There are some places that are simply breathtaking. Loch Avon, in its deep, rocky-sided trench, is one of them. From most approaches it appears suddenly: a jewel in a perfect setting. There are so many viewpoints around the cirque of mountains which surround the loch that offer heartstopping views, but this, coming over from Loch Etchachan – itself a precious gem – is one of my favourites.
This spring day was particularly fine. The water was a vivid blue under the sunshine and the rocks and snow-streaked hills seemed etched in crystal detail. There was an intensity to the world in that space which demanded attention, and I sat for a long time, just gazing at the views and breathing in the memory of a day that would not fade.
The views? Plural? Oh yes. I remember seeing a website which contrasted common iconic tourist views with photos taken from another viewpoint: the Mona Lisa and the packed bodies, the lions stalking the Veltd and the convoys of four-wheel-drive tourist buses, the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx and, with a slight twist of viewpoint, the modern city they sit in the suburbs of. But here, gazing down on Loch Avon, you can turn your head with impunity. For, behind you, that view will also take your breath away. There are some places that really are special.