scotland that you won’t forget

 
Scotland had been on my mind for quite some time, probably ever since when I was a little kid and watched movies like Highlander and Braveheart. I had this mental image of what it would be like — stunning beauty, breathtaking highlands, deep lochs nestling in the midst of impressive mountain ranges, endless fields of grass… and you know what, it’s all that and much much more. Despite being rained on for the majority of the time, my buddy Boyko and I experienced some of the most incredible scenery that I’d personally seen. It was serene and turbulent at the same time; awe-inspiring and mesmerizing; dark and light; cold and warm. It’s cliche to say, but words cannot do it justice and I hope the images (backed up by the incredible song by Ben Howard) can at least for a short while teleport you there. Because my friends, you need to go there.

It only took me 3 months to get the photos up even though I’d picked the song and title way back in August… let’s hope it was worth the wait šŸ˜‰ Btw, you can see Boyko’s great post on our trip here, it will give you a different perspective and it really breaks it down day by day nicely.

 
Edinburgh castle as seen from Arthur’s Seat… incredible city, btw, easily one of my top favorites along with Wellington in New Zealand.

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Scotland is a very windy land, believe me.

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It’s like you can sense the history and culture of the place just by looking at tombstones. Am I the only one?

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Believe it or not, rainbows and sheep are pretty commonplace šŸ˜‰

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Our first morning after spending the night in this remote country house right by Loch Voil, only reachable via a dirt road.

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Boys be boys šŸ™‚

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A several hundred year old church in Balquhidder where Rob Roy’s grave is.

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I loved the endless empty roads, Scotland is a driver’s heaven.

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Plenty of turbulent rivers coming down from the highlands.

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At some point they become your constant travel companion šŸ˜‰

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A pretty “average” view.

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Love this shot… a police officer waiting for the Edinburgh crowds to overtake the stands.

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Freedom.

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This was such a magical moment… after hours and hours of driving in mostly rainy weather, the sky cleared up around dusk just as we were pulling up next to this castle. If I had to summarize Scotland in one image, this might be it. I must have stood at this spot for a good 30 minutes just taking the scenery in.

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The Glenfinnan Viaduct which appeared in the Harry Potter movies.

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The rain caught up with us as we were climbing this mini hill to take this shot… totally worth it.

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Cruising.

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It’s good to sometimes notice the little things amidst all that grandiosity.

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History. Walking around this graveyard and reading the tombstones was an interesting experience, it really shows you how the Scots try to preserve their identity.

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Our rental car somewhere around the Isle of Skye.

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The packed Edinburgh streets around the Fringe festival in August. I saw a couple of comedy and dance shows, so good.

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A long exposure evening shot somewhere around the Isle of Skye, near Glen Brittle. One of my favorites from the trip.

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Roads are often so narrow only one car can pass at a time… makes driving SO much fun šŸ˜‰

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We found these chairs at the end of the road and figured it’s a perfect photo op šŸ˜‰ The dark clouds to the left is a storm approaching, btw — they are never too far behind in this part of the world.

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When you look at a map you see how the “hills” around you are around 1,000m high and you think to yourself, that’s nothing (especially compared to say Kilimanjaro’s nearly 6,000). But then when you see it live, you realize that little hill is actually quite the climb since you have to start from sea level. Regrettably we could not reach this tiny isolated church as it would have meant a 4-5 hour trek in one direction, but boy was it tempting.

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How do you not love a country that has honesty cafes? Basically they trust you’ll leave the necessary amount when pouring yourself a hot beverage.

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Despite outward appearances, it was less than 10C outside and the water was probably closer to 5… which didn’t stop me from taking a dive šŸ˜‰

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A long walk to forever.

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Cloud-engulfed mountains, ancient castles and lakes… yep, I’m in Scotland alright.

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Stunning scenery in the northern highlands, on the way to Durness.

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The tale of William Wallace with a replica of his sword in the background… needless to say the movie wasn’t exactly accurate šŸ˜‰

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Plenty of beaches around… too bad most of the time you can’t really take advantage. We were there in August, mind you, and it was still rarely over 10-15 degrees outside.

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Telephone booths at the end of the world!

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Contemplating life?

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Dusk somewhere in the heart of Scotland.

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Bales of hay around dusk… too bad we didn’t have more time to walk around this place.

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Naturally we couldn’t go without visiting a whiskey distillery… and by that I mean we devoted a whole day for this and went to 5 or 6, drinking quite a bit of free 18-year-old whiskeys in the process šŸ˜‰

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A different perspective.

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A great image to end the post on, CairnGorm national park which is a ski resort in winter time… what a place!

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Can’t wait to show you more of Scotland in the coming weeks… stay tuned, comment and share šŸ™‚

 
 

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37 thoughts

  1. Well I’m looking for places to visit on my Euto trip next summer and seemingly Scottland is a serious contender. This looks like a dreamers’ and photographers’ paradise. Thanks for sharing your wonderful shots.
    Cheers

  2. Superb photography! We share your love of an astoundingly beautiful country. You might consider walking the West Highland Way. We enjoyed it earlier this year and blogged about it if you want to check it out (carryoncouple.com). Meanwhile, happy travels!

  3. Your photos are so incredible and really captured why I love Scotland. I got to live there for 1.5 years when doing my degree, and now am moving back next fall for a job!! I can’t wait to do more exploring, especially the highlands north of Inverness which I haven’t seen in person yet. And more of Skye. And everywhere. I’ll definitely be awaiting further Scotland posts. šŸ™‚ Thanks

  4. Can I hire you to build a travel itinerary for me? LOL

    Another smashing post. You’re so right — the music you chose owns this post. And that rainbow! And the long exposure. Nice representative piece, I’m sure, though I’ve never been to Scotland. I’ll share your link with my Scottish friend (recently moved to America from Edinburgh) to see what she thinks! Cheers.

    PS – Pop over when you have time. I shot a lot of birds with a new lens. Loving the 150mm-600mm Tamron, finally in my bag!!

    • Haha, I should create a business around it — I’ve been around so much I might actually be good at it šŸ˜‰

      Thanks for stopping by again and do let me know what your Scottish friend thinks. As for your new Tamron toy — love the bird shots and those of your kids by the beach. The lens is paying off šŸ˜‰

      • Will do, and anytime. I look forward to you posts! Just don’t ever settle down and have kids. It’ll wreck your travel plans for about a decade, and you’ll have to live vicariously through others’ experiences (like I do).

  5. Isn’t my country just fab! Your photos are beautiful. Did you make it to Glencoe? It’s awe-inspiring. Fills me up every time I visit. These pics have made me homesick. And I live here. Come again and welcome. šŸ™‚

  6. Amazing photos! I love Scotland. My family and I made the trip to the Highlands (all the way to Durness) this past July. As I looked through your photos, I felt like you re-created MY journey ~ I’m in awe of your photography skills (and keen eye). I’ll definitely be following!

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