A Scottish Sunset

Hello world,

Some days are special. They stand out when looking back. They give you that tingly feeling in your tummy. They are hard to plan; You can try, but in the end it is a combination of adventure, companionship, nature, and a bit of magic that will set my heart on fire.

I had one of those magical days on my Highland tour in Scotland. The day would have been great in itself, but what turned into one my favorites was how it ended: topless on an isle amidst castle ruins during sunset.

After a long day in the Highlands, we returned to our hostel in Kyleakin, which is right next to the bridge. There used to be a toll on the bridge, but far before the bridge there had already been a Norwegian princess making money from tolls: Saucy Mary.

Legend has it that Saucy Mary and her husband, a Scottish clansman, laid a heavy metal chain from Castle Moil on the Isle of Skye to the Scottish mainland. They then demanded a heavy toll from passing ship captains. Saucy Mary thanked them for paying it by flashing her boobs to the ships.

I could not find any secondary source anywhere online, however, our tour guide told us if we flash our breasts from the castle ruins it is believed to bring luck.

Seems legit. (Our tour guide was a young woman by the way.)

We decided to go for it. Six girls, one husband. The tide was coming in, thus we did not have much time. The way up was already quite the mudflat hiking. I was the first and showed no mercy to my boots. So eager was I to reach the castle before the sun had gone down that my shoes were already soaked within two minutes.

If you ever encounter a similar situation: Always choose watching the sun set over staying dry.

We reached the castle ruins ten minutes before the sun disappeared. We were all out of breath, sweaty, and disgusting, but we had a laugh about it. All of us had only met the day before — we were practically strangers. However, in that moment it seemed like we had been friends forever. 

That’s what travel does to you: It makes you bond with people you have nothing in common with except the love for adventures.

Speaking of adventure: We then all took off our tops, grabbed each other by the hands, and started cheering. That was the magical moment: Standing on that hill, sweaty and disgusting, on the Isle of Skye during sunset with a bunch of newly found friends flashing the whole Isle of Skye and Scotland and the Atlantic ocean. All the while howling and giggling.

I felt very alive in that moment.

Strive for the moments that make you feel alive. I know, I know, sappy sunset and sunrise pictures always make me say that, but seriously: Start living! Stop worrying. Get out there, get sweaty and disgusting, make new friends, seize the sunset.

The way back was very cold and wet and hysterical: Six girls on adrenaline wading through mud with their white converse can create quite some noise. But the moon was shining, and nothing could dampen our mood. Not even the smell from our armpits.

That night was a really good night, too. A lot of jokes on the guys who had missed out on our flashing, a lot of Guinness and a lot of Scottish folk stories.

Turns out, we are all just strangers with memories.


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