Glencoe

An impromptu trip to Glencoe with @alycoste at the weekend. With lightning and thunderstorms predicted for the Saturday we used the power of positive thinking to keep the bad weather away. Ok I used the power of positive thinking and Alayne laughed at my attempt to sway the universe. Although it was very humid on Saturday afternoon, the rain kept away, mostly. Sunday was very hot and sunny and we both got sunburnt! Ah Scotland, how I love your twisted sense of humour. We visited four different areas over two days, The Lost Valley, Ballachullish, Glencoe Lochan and Glen Etive.

The Lost Valley

A valley that the McDonald's used to hide stolen cattle in. I have no idea how they got cattle up into this area though, in some areas it's a bit of a scramble to get up! There are lots of great places to stop for photographs, especially the pools and waterfalls on the way up to the valley floor (it's a hanging valley).

Ballachulish

Surrounded by some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery in Scotland, Ballachulish is a perfect base for exploring the amazing landscape of Glencoe. This village used to be the 'slate capital' of Scotland and the disused quarries can be still seen nearby. The bridge connects North and South Ballachulish. We got there around nine at night hoping for a great sunset but as can be seen there was a fair bit of cloud still hanging around.

Glencoe Lochan

Glencoe Lochan is a tract of forest located just north of Glencoe village. It was planted/transplanted from the Pacific Northwest of Canada in the nineteenth century by Donald Alexander Smith and the area around the lochan is often said to look like a miniature Lake Louise in British Columbia. His wife, Isabella, became homesick after moving to this estate in 1895 and he built this Lochan in an attempt to abate his wife's depression. Alas, she moved back to Canada anyway. Another Scotsman spurned by a crazy Canadian woman. ;-)

Glen Etive

Quite possibly my favourite place in the Glencoe area. I have spent many happy days going down the River Etive in a kayak, however, the river was lower than I have ever seen it due to the dry spell that Scotland has been experiencing. The Glen Etive road meanders for some 14 miles to the head of Loch Etive, where it ends at a car park and an old rusty pier, with some of the most spectacular views in Scotland.

Rotterdam

My final set of photographs from my recent trip to The Netherlands. I spent the day in Rotterdam with @catwith8lives soaking in the sun and wandering around the city. Rotterdam is a major port city in the Dutch province of South Holland. It has a long seafaring history. During the second world war it was almost totally destroyed and since then it is renown for its bold modern architecture.

I haven't spent a lot of time in Rotterdam, although I have a few photos in my back catalogue. I was eager to take some shots of the Erasmusbrug, which you will notice from the images below is missing. The shots I got of it were just so bad I would be embarrassed to display them publicly. The light was 'weird' and I couldn't get the angle I wanted and I have about another 40 excuses I could use, but really my problem was that I wanted the shot to be at night and long exposure. I guess I will take this into account the next time I am there and not go on the sunniest hottest day ever in the middle of summer. The ‘Erasmusbrug’ (Erasmus Bridge) is one of the icons of Rotterdam. One of Holland’s most famous bridges, it was officially opened by Queen Beatrix in 1996 as an important connection between the Northern and Southern parts of Rotterdam. One day I will get the shot that I want, it just didn't happen on this day...

I did visit the "Kubuswoningen" (Cube Houses) which were fantastic to look around and also visited the Martkhall (Market Hall) which was a very impressive structure, especially good for lunch and other various goodies that are in the images below.

 

The Hague

Two interpretations of The Hague. Much like my thinking when I am here.

I always enjoy being here. I enjoy spending time with my friends and hanging out in Huppel de Pub't Ogenblik and of course getting my hair cut in Studio Noordeinde. Much of my time here is now spent meeting clients or taking photographs.

I spend a lot of time thinking about past people, events and places when I am here, things that are never to return. I have realised this week that it is time to move on and forward and to make new memories. Essentially moving on from the past.

 

Leiden

Wednesday offered an opportunity to visit the historical city of Leiden. Leiden is a city in the Dutch province of South Holland. It’s known for its centuries-old architecture and for Leiden University, the country’s oldest, dating from 1575. The university houses the Hortus botanicus Leiden Botanical Garden, founded in 1590, where the tulip was introduced to Western Europe. The Museum de Lakenhal displays works by the Dutch Masters including Rembrandt, who was born in Leiden. I didn't get to the botanical garden or the Lekenhal museum, but I did have pleasant walk around the city canals and the Leiden market! 

I also forgot that I need sunscreen during the summer and got the back of my neck burned! 

Giethoorn; finally.

It has taken me since Sunday to actually getting round to writing and editing the photographs I like from my trip to Giethoorn. Giethoorn is a mostly car-free village in the northeastern Dutch province of Overijssel. It’s known for its boat-filled waterways, footpaths, bicycle trails and centuries-old thatched-roof houses. It borders a section of the Weerribben-Wieden National Park, a marshy area once popular for peat and reed harvesting. Needless to say much fun was had with @catwith8lives in a rented boat on the canals and lake.

It was my second trip to this village and the weather was much more cooperative, it was mostly sunny and cloudy which which made for impressive skylines. This trip was also much more relaxing without the time constraints of being on an organised tour.

I have added my favourite photographs below. As always, click to enlarge if your on a desktop :-)