A few more images from the rolls I shot out of the passenger window.
Portree is the first major port of refuge after arriving in that northernmost region of Scotland, the craggy, windswept landscape that constitutes the Isle of Skye. It is very beautiful and the two days we spent there, waking up each morning to long days of full sun, were idyllic.
Some weeks later, on a plane, I watched the opening scenes of Prometheus and recognized familiar scenery - a team of scientists emerges from tents dotting the hillside surrounding the Old Man of Storr and enter a cave to find evidence of Prometheus, the first society. Having been there myself, I buy it.
one of the most carelessly stunning places I've ever been
On the day we arrived in Portree, we arrived right as the sun began to set, the surrounding hills and tiny cars silhouetted against a quickly purpling evening sky.
It's a long drive north to the Isle of Skye (5-6 hours if you blow through the whole thing in one go), but time passes quickly due to the epic, sweeping scenery. It took us close to the full day to drive from Glasgow up to Portree, taking numerous pit stops along the way. A lot of folks' journeys north end around Glen Coe and the Three Sisters - picture the moody single-lane drive Bond takes to reach his childhood estate in Skyfall - but we were determined to push past. Wherever you end up you'll see stunning views; no way to avoid it in the Highlands, it seems.
All aboard the Hogwarts Express...
Across the way, Loch Shiel
"Memorial to an unknown highlander"
Pit stop in the village of Luss
We made a quick stop in the village of Luss, about an hour or two away from Glasgow en route to Glen Coe. It was the most romantic little village I've ever seen - full of rows of stone cottages overgrown with rosebushes.
roll after roll, out the window
I blew 2-3 rolls just shooting out the window at the changing scenery - frame after frame after frame after frame; the drive was absolutely lousy with cinematic imagery.
Glencoe & the Three Sisters
Shades of glasgow
The West End of Glasgow reminds me of Bed Stuy, or of a number of brownstone-lined walks in New York. Am I the only person ever to make this comparison? Rows of tightly packed, chimney topped, rectangular facades - visually, they're not too far off. Maybe all Western cities share some of the same DNA, in the end.
Stately and old, it struck me as significantly quieter than Edinburgh. In retrospect maybe it was the presence of foliage - it felt park-like, suburban. We didn't spend long here so we spent the day outside, strolling the West End, taking it in, still imagining we were in Harry Potter.
...Or rather Ashton Lane, another competitor in the "What location inspired Diagon Alley?" contest.
The weather's finally begun to cool in earnest in New York and I'm reminded lately of Edinburgh, where the nights feel cooler year round. It's a little cloudier now and we're getting less and less of that rich, late summer sunlight which makes everything look a little cinematic. Thankfully a lot of that moody light is preserved here - the sandstone colored buildings make the city feel like a giant, sprawling castle, and when the sun sets the whole city is bathed in a golden warmth.
A seat fit for a king
There are two high views in Edinburgh - Arthur's Seat and the view from Edinburgh Castle. Both are popular for a reason - it feels powerful to be up high, though we were nearly buffeted off the cliffs of Arthur's Seat by incessant wind. We had three-ish days of full sun, apparently highly unusual for mid-late July (or Scotland, in general). I think I was expecting a lot of high rises mixed in with older buildings, something similar to London, but found a sprawling sandstone settlement instead.
Harry Potter was dreamt up here...
Besides being stately and historic, Edinburgh struck me as pleasantly liveable - particularly so when we walked past this part, next to the university. Seems like a pretty idyllic way to spend your late teens.