Touring the island with a middle-aged newlywed

Touring the island with a middle-aged newlywed

[Sept. 2023] We toured the Isle of Barra, which belongs to the Hebrides Islands in Scotland.

We had researched it online and booked a taxi in advance.

a cottage on the coast of Barra Island in Hebrides, Scotland
a house on the rocky coast

Actually, the driver and his son listed on the internet already had reservations, so we were introduced to their acquaintance.

Apparently, there were only three taxis on the island.

After going to the hotel from the airport and dropping off our luggage, we started sightseeing at 1pm.

The trip took two hours in total, going from the east side of the island to the north, then to the west side, and then stopping at Vatersay Island, the neighbouring island connected by a causeway.

The driver’s name is Neil.

a hamlet on Barra Island in Hebrides, Scotland
white wall of cottages and the red telephone booth add colours on the island

A native of this island, he says, “I’ve been to London twice, but it was like a can of sardines and I didn’t like it.”

He has been working as a taxi driver for 26 years, so he is about 45 years old.

However, it seemed like they were newlyweds, and “My Wife” appeared in every conversation.

His wife is from Glasgow and is a junior high school teacher.

He proudly said, “She applied for a job as a teacher at a junior high school on this island and was hired on the first try.”

If she came from the big city to this island at the end of the earth to work as a teacher, she must be a commendable person, or someone with a reason…

the sea at the shore of Barra Island, Hebrides, Scotland
beautiful colour of the sea when it is sunny

During the tour, it rained at one point, but the weather was mostly sunny and we were able to fully enjoy the richness of nature’s colours.

There were many white sandy beaches and the colour of the sea was amazing.

What is different from the Mediterranean Sea is that it is surrounded by green grassland.

The lichens on the rocks also added the colour.

The white walls of the cottages here and there and the red of the unused telephone booths that I occasionally saw stood out.

The sheep and large black and brown cows were also parts of the lovely pictures.

the cows on Barra Island in Hebrides, Scotland
cows are important part of the picture

It was similar to the Shetland Islands and Iona, which I had been to before, but it had been a long time since I had been to a place with such a strong sense of ‘the end of the world’, so I was very impressed.

I thought that Neil, who was born and raised in a place like this, and I would have completely different ways of thinking.

At the beginning of the tour, we told Neil, “We’re foreigners, so please speak slowly.”

At first he did, but then he got faster and his accent got stronger, until we couldn’t understand what he was saying at all.

We felt bad asking him to repeat himself over and over again, so we often end up ignoring it.

changeable weather on Barra Island in Hebrides, Scotland
it rained as well

I wish I could understand his stories a little better.

He seemed to think we weren’t having fun because our reactions were slow, and at the end he said, “I did my best.”

I hope he understood that we really enjoyed it.

By the way, this tour cost £30 per hour.