Friday, 19 February 2010
Kidnapped is also a brilliant travelogue, cataloguing Scotland's wild places with vivid imagery as David Balfour and Alan Breck Stewart make their way from Mull to Edinburgh through the Highlands and the Trossachs. I'd always been captivated by those descriptions and I recalled them as we travelled north and west, through Callander and Balquhidder, Lochearnhead and Crianlarich and on, by the pass of Brander, with every turn producing a view to take your breath away and fill your head with words like 'majestic' and 'grandeur' and snow covered peaks with unpronounceable names passing by like enormous milestones marking the way.
Port Appin started out as just a speck on a map, but I doubt I'll ever forget the 48 hours we spent there, much of it staring out over the Lynn of Lorn towards the golden Isle of Lismore and beyond to the sunlit, white-capped vastness of the Morvern and Ardnamurchan peninsulas. We had a room at the Pierhouse Hotel, built around the old ferrymaster's cottage; the kind of place where, if you're fortunate, you can look out of your window and watch a cormorant drying his wings on an old buoy or see a seal playing in the shallows. The oysters came daily from beds around the island fifteen minutes away over the sea, and if you fancied lobster you could choose it from the creel dangling off the end of the pier. Bridge of Allan, where I live, is hardly a bustling metropolis, but walk the Appin woods and you experience a silence that's almost spiritual; a stillness that has the potential to either drive you mad or seduce you into staying forever.