Category Archives: Scotland

Wellies in Scotland!

After Ireland, I jumped on the car ferry with my trusty VW camper and headed over to Scotland (which could be seen from the Irish coast).  Upon arrival, it was a deceptively beautiful day, sunshine and green everywhere. I proceeded to visit Edinburgh directly as I was going to run with the local chapter of the Hash House Harriers. Edinburgh was a beautiful city and a lot of fun to walk around and hike on the hills next to it but it was very tough to find a parking/camping space. So I picked up and went about 20 miles away to Linlithgow where I found a car park for 5 euro a day, secure and close to the train station. Plus it had the added benefit of being next to this beautiful lake where there was a great swan show every sunset!

swan

A swan gliding by in the sunset lit waters.

 

A tiny duck plying the waters at sunset.

A tiny duck plying the waters at sunset.

 

A bevy of swans enjoying dinner at sunset.

A bevy of swans enjoying dinner at sunset.

 

A sole swan swimming in the golden lit waters at sunset.

A sole swan swimming in the golden lit waters at sunset.

 

Some beautiful flowers backlit by the setting sun,

Some beautiful flowers backlit by the setting sun.

 

After this brief visit, I ventured further north working my way to the main goal of the highlands. This was a beautiful part of Scotland with very little traffic or people but a lot of sheep! It was also home to some gorgeous scenery, both coastal and mountainous.  I drove along what is called the North Coast 500, basically 500 miles of coastal road that takes you up the east coast, then along the northern coast and back down the west coast (or vice versa) for some incredible scenery. Sometimes I would just venture off and try side roads that looked interesting.

Scotland

Interesting rock formations along the northern coast of Scotland.

 

Here are some shots that I discovered while driving along the side roads, not sure where I would end up and not really caring.

stream

A pretty stream with finger like waterfalls in the middle of nowhere.

 

river

A beautiful river leading off to a small rounded mountain in the distance.

 

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Underneath a bridge in the countryside, a beautiful picture of nature emerged.

 

Visiting Scotland wouldn’t be complete without a visit the Highland games.  I was lucky enough to see two, one very large and one much more local. They are a great way to meet local people, try some local food, and enjoy the music and colors.

Scotland

This young lad had a serious look of concentration before beginning his dance.

 

scotland

These cute young ladies dancing away in a competition, very talented!

 

There was always the traditional bagpipe bands, many times fronted by old crusty fellows….

bagpipes

This older gentleman gallantly leading the band.

 

bagpipe

This beautiful young woman was a nice surprise from the normally older male bagpipe players!

 

Meanwhile att the Highland games, there were the obligatory games of strength such as the caber toss, which is like having to throw a telephone pole end over end.

caber

This gentleman was able to do very well in the caber toss. To get some perspective on his size, he was 2 inches taller (6’4) than me and about 350 pounds!

 

The last area I visited was the Isle of Skye, an island which is connected by a beautiful bridge to the mainland and well worth visiting.

Storr

The Old Man of Storr rock formation on the Isle of Skye.

Skye

Beautifully green and hilly countryside on the Isle of Skye.

 

Lastly, I’ll wrap up this blog post with some beautiful sunset pictures that I was able to capture on the Northwest coast of the highlands. I have to say they were special because it was very rare to get a day where it wasn’t raining part of the time and heavy low clouds. But, I expected this, packed my wellies (boots which came in very handy!) and jumped into the weather!

 

Durness

Sunset on the beach at Durness.

Durness

More sunset at the beach in Durness.

Durness

More golden sunshine at sunset in Durness.

Durness

The land is basked in golden sunshine near Durness.

 

That’s a wrap on my visit to Scotland. A beautiful country with very friendly people, gorgeous scenery and great food and beer (and whiskey…). Highly recommend visiting, just pack your wellies and raincoat and enjoy what nature brings. It will be well worth it! Cheers!

 

 

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