Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tales of Scotland: Long Walk to Cramond Island

Tales of Scotland
Long Walk to Cramond Island

These past few weeks have been a noncommittal, meaningless blur. I haven't done anything worth writing about, and frankly I was beginning to bore myself. It's not as if I even had an excuse for my common and unimaginative lifestyle choices because I have plenty of free time outside of school to spend doing something other than watching television.

So I am sitting down watching an episode of Teen Wolf (A show that I gave my friend slack for watching in the past and now I decided to take on the burden. I know. I hate every fibre of my being for succumbing to this blasphemous fate.) And I found myself being a complete hypocrite. Here I am telling everyone to get off their butts and LIVE and I'm still sitting pretty in my bed, which I finally decided to buy a duvet for. It's actually quite comfy, but that is besides the point!

The problem was that I was doing absolutely NOTHING. Well if that doesn't make me a hypocrite then call me Shirley! I never actually understood that expression, but it seemed fitting.

The point is: I needed a change.

A change of mind.
A change of place.
A change all round.

So the next morning I woke up and joined my mate Vino and her other friends on a trek to Cramond Island. It wasn't remotely 'thrill-seeking adventure' in the slightest but frankly it was better than sitting in my bed watching bad television so I'm not complaining. 

I had never heard of Cramond Island prior to this trip so I decided to do a bit of personal research before we left. What I learned is that it is an island in the Firth of Forth that lies just off the coast of Cramond, and it is famous for it's mile-long causeway between the island and the mainland shore. The reason why this walkway is famous is that it is only visible and accessible during low tide. When the tide rises, the walkway vanishes underneath the water and if you are unlucky enough to still be on the island after having missed the low tide, you are stuck. You would need to call the coast guard to bring you back on the mainland. 

The tide levels change throughout the course of the week so
there is never a permanent time that the walkway is visible. On THIS website, they give you a brief estimate of
the times you can access the island so it is always a good idea to check those times before you leave to avoid the risk of being stuck.

The day we decided to go was the same day that the United Kingdom got hit with the Storm of the Century. Which if you didn't read the cynical and sarcastic commentary on the twitter feeds during this time, it was a fail storm of epic proportions. There was so much hype that everyone was expecting a massive typhoon-like debacle, when it was only rainy and windy. 

The wind though was stronger than usual, at least in Scotland, which is saying a lot because it is always very windy. It was also cold, but that is not unusual. 

When we finally made it to the island...well there wasn't really that much to see. Vino and I went into the abandoned buildings (even though they had signs saying Dangerous Area! Do Not Enter.) but there wasn't anything special about them. Just a lot of glass strewn around the floor, graffitied walls and the pungent aroma of know, classy stuff like that. With the threatening sign and the promise of danger I was at least expecting a skeleton or two...or possibly an angry troll (or homeless person). It was a bit of a letdown to be honest, which isn't saying much since my expectations weren't that high to begin with. 

We spent a rest of the time walking around the entire island, exploring every inch of the place, just to see if we could find anything interesting. 

I almost fell down a hill but that was about as much thrill I found that day. However, it's always comforting to know that my clumsy nature hasn't left me. 

After we reached the other side of the island we came across these shabby and rundown bomb shelters and ammunition bases that were there since WW2 so that was a nice history lesson courtesy of wikipedia...but other than that it was just a nice walk. If it wasn't for the freezing cold air and the heavy wind, I think it would have been nice to bring a picnic out there. Might have to do that some time in the Spring!

And so we made it back to the mainland without getting stuck in high tide and that pretty much concludes this anti-climactic adventure-hunting experience...

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