Or, well, up the west coast anyway. I can never seem to leave Scotland without either taking a whole load of photos with the intention of stitching them later in photoshop or (now that I’ve got the X100) using the built in panorama mode. Before you scoff along the lines of ‘pah, built in panorama mode indeed’ it’s not actually that bad. Yes it does sometimes do things that only the processor of the camera will understand or would be able to explain but overall it’s a less involved means of producing a panorama. But back to my point. Those that have been to New York or any other large American city will understand. You get into the city and the first thing you do is gawp skyward at the tall buildings. Scotland is like that, except the gawping is done horizontally, not vertically.
Once in the highlands, you could stop pretty much every five minutes and stare at a brand new landscape that has all the right ingredients. Foreground interest (usually lovely rocks, oh yes) and whopping great hills/mountains in the background. You just can’t go wrong. So like the last trip over in 2010, I end up with a few dozen images to heave into photoshop on my return to Ireland. Slightly less this time actually, mostly because we didn’t actually stop every five minutes and that we’d already done (for my benefit of course) all the majorly tourist spots a couple of years previous.
In an attempt to present something other than a series of squished landscape shots that will have any viewers squinting and straining to see what’s going on, I’ve made all the below clickable. A quick click and as if by magic, a better view. Although unless you’ve got the monitor of the God’s, you’ll be scrolling. Sorry about that.
Somewhere on the way to Fort William. I couldn’t swear where exactly but I have vivid memories of trying to get a decent shot (video) while crossing the bridge to the left of the photo. This was taken at a petrol stop.
Ahh Bealach Na Ba. All those photos I’ve looked at and read various reports of people that had ridden this road. It’s like the ring of Kerry on steroids. It was also surprisingly quiet on our trip up there. Unlike the ring of Kerry, it’s no place for nervous tourists in rental cars. Much of the ‘road’ was only just about wide enough for a very small car. Most of the time the narrow road was paired with a drop of 10+ feet on each side. A road made for bikers if ever there was one. Well, one closer to home than the Alps anyway.
After descending from the madness of Bealach Na Ba, one simply has to stop at the Applecross Inn. Seemingly the only pub in miles and happily serving tasty food and what looked like a tasty local ale. No, I didn’t sample it. This time.
When so far from home, it’d be rude not to ride the rest of the way up the coast. Miles upon miles of perfect tarmac winding its way up through the hills and around lochs. I wouldn’t bet my life on it but I think this was Loch Torridon. Either that or Loch Shieldaig. Either way, the photo doesn’t do it justice.
“If you don’t like the weather in Scotland. Wait five minutes.” However, if like in the photo above you do like the weather in Scotland, you’re going to be pretty miffed in about 4 minutes and 30 seconds time. We saw it all on our trip. Sun, wind, rain, sleet and snow. More on this in later posts.