Haibun: Journey In Time


Blue whippet by Eilean Donan castle


The first time we visited Eilean Donan Castle was more than nine years ago. We traveled north from Cumbria and stopped there on our way to Plockton. It was the first week in August, under a clear blue sky with only one other car in the car park.

A kayak floats over Loch Duich and I walk into the cafe to get some coffee. The terrace overlooking the castle is empty. We sit down at a picnic table when the kayaker comes ashore and gives us a big wave. “Mind if I join you?” he asks. One of the students on a Summer job in the cafe soon joins us too and brings a few pieces of cake. “Everyone you meet here is so interesting!” he says. Full of youth and dreams he tells us he is excited about the life in front of him. Full of years and dreams I realise that I am excited about the life in front of us too. We exchange a knowing glance with the kayaker and in that moment, even the castle looks young again.

one by one
birds land around the table
eyes twinkle

Β© Xenia Tran


lr-1120947 ww


Eilean Donan is a lot nearer now and we stop here on our way to Plockton. It is the first week in August and under a clear blue sky the car park is full.

A cheery attendant suggests we park on the other side of the bridge and come back on foot. The view of the castle from the other side is stunning. There are hundreds of people who have flown in from all corners of the world to see this place. We hear excited voices in different languages. An American woman walks over and asks if she can stroke Eivor and Pearl. “I had to leave my dogs at home and I miss them so much,” she says. As she crouches down among the crowds Eivor and Pearl look into her eyes and give her all the time she needs.

time to pause
all of us on a journey
gathered here

Β© Xenia Tran


Eilean Donan castle

We wish you all a very happy Friday and a wonderful weekend!

With love from Eivor, Pearl and Xenia xxx


Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, settings: iA and Landscape, 1/200 s.


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Author: whippetwisdom

The stories, poems and photographs on this blog are the original creative work of Xenia Tran. Inspired by life in the Scottish Highlands and in awe of nature she gives voice to the wisdom of her adopted and fostered whippets.

77 thoughts on “Haibun: Journey In Time”

  1. Stunning photos and wonderful encounters. Your trip sounds like a winner! πŸ™‚ Meeting friendly and interesting people – which is much easier to do with dogs in tow – can be so rewarding. I will have to check out this castle as well. It is amazing how it became so much busier in a decade. Then again, it is not that surprising, the way people travel much more now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Liesbet, both trips were very special in their own way. We lost all track of time around the table when the coffees had long finished and the conversations carried on. This time, even among the crowds, there was this beautiful moment of serenity. We were glad to see it so busy as it means more resources for the charitable trust that looks after the castle. It is well worth checking out, I think you will love it if you ever decide to visit :o) xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. SMiLes mY FRiEnD XeNiA
    FoR We ArE onLY aS
    YounG aS oUr eYes LiGHT

    AlWays Hard to SpeaK NoW iT’s Easy 4 years ago..
    44 years ago i am accused of Walking like a Robot
    33 years ago i am accused of Thinking like a Computer
    5 years ago i am accused of Writing like a Computer

    on all
    three counts..
    And i appreciate
    the input so much more
    NoW.. AnD True iN all three counts
    i fELt so much older then even at
    For Art
    iS what
    Rises HE
    NoW iNto
    more then
    than He CaN
    And WiLL BE
    aS LiGHT
    A DancE and SonG..:)


    It’s trUE NoW
    Biology at BirthLiGht
    eXpresSinG tHeN NoW
    is not the only destiny NoW..
    For We all shAre tHe STar oF DNA..
    ExpreSSinG aS SPiRiT WHeN HeART GRaiNSaND
    SoUL PolisHinG Waves aS Ocean WHoLe MoRE..:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like a magical place. The castle has a very fairy tale look in the second photo. I like both your haiku. The first one is playful and the second one reads like a passage from some epic tale of travel and adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. MAGNIFICENT! And I’m not just talking about the castle, nor just the clear and crispy beautiful photographs. It’s always magnificent to read or hear about people inviting or welcoming other people’s adoration, dreams, stories, etc. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I find ancient ruins to be incredibly beautiful and full of stories and wonder. I love the snippet about the woman who had to leave her dogs at home–that’s me whenever I am away without them (and that is a very rare occasion since we plan our lives around those pups.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow–how lucky we are to get two haibuns for the price of one! Visiting castles must be fun. I have to settle for tall mountains (Rainier, St. Helens, Baker, Adams & Hood) here in the “ring of fire”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Glenn, mountains are wonderful too and I can happily roam there and breathe in the silence. I hope you all stay safe and get some rain to quell those fires πŸ’œ


  7. Thank you for your beautiful Haibuns and photos. It is so wonderful to find fellowship in such a wonderful location. When people on vacation take time to visit, it really lifts everyone’s spirits. Obviously your whippets also contributed. It must have been wonderful

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a wonderful place to walk, Xenia, and such friendly people, the kayaker and the car park attendant! I love the part in the first section of prose, where your hope for the future gleams: ‘Full of youth and dreams he tells us he is excited about the life in front of him. Full of years and dreams I realise that I am excited about the life in front of us too. We exchange a knowing glance with the kayaker and in that moment, even the castle looks young again’. I’m not surprised the castle became so popular with visitors, it’s a gorgeous spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh these photos are stunning! And your words have taken me with you on this lovely journey.
    I love the idea of “young” being possible, even for the castle. After all, it no doubt, has many years ahead of it sharing its beauty with the many who make the pilgrimage to see this beautiful place. And I also love that the dogs have all the time needed by this person…animals are that way sometimes. They just know what a human needs. πŸ™‚ I so enjoyed reading this with my coffee this morning. It’s grey and rain is expected here in Boston today — but I feel I’ve been to see a wonderful place with you! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. *Beyond Journey

    (Leave No Bricks Out..;)

    The Gate Cooling
    In the Forest
    Textures Journey In Time
    Sea Levels Sacred Geometry

    -Xenia Tran

    SMiLes mY FriEnD
    Your Home is a Castle
    And the Bricks are Titles of your Poems..:)

    Liked by 1 person

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