Going to Scotland at the end of winter meant the landscapes looked less like the postcards and screensavers everyone’s seen. The colors of the land, and the sky at times, were muted, but the clear sky and water were brilliant. Rainclouds were dollops of whipped cream over water and quieting gray blankets over land.
Scotland has a rawness to it that’s incredibly appealing. Our whirlwind trip didn’t allow us enough time to sit back and get to know the country as well as we wanted to, but the bit we saw was [adjective]. Just… everything.
Caitlin and I visited Edinburgh, Inverness, Portree, the Isle of Skye, and Glasgow, and between us we took nearly 2,000 pictures over the course of five days. Here are 75.
Wandering around Edinburgh my first night there.
The sunrise outside our Airbnb window the next morning.
The Elephant Room, where JR Rowling wrote Harry Potter, where we ate breakfast, and where thousands have thanked Rowling with graffiti in the bathroom.
The view from the stairwell at our Airbnb. That’s a castle.
Seems like a good place for a castle.
Walking around Edinburgh, many people were in costume in preparation for a big soccer game that day.
Like I said, an excellent vantage point for a castle.
(Filtered and cropped) Edinburgh, a mishmash of buildings stacked on hills. Dense, old, and fascinating.
Graffiti, old buildings, and construction.
For some reason, Cait and I found ourselves in graveyards in each city we visited. And for some reason, this face-planted headstone made us both laugh.
A view of the city.
National Monument on Calton Hill above Edinburgh
The ruins of Holyrood Abbey
We walked up the Salisbury Crags, which was crawling with people but so large you didn’t notice.
A setting sun meant colder temps, so we left. We had a few miles to walk back to our Airbnb anyway.
The sunset over Edinburgh
Just being artsy
This scene just felt very Great British.
If it’s Scottish, it happened on this trip. This bagpiper was there both days we were in Edinburgh, and he played Amazing Grace. Which meant I got teary-eyed in the middle of the street.
On the bus to Inverness. I was shocked to see snow, and felt dumb for being shocked.
Inverness with incredible clouds overhead and Ness Bank in front of it.
Yup, that Ness. Loch Ness is just south of Inverness.
The guy passing me said, “You can go down. No one’s going to stop you.” I think my hesitation proved I was American.
Walking around Inverness
That’s a tree. AND THAT’S LOCH NESS.
Snow. Hills. Loch. House.
Next time, I take lens filters. Beautiful scenes around every bend.
Almost to Portree, and the scenery is just getting better. Then I see my first sheep… and its lamb, and got really excited.
The view from a dog park in Portree
The only reason we didn’t get closer was because we didn’t have appropriate footwear. Isle of Skye
You can’t really see it, but this is the Old Man of Storr.
Sheep! Right there!
The northeastern coast of Isle of Skye.
Abhainn An Lethuillt. The coast is literally right behind me at this point.
See that little point sticking up in the distance? That’s the Old Man of Storr again, a few kilometers down the coast.
Mealt Falls, Isle of Skye
Pretty sure this is part of Loch Mealt.
I was standing near ruins taking pictures of ruins.
In a cemetery on the Isle of Skye
A shower out east.
Lunch in Uig on the west coast of Skye
The Fairy Glen
A sheep in the Fairy Glen
Here’s the magical part of the Fairy Glen. We hiked in on the left.
The road is to the right, on the other side of this hill.
There were a few stone circles and hearts in the glen.
I climbed to the top of the hill from the previous pictures. I felt bold and alive and like the wind was going to knock me off the top.
Caitlin took a picture of me coming back down. It was harder than it looks.
Loch Dunvegan, on the west coast of Skye
A house on the loch
The long, lonely road to Neist Point
Looking east from Neist Point to North Uist, another Scottish island
Sheep on Neist Point. This little (big) area felt like quintessential Scotland.
The sun was setting, and rainclouds still passing by, so the colors of the scene were constantly changing
I’m not sure how to explain the scale of this place. These cliffs weren’t Princess Bride huge, but tall enough.
Neist Point Lighthouse. Abandoned and out of service.
I saw more rainbows in five days than I have in years.
Photo by Caitlin. I love the scale and grandeur of this place.
The sun was almost completely down at this point. It was a long, dark drive across Skye to get back to Portree, and we were hours behind schedule, but it was worth it.
Oh, shut up. Now you’re just showing off.
A still, bright day. On the bus to Glasgow.
The bus ride from Portree (Isle of Skye) to Glasgow took us through The Trossachs National Park. Unbelievable. Absolutely incredible.
The Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow
More campaign stickers in Glasgow
A light in front of Glasgow Cathedral
Moss was taking over the headstones in the cemetery next to the cathedral.
[Filtered and cropped (duh)] Old meets new. Kind of Glasgow in a nutshell
A well-placed campaign sticker
On my way to Edinburgh Airport from Glasgow. Perfect timing for snow.