I don’t know how else to put it right now. The Scottish landscape was truly amazing. Of course I had guessed beforehand that Scotland would have quite a bit to offer in terms of scenery, so I made sure to equip myself accordingly upgrade my equipment for the trip. I had added a wide angle lens to my gear, as well as a set of ND filters for long exposures during the day. I packed my tripod anyway. The outcome was not all that surprising: Anytime I spotted a photogenic lake, stream, or beach, I stopped for a long-time exposure shot, which involved time consuming setup of equipment including tripod. This was much to the dismay of those travelling with me. There were “unfortunately” too many picturesque locations in Scotland.
We went from Edinburgh towards Loch Lomond, via Glencoe on to dramatic Isle of Skye. From there we headed to Applecross, along the coast all the way up north to laid-back Ullapool. Then we headed back south again through Inverness and Cairngorms to Edinburgh. In our rental Astra we cruised from one B&B to the next. (Full Scottish included, phew.) The drive was nothing short of spectacular. Awesome mountains and hills, lakes, small waterfalls and green scenery all over. Among our favorite spots was Glencoe and the Lost Valley, which is the destination of a full-day walking tour, with breathtaking views. The walk is steadily uphill, until you suddenly arrive in this valley, which is a hidden plateau between two hills. Back in the days, the MacDonald clan of Glencoe hid its cattle from its enemies in this valley. Another highlight was the Isle of Skye, which offers more amazing scenery. Our hikes around Quiraing, at Neist Point and by the Old Man of Storr were really rewarding and easily filled my camera’s memory cards. Claigan Coral Beach, also on Skye, has a Caribbean look to it with its white sands and crystal water. In fact you might forget you’re in Scotland…as long you’re able to ignore the air temperature, anyway. On the Isle of Skye, we stopped for tea in what has to be the most laid-back tea house, aptly named Small and Cosy Tea House.
Back in Edinburgh we had a brief encounter with a proper Scottish celeb. In an elevator in the National Museum of Scotland, we met Scottish author Ian Rankin. Well, not so much “met” actually rather than “stood next to him without recognizing him at first”. It wasn’t until some fellow tourist pointed him out to us that we realized who he was. So, unfortunately, no selfie as proof!