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Manu | 8 February 2012 | no comments


Seen with the eyes of the rest of the world, Europe is a tiny Continent where everything is different and close at the same time. Considering its surface, you would say there are even too many people living in Europe, and you would probably never expect to find some small places  off the tourist tracks  that are simply a pleasure to discover.

I love the small islands! I love the feeling of protection they give me when at night the last ferry leaves, and I know I am there, and there is no way to go back to the mainland until the day after, so the world can wait for a night, for a day, for a while…
Here there are 3 of my favorite! For each of them I have some great stories to share with you, some incredible adventures that made me thought often how come sometimes everything happens to me! Let’s first get to know them a bit, before the adventures start!

It’s not one of the most unknown islands in the world, but it’s off the tourist’ paths enough to be considered quiet isolated compared to some other Scottish locations. Skye is one of those few places in life where you, or at least me, could easily remain for a while in my life! I was homesick for this place for quite a while when I came back, and seriously thought to move there for a while!
Before even stepping on Skye, you can enjoy Scotland’s beauty at its top, crossing the whole Highlands, with it’s foggy mountains tops and the Eilean Donan Castle just few kilometers from the Skye bridge that steps on the island. It’s almost a way to get prepared to the outstanding landscapes you will see over there.
Skye is the biggest of the Inner Hebrides, and it’s surrounded by the Cuilin hills and cliffs and it is simply outstanding! The Cuilins fold you up sweetly and accompany you through all your journey discovering this remote part of Britain.
Portree, the main town, is a jewel of beauty and colours. It’s small little houses facing the harbour and the bay contrast with the gray Skye and make the stop here a must along the road.
From Portree you can easily reach all the islands most beautiful spots.
A must see is certainly the whiskey distillery of Talisker, laying just under the mountain whose water is used to distillate the whiskey and in front of one of the most beautiful lochs of Scotland. At the distillery, friendly Scotsmen introduce you to their world and I wouldn’t be surprised if you go out of that please a bit more merry than the time you entered.
You can easily explore the entire isle if you like. The best to do, if you have a car, is to go off the main road, and explore the narrow paths along the way. They usually bring you to the most beautiful scenery’s ever. The off roads are sometimes so narrow that only one car at a time can drive on the road, and along the way there is always a small space on the side where you must stop if a car comes fro the opposite direction. This makes the journey slower, but very exciting, especially when suddenly you have in front of you the amazing cliffs of Neist Point. From there the view is impressive. Few people make it all the way to Neist, even in summer, and most of them are traveler trying to escape the tourists. The quietness of the place, the green of the cliffs, the beauty from the lighthouse make you feel almost like remaining here forever.
Skye and its magic ancient atmosphere steals your heart and gives you moments and landscapes that will make you longing to be back for a long time to come.



If you ask any Danish person whether they have ever been to Møn Isle, they will probably ask you how come you know Mon! That’s exactly what me and Laura my friend thought when the bus driver stopped us at the beginning of a forest, where we got lost for 2 days!

Møn is a little isle in the South of Denmark. When you are on the road, and the bus driver suddenly stops you in the middle of green fields at the beginning of a large forest, telling you if you keep going, over the forest, you will find what you are looking for, you almost don’t believe it. But he is actually right, over the forest, on the other side of the isle, you will see some of the most beautiful cliffs of Europe! And standing on one of

Møns Klimt cliffs is unique, especially in such a flat country like Denmark.

Møn’s chalks cliffs are 6 kilometers long and up to 137 mt high and their beautiful white walls stand up in front of the rough blue Baltic sea giving you the feeling to be blown away by the beauty and the wind.
Back into the forest, there is one hostel where you can sleep and enjoy longer this beautiful unknown spot. The hostel is right in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by walk paths inviting people to get happily lost into the wood!
The hostel is right in the middle of the nature, and at night there is a nice scary feeling of silence and dark surrounding the entire island.
If yo don’t have a car, it’s a bit of a mission to arrive here and even more to get out of here, as the bus stop is right outside the forest and you may walk something like 5 kilometers or more before finding it, but the overall experience is simply unique. Stand on the white chalk cliffs, look at the horizon and enjoy the feeling of freedom that such a place can give you!

When you find yourself at Jonh’s O’Groat, waiting for the ferry to the Orkney Islands, on the North Scotland, you will have already the feeling of being at the end of the world, and so you will when you step out in Stromness! The sensation to be far away from everything and still in one of the last and lost paradise of Europe will stay with you for all the days you will decide to stay at the Orkneys.
The Orkneys are a group of Islands on the North of Scotland; even if belonging officially to Scotland, their Norse roots are still visible everywhere as they were conquered by the vikings much earlier; they keep the feeling they don’t belong to anything nowadays, standing in their unique isolated beauty.
If you go there at the end of summer and you are as lucky as I was, arriving there at the sunset is one of the greatest experience ever. I went there when i was 22, in my first solo travel in life, and I think I will remember forever the feeling of being for the first time in my life at one of the ends of the world! From Stromness a bus takes you to Kirkwall, the main town and capital of the Isles, and on the way you can already have a sample of the colors and vibes of this places.
Green and blue are the colors of the Orkneys: the green of the land and the blue of the sea.
Kirkwall is a a unique treasure in the Northern Europe. Up here you feel this place belongs more to the Nordic world than the British one. The story of its people and of the conquer of this place is even narrated in an Icelandic Saga, “The saga of the Orkney’s men”, and the entire town is build around the magnificent St. Magnus church, built to remember one of the greatest men and character of the saga.
In Kirkwall there are still some old houses belonging to the period the saga was written, everything is ancient and history and legends sometimes are confused both by its people and by the historians of this place.
Outside Kirkwall, a must see place is Skapa Brae, Europe’s best-preserved Neolithic settlement, believed to have been inhabited since 3000BC. It’s here, far away from touristic Stonehenge, that you can find the Ring of Brodgar, some standing stones whose use and meaning is still unknown.
Sometimes, during the storms, some of them still catch the lightning and they don’t collapse. You can not avoid to feel you are in front of something ancient and magic up here.
The Italian Chapel, a small chapel inside a hangar beautifully decorated by one of the Italian soldiers who were prisoners here during the II World War is the mot isolated chapel you will ever find in the world, and for the location and its special story it’s also one of the most beautiful masterpieces of these islands.
Up here everything has a legend, a story behind. The saga tradition of narrating stories of men and adventures is kept in the blood of these people and in their tradition.
Impossible not to fall in love with the Orkney Isles!


This is just a sweet anticipation of the awsome time and adventures I am going to tell you, soon, in the next pages…Stay tuned, then!