Scotland is a beautiful country. The colors, the contrasts, the juxtaposition of atmospheric clouds, dramatic seas, scattered cows, and bright landscape was a photographer's dream.

I went to Scotland this October 2016 for a wedding in the Orkney Islands (remote islands north of mainland Scotland). It was a fantastic experience. The rest of the trip was spent in majestic Edinburgh, Glen Coe, Loch Lomond, and a brief hour in Glasgow. Enjoy!

Flew in a 34 seat propeller plane from Edinburgh to Kirkwall, Orkney. About an hour flight from Edinburgh.

Called the Ring of Brodgar, there are many UNESCO World Heritage sites in Orkney. These rock formations, along with other destinations such as the Stones of Sternness and ancient civilization, Skara Brae, are thousands of years old. Every summer more teams come to excavate additional historical sites.

Enjoyed this symmetric home on a run through Harray.

Another view from my run, every corner I turned had a view that was better and more dramatic than the last.

The population of Orkney is about 20,000 people. Trees are scarce, and most of the land is used for farming cows and sheep for meat production.

There are actually more cows in Orkney than people, about 90,000 cows to 20,000 people! The Scottish word for cows is "kye" and one cow is "coo".

Scapa Beach had fantastic cliffs to hike up. Turquoise water looks tempting.... but definitely cold.

Mr. and Mrs. Spence lead the Grand March procession during their wedding celebration. It's tradition.

Kilts are given to boys when they turn 18. Each pattern is unique to the family name. I heard a real Scotsman wears nothing underneath, but who's to say!?

View from the plane back to Edinburgh. Another unbelievable view and sky.

Royal views from Edinburgh. The only word I can think to describe the city of Edinburgh is majestic. Every direction is a good view: a castle, a palace, cathedrals, parks, water, hills...

Passed by the gorgeous Liberton Church on a run.

Fall in full bloom, somewhere on the way to Braid Hill.

I'd heard of English gardens before, and I can confirm - they're great - even in Scotland.

View down to Scots Monument and the Royal Mile from Calton Hill in Edinburgh.

After a day of walking through the city and up Arthur's seat, we found a beautiful bar called The Last Word Saloon in the Stockbridge neighborhood.

Enjoying a Glenmorangie Nectar D'or by the fire.

Started a little adventure, about a 3 hour drive from Edinburgh to get to the start of the Highlands (a mountain range that cuts through the northwest of Scotland).

The highlands are a range that formed after the last ice age, they're very old, volcanic mountains.

We took a chairlift ride to the summit of Glencoe Mountain Resort.

Views in Glen Coe. And my friend, Alison Grove, who so hospitably put us up in her home in Edinburgh all week. She runs her own company called All About Patisserie. We got to sample her work - very delicious.

On the way from Glen Coe to Loch Lomond we were stopped by a fiery sky! Every time we thought the sunset couldn't get better... it did!

At some point shortly after this photo was taken, we ran through squishy marshes to get above a hill to get an even better view. Worth the wet socks.

Had a glorious morning hike up Conic Hill in Balmaha, on the southeast side of Loch Lomond. Kye were present the whole trek up.

There's Gemma Thirkettle, first timer in Scotland and now a cow whisperer.

Leading the descent back to town. Sporting my new favorite hiking boots from Forsake. (hi and thanks Jake and Sam!)

We took a 45 minute train from Ballach (south end of Loch Lomond) to Glasgow. Explored Glasgow for an hour before getting a 50 minute train to Edinburgh. Quite liked the quote on this statue.

There was a river in Glasgow, some nice bridges, big squares, and this girl named Gemma.

Cheers to Heather and Brendan! You live in a beautiful country, with such generous, intelligent, hospitable family and friends. Thanks for getting us out to your home!