Monday, May 29, 2017

Spectacular Scotland

If you are following me on Facebook or Instagram you probably have read that I was positively running out of positive adjectives during this amazing dream trip through Scotland. Well, actually only through a small part of Scotland.
Yes it was that good!
Over 7000 images later I'm now facing the editing....which is part overwhelming and part great fun as I can relive the trip!
There are more blogs to come, for sure one about Edinburgh, the Kelpies, the castles and maybe more.
For now a few highlights, following the route we took:
We flew into Edinburgh and stayed in Musselburgh, which gave us a good location to scout out East Lothian, Edinburgh, and, of course, some golf courses.

Please feel free to click on the images for a better view

 Tantallon Castle, with Bass Rock in the distance, East Lothian

The Kelpies in Falkirk, absolutely stunning sculptures. 
More about them in a dedicated Kelpie blog.

 The Edinburgh Castle sits high above the town, here seen from Princess Garden

We spent two days wandering through Edinburgh, and could have easily spent many more. Again, I will go into more detail in an Edinburgh blog. If you ever want to photograph in Edinburgh, I highly recommend checking out Tom Foster's website: Spectacular Edinburgh. His website and Facebook/Instagram posts were a great inspiration!

The National Monument on top of Calton Hill

Melrose Abbey

From Edinburgh/Musselburgh we drove farther north to THE "birth place" of golf....

St. Andrews! 
If I counted right, St. Andrews has 11 golf courses within a radius of a few kilometers.
But St. Andrews has not only golf courses, it is also a renowned University city and, of course, has a castle and an abbey. Plus a cafe with the best scones we had during our trip, the Gorgeous Cafe.

St. Andrews Cathedral

From St. Andrews we headed farther north towards Stonehaven. Scotland is known for it's wool and
the producers of this wool are everywhere. As it happened to be lambing season, I could not stop ahhing and ohhing at these cute lambs 

Scurdie Ness lighthouse on the way to Stonehaven.

As we finally arrived at our Stonehaven destination, the Dunnator castle, we found out that it was closed due to high winds. Some of the outbuildings in the castle area are covered with slate shingles. The wind had blown these shingles off before, so to be on the safe side, the castle had been closed. Makes me wonder though, how many days in the year it is actually open, since wind is more or less a given there.

From the Dunnottar castle we continued on to Inverness. Another good location to scout out the nearby attractions, as the Urquhart castle (above) and the Speyside distilleries.

Strathisla distillery is the oldest continuously operating distillery in Scotland, and also the most photogenic! Their 17year old whiskey is to die for!!

From Inverness we headed to Dornoch, paying the Mermaid of the North a visit on the way. This girl was hard to find, surprisingly as she is truly beautiful.

At the Royal Dornoch golf course my caddy services were asked for again. 
If only all golf courses were this breath taking.

And the reward came the very next day: The heritage tour at the Glenmorangie Distillery,
including a yummy lunch at the Glenmorangie house. More in a separate blog!

Wildlife and lighthouses are never far away in Scotland...

Chanonry light house

From Inverness we then headed towards the west coast, to a charming little town called Ullapool.

If you ever visit Ullapool, make sure you stay at the Ceilidh Place. Ceilidh stands for coming together, play music, sing, read and have a good time. And you will just have that as the restaurant offers the best coffee I had in Scotland, a great dinner menu, good music and...a bookstore.

Next on the agenda was the famous Eilean Donan castle, as we visited it in the afternoon we had rain, wind and low we came back for the night photography, the rain had just stopped, no wind and high just a teaser, more in the promised coming up castle blog.

Here a species I was surprised to not see more often, the Scottish highland cattle. When I found them they were either eating or sleeping and if you dare to call on them to get a front shot...they walk away...
I need to work on that next time we are in Scotland!

Oban was our last stop before heading back to Edinburgh. A cute little, bustling port city.
Obviously people here know how to travel....

...and how to live on the edge!

On the way back to Edinburgh we passed by Kilchurn Castle, another famous one...and indeed the only one where the rain persisted.

Back in Edinburgh, we had one more day to enjoy before we had to fly back home.

Victoria Street at night

I travel quite a bit and I have to say these two weeks in Scotland were one of the best trip I ever had! 
Hopefully you can enjoy and partake a wee bit in Scotland's splendor through my images, and as promised, there are some more detailed blogs already in the making.