Scotland 2015: Day 4

So the day started out lovely at Glenorchy Lodge Hotel with some salmon and eggs and black currant jam on toast. The innkeeper remarked that I missed a great castle on the way in. Not quite backtracking (I took different roads) and I started on another unplanned misadventure on a very cold and very rainy day.
This I meant to visit – it’s raining in the picture! Castle #7 – Kilchurn Castle Ruins
Totally worth the backtrack in the rain. Castle #8 – Carnasserie Castle.
Still at Carnasserie Castle. How am I meant to pass through that opening?
Nether Largie Standing Stones (and sheep) in the rain! A new category – Prehistoric #1
Temple Wood Stone Circle – Prehistoric #2. And now it is pouring rain!
One more very strange detour before I head back to my list – Clach Na Sula Bridge – this 200 year old bridge is crossing over THE ATLANTIC! That’s right this bridge is connected to an island – the Isle Of Seil – Historic #4.
Driving over the bridge is insane!! Taking picture while driving over the bridge, even more so.
Cmon! Really? That’s how you run a shop? I’ve never been to an honest shop before. I’m a city boy!
I arrived at Dunstaffnage Castle just as they were closing but they still let me take my photos. Clearly the artist who made made this picture took a lot of liberty with the geometries Castle #9 – Print #3.  Also, these are not the original prints! I made copies before I left.  The pictures with the prints and the actual place like you see here are just quick reference shots I did with my iPhone.  The real photos are with my better camera and much better!
At Oban Harbour. Why not push on and catch the car ferry to the Isle of Mull?
So I’m on the ferry and I see this on the map: Local Magnetic Anomaly WTF???
When I got off the ferry I figured I would peak at the castle I was heading to see in the morning but it is covered in scaffolding. This means none of the pictures will be great and I can get the best I can get now and I can move on in the morning. Duart Castle – Castle #10.  I also have a great shot in the rain from a distance where it is just this shadowed silhouette.
But wait! What’s that through the mist? The privately owned Torosay Castle! Castle #11.  Yes it counts because I got a good picture and I might go visit it in the morning.
The only WiFi at the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa is in the lobby so everyone is eating bar food for dinner. I had more sticky toffee pudding for dessert. So that’s my day! Now off to the wireless void that is my room and more castles and such tomorrow!
I am just about to go to sleep when I feel something sticky on my forehead and I reach up and find my head is covered in blood!!! After I stopped panicking I cleaned the wound. How in the hell did I get a wound? After some pressure it stopped bleeding. How I cut myself I have no idea? Will this scar? Will the hotel bill me for the blood? It was everywhere. I’m fine and have no idea how this happened!
Scotland 2015 Totals
Days: 4
Prints: 3
Castles: 11
Churches: 5
Historic: 4
Nature: 1
Prehistoric: 2
Map Day 4: Dalmally to Craignure

Scotland 2015: Day 3

At The Cedars Guest House, another hearty breakfast this time with beans and black pudding. I keep eating the toast before I take the picture!

I almost ran off the road because of this sign!
Pucks Glen in Dunoon is described as “dark and atmospheric trail is a magical experience full of tumbling burn, cross-crossed by bridges and is enclosed by rocky walls heavily hung with mosses and overshadowed by dense trees.”
It was raining and then it stopped but I only hiked for about 30 min because it got pretty slick and started raining again.  Nature #1
Inveraray Castle – Castle #5. They filmed the Dowton Abbey Christmas special here, which everyone won’t stop talking about. In the upper left is the Dun na Cuaiche Watchtower going to label that Historic #3.
This was in the kitchen.
Little bit of a misadventure here – this is a long narrow road. The wrong road.
The road was blocked by gates that you had to open and close because of the cattle.
It dead ended in a loch (lake) and then I had to turn around!
I then hiked past the cattle through the field – Keills Chapel – Church #5 – this was by mistake.
The great High Cross at Keills Chapel.
This is what I was looking for a massive ruin! Castle Sween – Castle #6. Next to the Castle Sween Trailer Park.
Dinner at Glenorchy Lodge Hotel
Sticky Toffee Pudding!
Scotland 2015 Totals
Days: 3
Prints: 2
Castles: 6
Churches: 5
Historic: 3
Nature: 1
Map Day 3: Dunoon to Dalmally

Scotland 2015: Day 2

Now that’s a Scottish breakfast!

A tiny boat ride to…

Church #4 – Inchmahome Priory.

Very exciting! Not on my original list but the guy at the last place told me I had to come. Castle #3 – Doune Castle.

Terry Jones recorded the audio tour because they filmed Holy Grail here! I was there for a long time. Each part of the audio tour is like a regular audio tour and then Terry Jones asks if you want to hear all about the Holy Grail and they play bits from the movie and give you all sorts of trivia about what was filmed where. I listed to the entire thing! And and they filmed some Outlander here as well – blah blah.


I think this is the right point of view – Castle #4 – Newark Castle, Port Glasgow.- Print #2.  However, I don’t think the original artist was on a boat and I am guessing the water and rocks is artistic license.

