to keep going and get to the top.  Honestly, once you’re there, eating your lunch and – according to EUHWC traditions  – christening the munro by taking a small sip of whiskey, your struggle of getting up there feels like years ago (this reminds me of what my mom always told me about giving birth). And yes, it will rain more than you’d like it to and you will get wet and cold, but you’ll also get back to the hostel, take a warm shower, wear your most fashionable PJs, make some tea, cook up a meal together and spend your evening with your fellow hillwalkers. You’ll forget about the cold as well, I promise. Once you get back to the city, looking through the dreamy photos that were taken, you’ll feel the need to get back asap and that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. Will you join me? The photos below are there to persuade you.

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Looking out on Loch Leven and the village Ballachulish (photo by Robyn).
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Me and my friend Robyn, matching outfits is good for bonding (photo by Raphaël).
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Cloud nine, basically (photo by Raphaël).
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Loch view from Ben Cruachan.
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Never finish a trip to the highlands without stopping in Glencoe, if you have the time!

From seeing these photos, you must be able to understand I’m high on the highlands. Holland, if you want me back next year: step up your game!

x Julia

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