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Unto The Hills
A Glimpse of Glencoe

IT is impossible to describe adequately the sombre beauty of the tragic Pass, as we saw it for the first time in the grey light of a September afternoon. From Ballachulish Ferry, we followed a white ribbon of road along the ragged edge of Loch Leven, between rows of white-washed cottages with roofs the colour of dark smoke, past the sad little burial-island of the MacDonalds, and so onward and upward, through silver thicket and green meadow, to the threshold of the Glen o' Weeping.

From here, the hills unfolded before us, wave upon towering wave; blue where the shadows lingered about their feet, splashed with deep purple where the heather-bells blew in the rising wind. There were long-horned sheep grazing on the lower slopes, and stray sea-gulls calling plaintively as they floated down the stark heights above. From time to time, the mountains hid their faces in the clouds; and it was at such moments that we felt most strongly the compelling atmosphere of this tragic place, where every blade of grass seemed to whisper the dark history of a bygone age.

We passed Ossian's Cave, a deep cleft high in the shoulder of Aonach Dubh, and so came to the flat-topped mound known as The Study, beneath which we paused to look back at the glen below. It was then that a single shaft of light pierced the clouds and trembled down over the rugged faces of the hills, turning the whole valley to gold, and causing the still surface of Loch Triochatan to flash and shimmer like a mirror held out to trap the sun. It was an unforgettable moment, the more exquisite because it was so brief. When the clouds once more rolled together, shrouding the hills in their habitual grey, we were left with a sense of having found life triumphant in the very Valley of the Shadow...

Glen Coe with Loch Triochatan -- "National Trust Property"

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