Sunday, 24 January 2010

Harris road trip with FiELDy - 1

There are a number of topics that I meant to blog about last year - but never did. And I took loads of photographs that I meant to post throughout the year - and I probably never will. But there is one trip that I made, and lots of photographs that I took, that I cannot, not blog about! So before looking forward to what is to come in 2010 I'd like to look back on that trip in 2009.

One Saturday in late September I was having lunch with Suzanne, and during our conversations we discussed some TV programmes that had recently aired about the plight of the Harris Tweed Industry, which is Suzanne's speciality subject - (you can see lots of her lovely Harris Tweed goodies on her website). Anyway, as our conversation developed, and before we parted, we had decided that a trip to the Isle of Harris, on a Harris Tweed hunt, was worth exploring. (Before the weekend was over a 4-day/3-night trip was researched, and accommodation plus car ferries booked, by Suzanne, and we were to be heading for Harris mid-October (three weeks later!)). Fantastic!

October is a wonderful time to see Scotland if you are lucky enough to get the right weather conditions - and how lucky we were! From the moment we set off until we put out feet back on the mainland we had clear, dry and sunny weather (a bit on the cool side but we were equipped for that) - perfect conditions to see this fabulous country at its absolute best.

We set off around 9.30 am and after a pit stop in Loch Lomond for tea/coffee (and a wee scone!) we headed north towards Rannoch Moor, through Glencoe, past Fort William and on to Invergarry, passing Eilean Donan Castle towards the Kyle of Lochalsh and then over the Skye Bridge to the Isle of Skye. We continued our journey north towards Uig where we caught the car ferry - and as luck would have it - a wonderful sunset crossing to Tarbert, Harris (phew! - well done Suzanne!). All the while taking in the spectacular scenery and making frequent stops en route to take many, many photographs - too many for my blog!

Fortunately Suzanne didn't appear to mind driving the hundreds of miles it took to get there and back, plus all the miles in between! Neither did she mind starting and stopping for parking and pointing out yet more photo opportunities! And best of all, she loves Scotland's landscape as much as I do so it didn't matter to her how often I gasped and gaped, gushed and gawped at the splendour of it all. She is also a bit of an expert on Harris so she was the perfect travelling companion and a terrific guide for a first time visitor to such an incredible place.

LOCH LOMOND (View from where we had our coffee stop)

RANNOCH MOOR (I love this simple sign against the beautiful backdrop - but am amazed that people need reminded!)

GLENCOE (Where time seems to have stood still)


That's it for now but I plan to continue blogging about our trip and to post several more photographs over the coming weeks - I'd like an easy access record of it for myself as I frequently re-run it in my head.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Did you catch the moon.....? Did you?

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade!

Wow! - memories of this Christmas/New Year holiday period will stay with me for a long time, for a variety of reasons. One incredible memory in particular was on Hogmanay, when out shopping for last minute supplies, I was privileged to witness probably THE most perfect, most spectacular full moon in the most beautiful blue sky, I have EVER seen. Unfortunately, I wasn't in the most ideal spot to photograph it (outside M&S, Braehead) but that didn't matter; I witnessed it and I was rivetted to the spot. I was ever so tempted to share the moment with frantic fellow shoppers as they eagerly rushed to pick up their ne'erday bottles or last minute packets of shortbread - to tell them to 'Stop'! and to 'Look'! - but managed to resist! Instead I took out my trusty wee camera and captured the moment - so glad I did - the sight was transfixing, amazing, incomprehensible!!

Did you catch the moon? I hope so. I'd love to see more pics of it, of what you saw and where you saw it - but in case you didn't catch it, here it is. Just WOW!!