Scotland (Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Isle of Skye)

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, the largest city by area and the second largest by population in the country.  Footdee is locally known as “Fittie.”  It is an old fishing village at the east end of the harbor and has been a settlement as far back as medieval times—the first recorded reference to the area was in the year 1398.  Aberdeen is situated at the mouth of the Dee River, known for its granite quarries, fishing industry and seaport.  On the Isle of Skye (Northeast Skye and Central Skye) features shattered peaks, vertical faces and precipitous ridges.

I visited Scotland from March 26 thru April 4, 2012.  Upon our arrival we experienced unseasonably warm and sunny weather. The weather on March 26th broke a record for this date at 73 degrees.  The temperature is usually between 39 and 48 degrees wet and gloomy.  We enjoyed beautiful weather for the majority of the trip.  Toward the end of the week temps began dropping and rain turned to snow.  The best time of day to photograph is early morning or late afternoon.  However, when traveling with family that was not always possible.

My recommendations for photographing include carrying your gear with you at all times (there is a bevy of photographic opportunities).  Have a lock for extra equipment while in hotels in large cities.  Summer months would be a better time to visit as far as weather goes, but be forewarned, weather is very unpredictable and you may experience all four seasons in one day.  Be prepared clothing-wise for all climate conditions.  However, I do like the drama of storm clouds.

My images include the University of Edinburgh; Lawn Market Street, a street that leads to Edinburgh castle along the “Royal Mile” (a must for any budding street photographer); Footdee, Aberdeen, a delightful little place to take a walk next to the sea, peaceful with old world charm, lovely views and interesting old fishing cottages that now house many artisans; and Dunnottar Castle, the ruins of a medieval fortress just south of Stonehaven—a lovely place to explore and sit a spell as the setting sun casts warm rays of light on the landscape.  You can almost hear the bagpipes of past playing in the hills.  (This castle was used for some scenes in the movie Hamlet and as inspiration for the castle in Disney’s Brave.).

The Isle of Skye is a must see.  You need to spend at least five days to explore the island.  You cannot help experiencing the spirit of the place—it is truly astounding.

My images on the Isle of Skye include Kilt Rock—its waterfall drops to the sea on the Trotternish Peninsula, Isle of Skye.  Kilt Rock was given its name due to the fact that it resembles the pleats of a Scotsman’s kilt.  Trotternish Peninsula on our way back from Kilt Rock we experienced ominous clouds moving in.  We decided to stop at the next pull off to take a few moody pictures.  The sun was setting and the clouds were moving in, lightning flashing in the distance I wanted to make this a short walk.  I noticed this bush that reminded me of the Bible story in which God speaks to Moses from the burning bush.  Kilmuir by Ulg, the Isle of Skye Museum of Island Life is a collection of thatched croft houses depicting life on the Isle of Skye in times gone by.  While there walk up the road a piece to the cemetery.  Elgol, a small village on the shores of Loch Scavaig towards the end of the Strathaird peninsula in the Isle of Skye is located in the Scottish Highlands.  While waiting for our departure for our boat trip to the Cullins there were many interesting subjects to photograph along the shore.  Elgol has a population of 150.  Many do not live there year-round.  It is a beautiful harsh isolated area suited for hearty souls.  Travelers take a single track dirt road to Elgol.  It is not uncommon to have to wait for a herd of highland cows to clear the road before you can be on your way.  Bring supplies in with you if you plan to stay—the nearest grocery store is fourteen miles away and difficult to travel after dark.  Loch Scavaig, take a boat trip to Loch Scavaig to see wildlife and geographical features that seem unworldly.

The photographer Christine Foley provided the details and images for the Scotland (Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Isle of Skye) destination.

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