To avoid the busy holiday season, we stayed in a non touristic part in the south of Scotland not far away from Dumfries. It was also a good time for our children to visit us. While in the Netherlands de mussen van het dak vielen, or like the English would call it: we had “The dog days of summer”, we on the contrary experienced a rather pleasant temperature.
“Btw. The dog days of summer is an expression that has nothing to do with dogs as many like to believe these days. It doesn’t have to do with dogs lying around in the heat—the phrase comes from ancient Greek beliefs about the dog star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens.” To the Greeks and Romans, the “dog days” occurred around the day when Sirius appeared to rise just before the sun, in late July. They referred to these days as the hottest time of the year, a period that could bring fever, or even catastrophe. The phrase “dog days” was translated from Latin to English about 500 years ago. Since then, it has taken on new meanings. Read source here
10% photography, 90% running the business
For me these periods of not traveling are very important to keep up with my work and process it all. After all we can only live this nomadic life because of my photography and I was used to spend almost all day behind the computer running my business. It was like 10% photography, 90% running the business. Last year it was just the other way around. When we started traveling we had to find a good balance in work vs relaxation. It’s evident now I need more periods of time where I can work for days/ weeks in a row behind my computer to keep up with everything. Annemarie came up with a fantastic solution which could benefit us and others as well. She found a website called: Trusted Housesitters. It’s a site where people can offer their houses for free in exchange for looking after their animals and house. Often this is for a period like 2-6 weeks, but sometimes even longer. It sounded perfect and since we have done two pet sits now, we are very happy with it. I can keep up with my work and Annemarie loves taking care of the animals and take long walks with them. It feels good to have these animals around you and also stay in a new part of a country and get to know it.
Scotland – Isle of Skye and North Coast 500
After our summer retreat we headed for the Isle of Skye. Although I am not too fond of these touristic places its just too beautiful to let it pass. Scotland stole our hearts. It’s hard to express, you have to experience it yourself. Since we had to be back in the Netherlands end of September, we didn’t had the time to take it easy. So we visited some hotspots and on top of that drove the North Coast 500 in 3 days. We will be back 🙂 We ended our Scotland trip in the Cairngorms. In one word: WoW!
Eilean Donan Castle. Just before you will drive over the bridge to the Isle of Skye you will find this famous castle, which looks good in any weather condition.
Bride Veils and view on Old man of Storr. It was a rather swampy climb to have the waterfall and old man of storr in one take. There was only once in a while a glimpse of sunlight, but then again the point of the characteristic Storr, which looks here more like a menhir, was covered in a cloud.
Sligachan. The place is more famous for the bridge and mountain behind it which is indeed a nice picture. However a little further upstream there is wild cascade. Heavy dark clouds were heading our way. Only seconds after I had made some shots, rain was pouring like crazy. In only a short time I could feel the water running down my neck and the elbows of my jackets tuned into little waterreservoirs. With no place to hide we walked, in complete surrender, back to our motorhome. We already had some rainy days and now we could add our clothes to the rest of our stuff that had refused to dry.
Fairy Glenn. This rather small area must have been build by a wizard, or wise art, I am sure of that 🙂 There is magic all around. When I met a bearded goat here I asked him if he was the wizard, …in disguise of course. But he didn’t answer….the clever wizard he was.
Yep, that’s my shadow.
Quirang. After driving a steep road with our motorhome we arrived at the top. It was crowded with people and midges. But the view is one to remember for all times. Since the place has been photographed a million times, I made my own impression and called it the Quirang wintermood
Elgol, Cuillin mountains at the back, stormy weather. We took a very steep road down to the harbor with our motor home and with sweat in our hands we made it back up. We have taken a lot of steep roads, but this one was definitely the most frightening one with all the short sharp curves, storm and rain. The beach at Elgol is in the southern part of Isle of Skye
After our short trip through Skye, we drove the rather familiar North coast 500. You can start the route in Inverness, where it weaves along the west coast to Applecross and then northwards towards Ullapool and Durness. The west side and parts of the North are fantastic, the eastern part you can skip. From there to John o’ Groats, sounded very romantic and is absolutely not. But I guess they need everybody to do the whole 500 to stimulate tourism. Well you better skip this rather boring North Eastern part, it’s a waste of time. It’s even hard to find a gasstation in that part. Next time we will drive more inland through Sutherland back to Dingwall.
Stunning hills, wide valleys, fresh air and cute castles.