Newark Castle, Port Glasgow. Nothing like a 15th century spiral staircase…

I’m on a boat (with my car)! You have to go into the GPS on the car and turn off the “avoid ferries” feature or it will try and drive you all over the place. And in fact when planning the trip Google had a terrible time finding navigation from place to place. If I wanted good directions that included ferries (and timetables) I would have to use… gasp… Bing Maps.  No joke. But it worked great.

My view from the ferry since I was the first on!

In for the night at The Cedars Guest House. View from my room of the Firth of Clyde – had Chinese takeaway for dinner – very spotty Internet 🙁

Clearly I am in the UK!

This is my nightly charging routine.

Scotland 2015 Totals
Days: 2
Prints: 2
Castles: 4
Churches: 4
Historic: 2
Map Day 2: Aberfoyle to Dunoon

Scotland 2015: Day 1

I landed in Edinburgh. I picked up my rental car and got situated. I have one big list but it is broken into two parts. One part is of course the prints, the other are just the things I want to to in Scotland.  Most of the prints come later in the trip but I really want to see everything I can – really circle Scotland!
Castle #1 – Linlithgow Palace. Just getting back into the swing of things. Drive, shoot, enjoy the castle, and then run to the next one.
Now that’s a spire! Church #1 – St Michael’s Parish Church, Linlithgow.
Castle #2 – Stirling Castle. I had been to Scotland before (in 2000) and this is one of the places I visited.
Church #2 – Church of the Holy Rude.
Don’t know what category to file this under – bridge? I am going to call it Historic #1.  You might not agree with all of my categories but I like to tally everything I see and visit (& photograph). The Battle of Sterling Bridge was near here – but not here – because the bridge was destroyed during the battle. This is still a very old bridge, and you can see the castle in the distance.
I guess this goes with the bridge in the category Historic #2 – The National Wallace Monument. In 2000 I visited Stirling Castle but I was traveling solely by train and taxis.  As I was looking out at the countryside I said I wished I could see the Wallace Monument and this old man who had been explaining everything about the castle to me told me he would drive me. “Don’t you work here?” I asked him. One of the other castle guides popped up, “Old Joe? Nah, he retired years ago but his wife doesn’t like him at home so he just hangs about and does this for free.”  So I hopped in his car and he first drove me to see the bridge and then dropped me off at the Monument.  Those are a lot of stairs and h back in 2000 I actually climbed to the top.
Church #3 and my first print! Cambuskenneth Abbey “The Abbey of Stirling” Print #1 – I think I got close!
Settled at The Faerie Tree B&B and then out for dinner – they served me a ginger ale like it was whisky (i.e. not very much and in a very small glass).
It’s a black rock grill – you cook your meat on a volcanic stone!!!
I guess there was a reason my ginger ale was so small…
Scotland 2015 Totals
Days: 1
Prints: 1
Castles: 2
Churches: 3
Historic: 2
Map Day 1: Edinburgh to Aberfoyle

Scotland 2015

A quick introduction to
Then & Now: Scotland 2015

In November of 2014, my friend and coworker Dr. Leigh Bonds sent me an email: “Thought you might be interested in this.” and a link to an auction website with several lots of 18th century engravings of Scottish castles and cathedrals. I purchased both lots of engravings.  58 prints for $60, this included delivery and auction fees!

When they arrived we went over each one, oh so carefully, watching the table fill with the dust of hundreds years old book plates.

She jokingly said “You should re-photograph these…”

Little did she know…

In 2015 I embarked on a 3-week solo adventure around Scotland to find and re-photograph these prints (as well as photograph as many other castles and interesting places as I possibly could).

The research was crazy! The cost was enormous! The adventure tremendous!

But at the time I did a terrible job blogging. In fact – I didn’t blog at all. Instead, I posted to Facebook for my friends and family – but that was it. But then time passed and it got harder to go back into my posts. With Facebook it is really hard to scroll back months or even years. But then this recent privacy scandal hit Facebook and people realized that in addition to tracking everything, Facebook would let you download it all.

I could download it all! Which allowed me to reproduce my trip to Scotland just as it happened – well mostly as it happened. I cleaned it up a little and added hind-sight in a couple of key places.

I also post a lot of food photos.

You definitely want to stick around to the end! There is a real treat on the Epilogue page!

One last note before we start. Trips like this are very expensive (and I do travel on a tight budget). Websites like this don’t produce income – only the derivative works. In this case it will be the fine-art prints and the book (which I am working on). I’m not doing any pre-sales right now but please join our mailing list so I can let you know when those things are ready (or if you really love it you can click the Support Us link on the menu). Now personally I think this adventure (and adventures like this) would be much better on the screen, so if you are a producer interested in seeing this (or related content) as a TV show – please contact me directly. I am waiting to be discovered 🙂

Jared Bendis 05/19/2018

So let the Facebook re-posting begin:

It’s a castle adventure starting – RIGHT NOW!!! That’s right I am boarding a plane to Scotland for a photographic expedition of epic proportions. After purchasing a selection of 18th century Scottish prints at auction (thank you Leigh Bonds) I am heading to Scotland to photograph them 200 years later for a book! This solo trip should take me all over Scotland from Hadrian’s Wall up to Shetland! Don’t worry the France film is still in post-production and this trip is photo only – the blue shirts are just tradition. Expect crazy postings for the next 3 weeks!!!

Next: Day 1 from Edinburgh to Aberfoyle