It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world, the history is fascinating, the men are handsome and the whisky is delicious. But don’t eat the macaroni pies.J. K. Rowling
[dropcap]W[/dropcap] hen you hear “Scotland”, what comes to your mind? Bagpipers? Scotch? Tartan kilts (don’t you dare call it a skirt :D)? Yes, all of that is pretty much directly associated with Scottish culture. But to me Scotland is beyond all of that. Having lived here for almost one and half year now, I have fallen in love with this incredibly moody and mystically beautiful country far north of the globe. While, I am yet to visit the best of it all here’s a glimpse into what Scotland is, through my lens.
The Castles and the Lochs
Soaked on the canvas of moody mystical weather the Scottish legends come alive through its numerous castles, some along the lochs, some in the interior.
Scotland has a long and colourful history. This northern country in the United Kingdom has plethora of incredible prehistoric sites and ruins of lost medieval glory. Scotland has seen fierce battles in the lowlands and the highlands. The lakes and the mountains silently testify for every one of those. Soaked on the canvas of moody mystical weather the Scottish legends come alive through its numerous castles, some along the lochs, some more aloof.
The Highlands and the Islands
The birthplace of Valour, the country of Worth;
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands, for ever I loveRobert Burns, Scotland’s most beloved poet
I truly had never realised this distinction between Highlands and Lowlands until I came here. Based on the geography, lowlands are low areas in the south while highlands are the hilly and picturesque areas in the north and the west. The weather changes frequently and is quite distinct in lowlands as against the highlands. I remember one day in the beautiful summer it was quite warm and sunny near Glasgow while it was windy, raining cats and dogs in the highlands. Incredible, I thought!
The highlands mainly are accessed from the two sides, east and west. On both sides, the scenes are incredibly beautiful. I annoy my copassengers with requests to stop often for photographs. Every time I have been on the road I have felt 24 hours are too less. Highlands make me hungry for more.
There are some incredible geological features in Scotland like The Great Glen Fault in the heart of Highlands and it is distinctly visible even on Google Maps. I’ll mention some more features in one of my upcoming blog posts.
Another incredible feature of rugged Scottish outdoors is its islands. Just as lakes are referred to as “lochs”, islands are called as isles in the local tongue. There are so many isles on the Scottish coast, one lifetime would not be enough to enjoy each one of them. Isle of Skye is the most popular one, however there are so many more equally deserving candidates. Mind you it’s only 5 hours away from Glasgow yet I have avoided to do a quick tour of the Isle of Skye so far. This is only because I have decided I need at least 5 full days to explore it. One day, I’ll make it there and perhaps beyond.
The islands, because they are isolated, are a safe haven for a variety of wild life. I was lucky enough to capture a bit of it. For more of these Puffin shots, do follow my instagram 😉
Moody and Dreamy Landscapes
The weather is generally “shite”, as they say here. Rainy, cloudy, windy you name it. It’s also cold, especially for someone like me who has spent most of his life in warm Indian subcontinent. While the Highlands are snowy in winter it rarely snow around Glasgow. But when it does, people have incredible ways to deal with it!
Sometimes the weather is just unpredictable. It stops raining and sun comes out. Sometimes it creates wonderful atmosphere.
Sometimes there’s a bit of sunshine too! The best times to go out if you ask me (But, no, I don’t, I fiddle with the code on my damn office PC). Last summer was especially sunny and warm. It’s here that I realised why the “summer” is hyped so much, trust me it’s not hype. Occasionally you also come across weird news as well e.g. last summer when the roof of Glasgow Science Centre started melting due to overheating. While, this isn’t a direct indication of Climate Change, studies have definitely shown that Scottish weather is getting warmer in last few decades (by about half a degree Celsius).
While, I am yet to capture the marvel that is Aurora, that’s definitely in my bucketlist. I’ll have to go further in the north for it and prey heavens for clear sky at night.
Umm, no I wasn’t really talking about Glasgow. But yah okay :D.
Edinburgh remains my favourite city when it comes to architecture.
This is first of many blogs on Scotland to come up next. So subscribe (see side panel or bottom depending on your display screen) with your email and wait for the the notification 😉
Meanwhile, if you haven’t yet read these, do visit the old ones (my First Impressions of Glasgow , about Glasgow’s Industrial Legacy, or the latest on Experiments in Long Exposure Photography.). Also, I am on instagram, do follow me there for more Scottish flavours. Cheers!