Around midnight, I was awoken by a sound, like a gentle knock on my door. After a long day, I had barely managed to fall asleep. It was a humid, uncomfortable, full-moon night and I was sleeping with my windows open. I opened my eyes and looked around, my room draped in moonlight. I could see the moon right outside the window. The curtains swayed gently in the cool breeze which provided some respite from the sweltering heat.
I heard another sound, and I glanced towards my window. I saw a shadow take shape from the base of the window sill. It started to move up, as if slowly rising up from the depths of hell. For a moment, I was taken aback and I froze as I had never experienced such a sight before. It kept moving up until it formed a perfect silhouette against the moon. A shadow of darkness took over my room and I remained frozen, staring at the silhouette that was slowly taking shape.
The shape was now fully formed, with its ears upright and tail held high. It menacingly turned its head, eyes glowing like ember. That was when I realised that the “monster” was a cat! Like a burglar breaking in to my room, it jumped in and let out a muffled meow as it landed. I waited patiently to see what it would do, though it was barely visible.
It must’ve suddenly realised that the room was already occupied by another creature. It bounded back up, less elegantly this time and squeezed out through the wibdow, letting out a silent meow again. As for who was more startled, me or the cat, that is anyone’s guess.
We got there at sunset.
After a long drive through some breathtaking landscapes, Skye had welcomed us with some beautiful skies.
We stayed at Kyleakin, a beautiful village situated very close to the bridge.
I had been to Skye before and was familiar with some of the places but this was the first time I would be spending some days there.
The plan for this trip had been a bit spontaneous and the next few days were going to be really interesting.
The hike up to the Old Man of Storr was quite possibly the windiest one I’ve ever done.
Beautiful Staffin Beach.
At the start of the amazing Quiraing walk.
The Fairy Pools, considered one of the most “magical” places in Scotland.
And did we mention the roads?
In our lives immersed in technology, we rarely shut everything off.
We turn on when we wake up, and are on our devices until we go to sleep. And every hour in between.
I’m not immune to this. Very few people these days are.
And yet, there’s value in shutting everything down, so that we can reconnect with life.
With the moment.
There’s a time to work hard, and there should be a time to shut down. Otherwise, it all blends together and nothing has any space.
What time will you shut down today?
The text originally appeared on Leo Babauta’s zenhabits blog.
The Pentland Hills, located at the South-West of Edinburgh, provide excellent hill walking and hiking opportunities easily accessible from the city. Spread over an area of 90 km² (35 sq mi), it has over 100 km of waymarked routes. These go through a multitude of terrain types, covering everything from a leisurely stroll to demanding hikes across the Hills.
On a cold day in January, we decided to take a quick trip (an eight hour walk) along one of these routes and these are some of the sights we enjoyed along the way.
When you’re in the park, it is quite easy to forget that there is a city nearby.
As you can see, there was quite a decent amount of snow on the Hills that day. We went back a week later and most of it was gone.
These Hills, due to their proximity to Edinburgh, provide a wonderful escape for city-dwelling nature lovers.
For more information about what The Pentland Hills Regional Park offers, see here and here.