“Don’t think we’ve ever had a hoodie on the hill before,” quipped our guide Tim with a wry smile. While our group’s apparel was an eclectic mix of weather preparedness, utility, and comfort, Tim’s outfit was that of tradition: a three piece suit made from a tweed pattern specific to the estate we’d be exploring.

I’d come to the Scottish highlands expecting rolling fog and dense grey skies, but as I walked the 30,000 acre estate, I found nothing but vast blues, low, intense sun, and a horizon that seemed to stretch further than imaginable. Remote, timeless, and breathtaking aren’t vast enough words.

From Braeroy, to the Isle of Skye, and Glencoe, these were not the highlands I’d seen in photos and movies. They were bright, they were lush, and every inch of terrain was as fascinating as it was surprisingly wet. The beauty of their landscapes welcomed you, while their unforgiving ruggedness gave little thought to your presence. Scotland is truly another world on this one.

-John Cessna 12/16

Additional favorites from my exploration of Scotland and Amsterdam