Loch Katrine Boat Trip

Sometimes I get something in my head, and then I just have to do it and get it out of my system. When I finished my thesis chapter earlier this week, I decided that I really wanted to go on a boat trip, and once I decided that, there was no stopping me.  I wanted to sail away from the land, view things from a different angle, breathe in the fresh air of the Scottish countryside.   Today, we went to Loch Katrine and I got my wish, as we took the boat trip round Ellen’s Island.  It was only 45 minutes, the weather was overcast, but not raining, and there was a sharp chill in the wind, but it was precisely what my body/mind/soul needed.

Here are a few photos from the day:

Loch Katrine

Rugged Pink Spring

Loch Katrine

The Blue Window

Trossachs Pier

The last photo is of the boat ‘Lady of the Lake’, which is a reference to the Walter Scott poem of the same name, that he wrote while staying with his family on the banks of Loch Katrine. Here’s a verse from it which provides a wonderful description of the loch and its surroundings:

And now, to issue from the glen,
No pathway meets the wanderer’s ken,
Unless he climb with footing nice
A far-projecting precipice.
The broom’s tough roots his ladder made,
The hazel saplings lent their aid;
And thus an airy point he won,
Where, gleaming with the setting sun,
One burnished sheet of living gold,
Loch Katrine lay beneath him rolled,
In all her length far winding lay,
With promontory, creek, and bay,
And islands that, empurpled bright,
Floated amid the livelier light,
And mountains that like giants stand
To sentinel enchanted land.
High on the south, huge Benvenue
Down to the lake in masses threw
Crags, knolls, and mounds, confusedly hurled,
The fragments of an earlier world;
A wildering forest feathered o’er
His ruined sides and summit hoar,
While on the north, through middle air,
Ben-an heaved high his forehead bare.

Isn’t that a fantastic description?  Is there a special place you like to visit to recharge and refresh?  Or perhaps, like this boat trip, it’s not necessarily where you go, but what you do that helps to sweep the cobwebs from your mind?


April 3, 2008. Environment, Photography.


  1. Kelly replied:

    Why is it that everything seems more beautiful in Scotland? I love to go to Cannon Beach (if you go to my blog and scroll down there is a pic on my sidebar). I go there and just walk the beach, look at Haystack Rock. I feel alive as I’m there and renewed as I leave to come home.

  2. Joanna Young replied:

    Amy, I’m glad you managed to get away somewhere that helped to refresh your mind, body and soul. Water and boats are great for that. Your dad had a post on boats (and reflections I think) the other day which reminded me of their aesthetic but also psychological appeal.

    And Loch Katrine is fab! Haven’t been there for years but used to do trips like that when the kids were younger. There are some great boat trips to castles you can do in central Scotland too – Loch Leven in Fife being one of my favourites.


  3. Nick Cernis replied:

    That’s it. I’ve packed my suitcase and loaded the iPod with as many violins as I could gather. Scotland, here I come!

    The scene in your first photo is screaming out to be painted. What a wonderful advert for the country and a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. wendikelly replied:

    Amy, I’ve never been to Scotland, but I’ve been to Ireland and you just made me homesick, even though it isn’t my homeland, I’m born and bred in America, Ireland just feels like home…

    such a serene peaceful feeling. Soon my husband and I will be out on our Kayacks feeling that peacefullness, but not soon enough. Not soon enough!

  5. wendikelly replied:

    oh, I forgot to mention that Nick is so right about that first picture screaming to be painted. Amy, do I have to follow you around with a paintbrush all the time?

  6. Zhu replied:

    One word: wow!

    The top picture is my favorite… I like reflection.

    Now I wanna go traveling again! I’m sooo sick of the snow…

  7. Penelope Anne replied:

    At the moment I want to move to Scotland and go on a boat ride.
    I love to just connect with nature, usually by going camping with the family in a nice wooded area. Really helps recharge the spiritual battery within.
    Love the photos.

  8. Daz Cox replied:

    ahhhhh inspiration! nice!

  9. Cheryl replied:

    Just beautiful. Incidentally, my wedding reception was held on board Lady of the Lake, but not in Scotland. I looked closely at the photos of Loch Katrine, and it looked strangely similar to Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota where Lady of the Lake resides! Although visitint Scotland would be a fabulous getaway from the snow and cold, you don’t have to go that far for this kind of beauty!

  10. Fully Immersed « Lives Less Ordinary replied:

    […] taking the boat out onto Loch Katrine last week, I took some photos of a waterfall, and I felt myself becoming completely immersed in the […]

  11. Debbie replied:

    What is the camera, lenses etc. that you use to take these most spectacular photographs?
    Thank you

  12. amypalko replied:

    I’m so sorry I haven’t got around to responding to all these lovely comments earlier. I don’t know where this last week has gone!
    First off I’d like to say thank you to everyone for leaving such thoughtful responses, and I’m so pleased that you are all enjoying my photographs of my home country. They really do mean so much to me, as they help stoke the fire of my creative passion for my environment.

    As to what camera I use – It’s a Fujifilm Finepix Z100fd. It’s a very small, lightweight camera that I carry with me at all times. I am always on the lookout for that perfect shot!

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