The Perfect Vista: Glen Coe

by Keith Savage · 11 comments


The tail of three weeks in Scotland lead my wife and me southbound through the western highlands toward Glasgow. The road trickled beneath the glares of munros, half-mountain half-hill hybrids, that crowded around us, their crowns pressing against the sky. On this day, the sun lanced through cloud cover to cast deep shadows in the recesses of the craggy terrain, its hollow visage resembling the eye sockets of a skull. The history of this region burned fiercely in my mind.

Our car doors rattled above the ever-present wheeze of the wind as we passed through the glen. Before the road’s winding ascent out of the valley, we pulled off into a graveled parking lot and looked back across the landscape, through time.

More than three centuries past, a clan was murdered here in their homes. In the depths of winter, the kinsmen they’d shown hospitality turned on their hosts and massacred them as they attempted to flee the glen. Some believe the earth remembers. Here, existing in the silence behind the wind, the memory is palpable.

A woeful breeze washed over me that stood my arm hair on end and watered my eyes. Like the dance of two butterflies, the beauty and sorrow of Glen Coe fluttered in my chest. We stood there with the other travelers for several minutes, hollow-eyed and in silence, the vista’s perfection at once enthralling and troubling.

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo and HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition.


GlobetrottergirlsNo Gravatar July 18, 2010 at 8:47 PM

This post evoked memories of our week in the Highlands last year at exactly this time in July. We went hiking in Glen Coe and were blessed with perfect weather that day. Beautiful picture!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar July 18, 2010 at 9:53 PM

We were so lucky to have perfect weather for our two weeks in Scotland last year at the end of June. I heard it rained for like five weeks after we left!

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ChinaMattNo Gravatar June 28, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Scotland was one of my favorite trips. Too bad I never made it to Glasgow or Glen Coe. But I did meet a guy from Glasgow in a pub in Edinburgh–I couldn’t understand a word he said.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 29, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Ha, yes! Glaswegians have one of the heavier Scottish accents. Edinburgh is a beautiful stop in Scotland.

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SteveNo Gravatar June 28, 2010 at 2:26 PM

Great story and great view. I hope you win.

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Thanks Steve, me too! 🙂

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SeanNo Gravatar June 28, 2010 at 6:29 AM

Thanks for briefly bringing me to Scotland and this wonderful vista. The picture is mighty beautiful. We are off to Scotland for the month of July, and I know we will be blessed if we get to experience just half this beauty. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 28, 2010 at 3:29 PM

Scotland has a grip on me. I seem to be always planning a trip back there. Hope you have some excellent weather while you’re there!

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Nomadic ChickNo Gravatar June 27, 2010 at 11:01 PM

Beautiful story! Hope you win!

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Keith SavageNo Gravatar June 28, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Thanks, that would be nice. Though I like these little challenges – keeps things fresh.

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