“Where is the coward that would not dare to fight for such a land as Scotland?”
— Sir Walter Scott
There is something about the Scottish Highlands. It is a barren landscape, striking and haunting all at once. The weather is unpredictable, roiling yet calm at the same time. Every frame taken of the Highlands evokes a strong feeling, an echo of a memory that once you were privileged to travel there.
I’m not joking, the Highlands are F-ing gorgeous.
We were continuing our road trip to the Isle of Skye during one of the hottest summers on record, slicing through the Highlands on the A82. We’d just sat in some traffic by Loch Tulla in the county of Argyll & Bute and as we entered the Highlands, we started hunting for a place to have lunch.
But first, some islands in the Highlands on an Island. How meta.
The A82 snakes between to Lochs with incredibly Gaelic names. The above and below are Lochan na h-Achlaise. Lochan, I believe, is just a smaller loch, a pond, if you will. I was struck by the little islands.
(Photographs heavily edited in Adobe Lightroom because I still had not found my mojo with the Fuji x100s. Add fast moving car and overcast weather and boom: need a vignette!)
The lochs make way for grassy moors, the clouds kissing the tops of the fells in the distance.
We stopped for lunch and fought off the midges during our Highland picnic.
Seriously. Midges. You hear about them. Highland flies. They are annoying, yes. Some of them get really, really big and kind of scary. And they might even remind you of bees at first with their diving and weaving, seemingly right at you. You might even do that little swarmy dance, flapping your arms around to get rid of them. And boy, the sure do like the color white.
In the end, we just ate in the car.
But don’t worry about us, because there’s so much more to see.
And if you keep on driving, soon you’ll be rewarded with mountains. So many stunning, majestic mountains.
And if you’re lucky, the weather will show you what the Highlands is all about.
And just when you think your drive couldn’t get any better, you stumble across the Three Sisters.
Of course when we were there, it was all covered in fog.
Ah well. That’s just the majesty and mystery of the Highlands. Onward!
Not too long after the Three Sisters is Glencoe and Fort William. At Fort William you have a choice. Either head west to the ferry terminal at Mallaig, or follow the A82 north past Spean Bridge and keep on driving to the Skye. Ferry or Bridge. We chose bridge and were rewarded with beautiful blue skies scattered with fluffy clouds.
But first, a stop at the best named Loch. In. The. World. Loch Lochy.
I know, right?