Charters

Scotland, 2004

August is traditionally a wet month in Scotland, similar to some eleven other months. But August 2004 proved to be exceptionally "wet and thundery," as the BBC and London Times put it. On our first three days in Scotland, it rained eleven inches. During the remaining six days, it rained a foot. Every day we were there, at least one community in Scotland had a foot of rain in one day. This created historic floods and landslides, which limited where we could drive. On our second day, for example, we tried to drive from Glasgow to Bute, due west (by a convoluted, 120 mile, loch and ocean-avoiding route), but couldn't: the roadway didn't exist. Every night was filled with news of floodings, and entire villages evacuated by helicopter.

A little rain did not slow us down (not even a lot of rain). Driving on the left-hand side of the road did not slow us down. Driving down a one-lane "highway" with two-way traffic didn't slow us down much (though it occasionally did prompt sudden, extreme fear). Driving down roads so narrow that vegetation brushed both sides of a subcompact car -- at the same time -- did slow us down.

The narrative of our journey is contained in the captions of the photos, so click on the photos. Arrows at the top right of the page will guide you back and forth. On the right-hand side of each photo is technical information about the time (set to U.S. East Coast time, so add five hours), date, shutter speed, etc. If you have trouble visualizing where we were (you will), we recommend MultiMap.com (http://www.multimap.com/), which has excellent online maps of Great Britain.

Glasgow

Highlands to Loch Ness

Castle Urquhart and Loch Ness

Cawdor Castle and Macbeth

Castle Brodie and Culloden

Central Highlands

Castle Glamis, St. Andrews and Dundee

Scone Palace and Castle Loch Leven

Edinburgh

Roslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall

Iceland

Not in the photo galleries is this image, a composite of five photographs showing a panoramic view of the Italian Garden at Castle Glamis. Castle Glamis was the childhood home of the late "Queen Mum." Creating the composite required vast amounts of computer horsepower; before reducing it for the Web, the completed image was 109 inches wide by 58 inches high (9 by 4.8 feet). It isn't a particularly good panorama, but it was composed of photos taken during one of the few hours of sunny weather.

Glamis Castle Garden

We greatly enjoyed Scotland, and didn't "use it up." We'd go back again, possibly without waiting another 30 years.

Revised sometime in the MMIth century.