Whenever Europeans with itchy feet and wanderlust consider their next destination, the same phenomenon crops up: The Alps, the Mediterranean, perhaps even one of the great dream road trips on other continents have long been ticked off and some of them enjoyed intensely – but Scotland is missing. Mentioning the rugged north of the British Isles doesn’t exactly elicit an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response, but it somehow gnaws. It piques interest. An almost unexplainable curiosity, possibly fed by the kitsch of countless Hollywood freedom fighters or the vague passion for all things Nordic as a bastion of a free, unspoilt wilderness. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter “from where” this longing for Scotland comes. What’s more important is the “when”. When can you no longer ignore Scotland? When is the time ripe? When will it finally happen?
These are the exact questions that we CURVE creators asked, and the fact that we only suggested Europe’s rugged northwest after we’d crisscrossed the Alps and the Pyrenees in all directions, after we’d cruised through California and conquered Sicily, is not a judgement, and not a question of priority. Instead, it’s perhaps a sign of how unobvious Scotland can be. Other destinations are no more appealing or exciting, but Scotland is a place we’ve been avoiding for a long time, even though it kept cropping up. From a positive point of view one can say: We’ve observed how the anticipation has gradually increased and the wonderful feeling has been very much savoured.
Against the backdrop of this long, much relished denial, our shock after the first miles on Scottish roads was immense: We had never imagined during our preparations just how indescribably beautiful and poignantly majestic Scotland would turn out to be. Whenever we’re taking panoramic shots from a helicopter for other projects, we occasionally hear an “Oh” or an “Ah” – but over Scotland there was a breathless silence. What an enchanted world, what a feast of colours, dimensions and elements. Whoever manages to experience this land is truly privileged.
The Scottish folk, too, were reason for great joy. The uncomplicated, generous and relaxed nature of the often brusque-portrayed Highlanders won us over completely. With all their ruggedness, the Scottish people seem to possess an unusually humorous, self-ironic and downright poetic disposition. Even the most banal things are served with a wink and natural good-humour.
À propos served: The culinary reputation of Scotland is at best doubtful, but that we kept getting waylaid by little seafood restaurants along the way is also one of the great surprises of our trip. We fully expected such a gastronomic parallel world on Italian roadsides, but certainly not in the United Kingdom. And while we’re on the subject of surprises, normally we travel in sports cars, mostly two-door, two-seaters. But we didn’t regret for one second that the new Porsche Panamera was our travel companion through Scotland. On the contrary, the sleek sports sedan fits perfectly with the curves and sweeps of the Highlands, the astonishing responsive handling combined with outstanding comfort really kicked the door to Scotland wide open for us.
And for this we want to thank the kindred spirits from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen for supporting CURVES. Thanks, too, to all of our friends and backers, to all the weather-beaten faces out there who have made CURVES what it still is today after seven (mostly sold-out) editions: another wonderful surprise.