After having spent nearly 7 years in the UK, I felt ashamed to not to have ever travelled to Scotland even once during that period. This feeling of guilt necessitated a week long holiday with the family to one of the most breath-taking regions of Scotland - Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
There are a few things that one could never take for granted in this part of the world - weather being one of them. With the eager enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store, I was excited to put my new 10 stop filter, new Cokin P Graduated filters and Neutral Density filters to the test, but the weather gods had a different plan. For the first couple of days it rained like Scotland is in the middle of a drought - that made even getting the camera out of the bag a difficult decision.
Then our luck began to change and the weather got better- but you could never rule out the chance of occasional rain- and conditions vastly improved. The next 5 days were spent driving from one Loch to the other - throw in the mix the only lake in Scotland - Lake of Menteith. It is quite impossible to describe the beauty and serenity of the place despite the rough exterior. The place is nowhere near as crowded as the Lake District in Cumbria - yet, it attracts a wide-range of people with varying interests - mountain climbers, water-sports enthusiasts, trekkers, bikers, walkers, photographers, paddlers to name a few.
There were plenty of highlights of the holiday, and to name a few standout ones
a) the drive on B829 from Aberfoyle to Inversnaid being mesmerised en route by Loch Ard, Loch Chon and Loch Arklet, before we arrived at the picture perfect village of Inversnaid, overlooking the majestic Loch Lomond
b) the scenic drive from Callander to Glencoe and Fort William - driving past Loch Lubnaig, Falls of Dochart, Loch Lubhair, Loch Dochart, Loch Leven to name a few. The vista of the landscape and the majesty of the Glencoe left us breathless. We were extremely lucky to have met with Ms. Emma Skeldon who does the shuttle ferry service from Port of Menteith to Inchmahome and back when not indulging in her own artistic pursuits. She was extremely helpful and suggested a few scenic routes for us to try out including this route. Do drop by on to Emma's website here : www.skeldonart.com
c) the visit to Falkirk to see the Kelpies was an awesome experience and we were lucky to arrive there just a few minutes before the sunset, that got me excited
d) the hike up the Duncryne Hill on a wet/ rainy day lugging the heavy Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with it's ball-head, besides the camera gear was - at the time annoying - worth the effort for the panoramic views it offered.
With the holiday coming to an end, we all silently made a resolution to revisit Loch Lomond at the first available opportunity. Besides guaranteeing a great family holiday, the place satisfies every photographer's appetite irrespective of the level. Simply put, you could never take bad pictures in Scotland!