I must say that Scotland has to be one of my favorite travel destinations so far.  If you are a true nature freak like I am, then this country will surely not disappoint you.  Back in early 2013, I was debating whether to visit Scotland or Iceland that summer since I wanted to go somewhere where I could connect with nature.  Though I knew I was going to visit both sooner or later, I had to pick one.  On my facebook page, when I asked where I should go, the results were pretty evenly divided…which still left me indecisive.  After much deliberation, I had chosen Scotland as my travel destination for 2013.

My trip began in Edinburgh where I spent a couple days to unwind before my long journey through the countryside.  It was a great intro to what would be a fun and exciting journey.  I headed north along the coast with a stop over at Isle of May to explore the island and photograph the puffins and seals that reside there.  Though puffins are found throughout the country, this area has a high concentration of the birds and are quite approachable.  I continued north through the peaceful countryside passing by highland cows, deer, and sheep…lots of sheep.  After visiting a few local fishing villages like Crovie, I headed off to my most anticipated region of Scotland…the Isle of Skye.

As everyone knows, photos don’t do some places justice which was definitely the case with Isle of Skye.  This place was spectacular.  Part of my plan was to visit ‘The Storr’ (photo above) and catch the sunrise from the top of the mountain.  I hiked one hour up steep terrain right after sunset to photograph The Storr at dusk, probably my favorite time to photograph.  After a few shots and a temperature drop, it was back down the mountain to get some rest and do it all over again the next morning at 4 am, right before sunrise.  I reached the top again and waited for the sun to rise.  The sky was clear and the sunlight pierced through creating a magical experience.

Besides the spectacular mountainous terrain found in the highlands, and the breath-taking views on Isle of Sky, Scotland had some of the most impressive castles I had seen in Europe.  They came in all shapes and sizes…some sitting in the middle of a small island, others perched on the edge of cliffs, and one even sat on its own huge rock!  Combine all the beautiful nature, historical castles, and friendly locals, and you got yourself an amazing country worth visiting.