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Loch Brittle – Isle of Skye

Loch Brittle, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Last light and low tide at Loch Brittle, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Another photo from Glenbrittle, this time down on the beach.  Though opening of the Loch faces southwest, the low setting November sun actually makes it quite a good location for sunsets, while in Summer, the sun sets too far to the north for any direct light.

Glenbrittle and Black Cuillins

Reflection in lochan, Black Cuillin hills, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Pleasant autumn afternoon wandering around down in Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland.  Glenbrittle is probably one of my favorite places on the island, both the the view and access to the Black Cuillins as well as the coastal hiking.  This was generally my go to spot whenever I thought the sun would shine for more than a few hours – which isn’t all that often in November.

Black Cuillin hills as seen from Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Reflection in lochan, Black Cuillin hills, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Kirk

Church ruin, Kilmuir, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Church ruin, Kilmuir, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

I’ve no idea of the history of this ruin.  Though by the looks and condition of it, I wouldn’t imagine it to be more than 200 or so years old, which is relatively new by Skye standards. It’s a big structure, offset from the ‘highway’ by about a half mile or so.  Perhaps it simply fell out of use with time and population decline.  Now only sheep and cows walk among the walls, and American photographers.

Neist Point Lighthouse – Isle of Skye

Neist Point Lighthouse panoramic landscape photo, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye, Scotland.

What can’t be seen in these photos is the 60-70 mph winds that were screaming over the the island.  Near where I was standing for the first photo was a small waterfall, flowing completely in reverse.  No water was making it down the cliff, it was all being blown backwards towards were it came, and soaking me as I had to pass by.

If there was bus service to Neist Point, it would probably be the most popular tourist location on Skye, but since it is a fairly long drive from Portree, it’s only the 2nd most popular location.  On a nice sunny (and calm) day it is a pleasant place to hike around and enjoy the scenery – some of the most dramatic cliffs on Skye are here. There is a paved walkway most of the way to the lighthouse, but if it has been raining a lot, bring waterproof boots if you want to go further as there is some fairly evil bog that needs to be crossed.  The mountains of South Uist are visible in the distance.

Neist point lighthose and sea, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Stenness Stones – Orkney

Stenness standing stones, Orkney landscape photography

Standing Stones of Stenness, Orkney.

The Stenness stones, along with the Ring of Brodgar form part of the UNESCO world heritage site known as ‘the Heart of Neolithic Orkney.’  From Stenness, Brodgar is within eyesight and about a 5 minute walk to the north.  The Neolithic chambered cairn, Maeshowe, is also within visible and also a short walk away.

Even though the stones are man made, their age makes the appear as just another element of the Orkadian landscape.  Something that is just ‘there’ as you drive by in a car or are looking out the window of a bus.  Covered in moss, struck by lightning, and standing among grazing sheep,  simply ‘there;’ part of a living land.

Stenness standing stones, Orkney Neolithic site photo

Loch Ba – Rannoch Moor

Scottish landscape photography - Loch Ba, Rannoch Moor

Loch Ba and Rannoch Moor on a cold December afternoon.  I was given a few moments to photograph the still water, then drop, drop, drop and the return of the rain.

Panoramic scottish landscape image - Loch Ba, Rannoch Moor

Ring of Brodgar – Orkney

Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland, stock image

Winter dawn at Ring of Brodgar, Orkney, Scotland.

In December, the sun has little strength to rise very far above the horizon this far in the north.  The winter days are short and the nights long, only to be reversed in a few months during the endless days of summer.  Such a contrast of light at dark that I never knew growing up at a more mild latitude.  No wonder that the sun played such an important role in the lives of the ancient peoples of this barren land.

It is always a strange feeling for me to walk amongst something so old.  To think that these stones have seen some 5,000 winters, and will probably see another 5,000 more;  it helps to put things in perspective about the importance of our ‘achievements.’

Elgol – Isle of Skye

Travel stock image: Rocky coast at Elgol with Cuillins in background, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The rugged and rocky coastline at at Elgol with it’s view back towards the mighty Black Cuillins as they rise from Lock Scavaig is one of the more iconic photo locations on the Isle of Skye.  As long as one is willing to gamble on good weather, it is well worth the long drive down the winding single lane road.

Snow covered peak on the left is Gars-Bheinn at the start of the famous Cuillin ridge.  Sgurr na Stri is the lower, snowless peak towards the center.  To the left of that sits Loch Coruisk, another marvelously scenic, and isolated, place and Skye.  There is a nice hiking route that starts in the north at Sligachan and passes by loch Coruisk and then around the coast under Sgurr na Stri to Camasunary and eventually finishing here at Elgol.

One of my stupider moments in life happened along the coast under Sgurr na Stri.  It had just finished raining ( = slippery rocks), I was trying to eat a piece of chocolate while at the same time messing with my camera to take a picture of Bla Bheinn rising above the Camasunary bothy.  Well, I slipped and ended up upside down; nothing bad, just a little ‘oops’ moment.  Not wanting to drop my camera on the muddy ground, I couldn’t use my hands to get myself up.  And not wanting to drop the piece of chocolate in my mouth that I had been munching on, I couldn’t talk clearly enough to ask my friend to pull on my backpack to help me up.  So was upside down with my backpack on top of me and unable to move.  Totally stuck, but only because I didn’t want to drop my camera or chocolate.  Finally my friend came to the rescue after a moment of wondering if I was practicing some new form of mountain yoga.  Luckily there was only two of us to witness this event.

Landscape stock photography - Elgol and Black Cuillin, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Isle of Skye – Coire na Creiche

Waterfall at Fairy Pools, Coire na Creiche, Isle of Skye, Scotland

River at Coire na Creiche, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye.  Better known as the location of the ‘Fairy pools,’ a series of crystal blue pools of water and waterfalls flowing out of the rugged peaks of the Black Cuillins.  It had been raining for a week strait prior to my visit so the ‘pools’ were are bit more like rapids than normal, but at least I got lucky with a bit of sun on a short November day.

Waterfall at Fairy Pools, Coire na Creiche, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Waterfall at Fairy Pools, Coire na Creiche, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Black Cuillins – Isle of Skye

Panoramic landscape photography - Black Cuillin Hills, Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Black Cuillin Hills as viewed from Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye, Scotland.