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Long weekend in Scotland

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
My girlfriend and I visited Scotland for a 4 day getaway, two weeks ago. For a change, we didn't go for cities and culture, but for breathtaking landscapes... which we found more than we ever could have imagined. I've selected some of my favorite shots... but it was hard to choose, and impossible to take every shot I wanted to take (otherwise we wouldn't have made it past the first few kilometers of the Highlands). Scotland in autumn is just impossibly rustic, melancholic, and just... exactly how it should be!

For the best part of the weekend, see this thread:
45th SC Challenge - Happiness Is................?

As for the landscape part, here we go...

Loch Lomond
by bartjeej, on Flickr
Our first day took us from Edinburgh via Glasgow towards the Highlands. Loch Lomond gave us a first taste of the incredible beauty around here.

Above Loch Lomond
by bartjeej, on Flickr
Beyond Loch Lomond, the hills are getting taller, and steeper. With so much rain and so many mountains, there's a little stream every hundred meters or so, and little rivers aplenty.

Glen Coe
by bartjeej, on Flickr

Glen Coe
by bartjeej, on Flickr
Our route was spontaneous and not particularly planned, so we hadn't even realised we would pass through Glen Coe, right around sunset... we were stunned

Around Ben Nevis
by bartjeej, on Flickr
After a night in Fort William (where we had a mediocre hotel but found a fantastic restaurant), we did a hike around the foot of Ben Nevis, towards a waterfall. Going up the mountain was impossible due to the weather... but even if it had been sunny, our clothes, and my girlfriend's lack of mountain experience, meant staying on the easier paths was the sensible thing to do.

Around Ben Nevis
by bartjeej, on Flickr

Around Ben Nevis
by bartjeej, on Flickr
We were walking upstream towards the waterfall, and had to go through a narrow gorge to reach it. Looking back from the gorge provided a glorious view

Around Ben Nevis
by bartjeej, on Flickr

Around Ben Nevis
by bartjeej, on Flickr

Skye
by bartjeej, on Flickr
The following morning, we woke up in Dunvegan, Skye. Tried to see the castle, but it was closed for the winter. On to the lighthouse, we went... and I'm mighty glad that we did!

Skye
by bartjeej, on Flickr
(the EXIF shows that there were 13 minutes between the previous shot and this one... Scottish weather might just be even more changeable than Dutch weather! And the landscapes are considerably more spectacular...

Skye
by bartjeej, on Flickr

Skye
by bartjeej, on Flickr

Skye
by bartjeej, on Flickr
There had been another full "rain / hail / storm / perfectly bright sky" cycle between the previous shot and this one...

Skye
by bartjeej, on Flickr
On our way out of Skye, the weather deteriorated from showers to hours of uninterrupted rain. Made for a lovely moodiness, though...

Eilean Donan
by bartjeej, on Flickr
Managed to see at least one epic Scottish castle... although we still had a long nighttime drive to Inverness ahead of us, through the twisty Highlands "main road", on the left side of the road (which was a first for me), in the never-ending pouring rain, and with temperatures fast approaching zero degrees C... I was eager to press on, so we didn't have much time to admire the castle.

Bonfire night
by bartjeej, on Flickr
We arrived in Inverness just in time for the Bonfire Night celebrations. The heat of the fire drew the sparks into the air at high speed

Cairngorms
by bartjeej, on Flickr
On the eastern side of Scotland, the Cairngorms mountains don't have as much influence of the sea as the western Highlands...

Cairngorms
by bartjeej, on Flickr
... which means they already had a healthy dose of snow on the peaks.

Cairngorms
by bartjeej, on Flickr
A final look at the Scottish beauty, before returning to Edinburgh, and then home...
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
Cristina: might be a good place for a mother / daughter / granddaughter trip one day ;)

Tony: it was, and not just for the personal aspects. I've seen a good portion of Europe, north/west Africa, some of South America, the Asian side of the Caucasus... but still, Scotland in autumn is something special. It's probably special year round, but to me, the melancholy of autumn colors just fits Scotland and its history.

Ray, bluzcity: thanks!

Barrie, thank you and thank you!

Dave: Scotland in general isn't known for its tropical climate, but indeed it was getting pretty cold. Wind and moisture don't help. But it all just adds to the feeling of the place. I do appreciate being there in November 2017 instead of November 1817, though... would be a tough place to live without modern isolated buildings to take shelter in. That's also true for my native Holland, but at least we have Great Brittain acting as a buffer for nasty weather coming in over the Atlantic :th_salute:
 

hannahntilly

Regular
Apr 13, 2012
104
Surrey, UK
Peter
A nice set of photos. I climbed about 100 of the high mountains (the "Munros") over a 10 year period when I was younger. I could count the dry/clear days with a clear view from the summits on the fingers of one hand. It's a very pretty place though.........
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
Wow, I didn't know it was clouded that often! On the day we were near Ben Nevis, the visitor center recommended that nobody should try an ascent, due to low clouds, frost and high wind.

Have to say I'm more than a little jealous of you for climbing that many Munros, that must've been many miles of walking in beautiful places... I assume that you live(d) in Scotland?
 

hannahntilly

Regular
Apr 13, 2012
104
Surrey, UK
Peter
I live near London but used to spend a week walking each May. My friends completed all 282 mountains and are now attempting the lower "Corbetts". Very beautiful but often very wet - it's depressing putting on wet boots each day and that's why I lost interest! Ben Nevis can be very scary - I ascended in bright sunshine passing people in t-shirts and flip-flops. In the space of 30 minutes it was a white-out blizzard and very hazardous.
 

bartjeej

Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
124
bart
Wow... it always surprises me how some people just don't respect mountains. Just because you saw a local in Bali walk up a mountain in flipflops doesn't mean that you should too, especially in a climate as changeable as Scotland
 

Luke

Super Moderator
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
Luke
For the benefit of an ignorant Scotsman (who considers himself very lucky to live in such a wonderful country), who or what is "Buster"?
Buster is in so many beautiful Scottish landscape photos, that I assume he is part of the landscape. But it's just that he is out with our forum member Garry. Here's a link to Gary's photostream on Flickr (with a great photo of Buster... DSCF1140
 

Ripleysbaby

supernatural anesthetist
Sep 9, 2011
123
Cumbria UK
Garry
Buster is in so many beautiful Scottish landscape photos, that I assume he is part of the landscape. But it's just that he is out with our forum member Garry. Here's a link to Gary's photostream on Flickr (with a great photo of Buster... DSCF1140
Buster says thanks for the plug Luke. He is currently with me up near Ullapool at the moment. (work) . Stopping off at North Uist on my way south at the weekend to look over my next possible job. I am so lucky to work in beautiful places , and to have Buster with me.
Where I’m working at the moment (Mellon Udrigle) seems to attract a steady stream of photographers throughout the week. I’m working right next to the beach so I can understand why. Sadly I’m always working to hard to grab my camera. I’ve an open invitation to visit and stay when the job is complete. Yes my customers at great too .
 

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