SiP goes Scotland was a blast!

SiP went Scotland.

It’s been more than a week since our toy safari in Scotland became history, but we haven’t reported about it on the blog yet. Between the Where is Anton contest, the LEGO House opening, Skaerbaek and the Ninjago Movie madness, it’s finally time to tell you how great this weekend was.

Here’s a little summary of our adventures.

Friday Morning

In the morning the ones to arrive first in Edinburgh met for a quick walk to the castle, while some others tried to fix the transport of the day (an adventure on its own). After some quick lunch and food toy photography, it was time to take the first real dip into the hometown of Harry Potter himself. We managed to visit some of the key Harry Potter locations in the city center such as Victoria Street, Candlemaker Row, and Greyfriars Kirkyard.

The first toy photo of the safari in progress!

Greyfriars Kirkyard

Kirkyard or fancy word for historical graveyard is a toy photographers dream, and before you knew it everyone was exploring locations, leaving no stone unturned. Well, kind of.

Toy Photography in a Graveyard

The Scottish rain decided to join the party, and while one part ran to the hotel, the newly arrived crew ran to the graveyard.
Epic confusion makes for an even warmer welcome, and when we all finally met up in the Princes Street Gardens, we decided to celebrate this with climbing the 287 stairs of the Scott Monument.
Just for fun and some epic scenery.

The view from the top of the Scott Monument
Stefan’s giant minifig made a new friend while climbing the Scott Monument

Pizza.

Not sure what we have with Italian restaurants (we also selected Italian in London) but we had a great dinner at a local Italian restaurant in the Old Town where we shared the love for toys with the patron and the guests alike. Old and new friends enjoying a good meal and exchanging prints (a precious moment in every toy safari) and some little gifts.

Who said you shouldn’t play with your food?
When toy photographers go to a restaurant

After dinner, the group split into three teams.
Some went back to their hotel in order to get some sleep.
Some went for a short night photography session in the streets of the city… And the rest worked hard on rebuilding the copy of the Old Fishing Store which made the trip to Scotland.

AFOLs at work

Saturday Morning 6 AM.

We woke up early to meet at 6 in the morning. After grabbing a quick coffee at the train station, we headed in our rental cars to the beach of Burntisland. Our lofty goal was to see if we could catch the first ray of sunshine (a photographers dream). And yes, we did enjoy the sunrise. However we were all still in transit and did not reach our final destination in time to catch it on the digital sensor.
A memory we will only share amongst ourselves.
Four little cars in a row, crossing the bridges over the river Forth, with the sun coming up.
An epic memory.
Not caught on the digital plate.

When we finally made it to Burntisland (read Burnt Island, not Burntis Land) we got out on the beach and enjoyed the scenery. Some of us got caught by the tide, while others tried to get the Old Fishing Store on camera.
This was after all a perfect place for Anton.
And collaboration.

The National Park

And on we headed to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
A good hour drive into the Scottish landscape, before reaching our second stop of the day.
The Bracklinn Falls in Callander.

An amazing backdrop of greenery and falling water kept most photographers busy, so when the time came for the mandatory group selfie, it was not easy to get everyone in front of the lens.
But we managed.
Including T-Rap.

Sigfig group photo at Bracklinn Falls

By this time the whole group was getting pretty hungry and we crashed the traditional Fish ‘n Chips of Callander. No fine dining for the hungry, but fresh delicious local fish and chips.

The Loch.

The next thing on our bucket list was a full-fledged Loch. You cannot visit Scotland without having a Loch, and we knew Nessie was too far out. We settled for Balloch, and here it showed we didn’t have a local guiding us. The interwebs had slightly deceived us.

Our destination was more commercial as we had anticipated and was not filled with the epic uncharted territory.  That didn’t prevent us from having a bit of fun near the lake. When it was time to head back to the car, we had to drag some photographers along as they could not get enough of our “one toy to share”.

One toy to share – #1toy2share

Home Sweet Home.

Back in Edinburgh, everyone was happily exhausted by a day in the Scottish countryside. Thus we turned the living room of Motel One into ours. We relaxed with some beers, pizza, stories and silly toy fun.

Happily exhausted? Or serious business.
Happily exhausted!

Sunday

No rest for the wicked, euh, toy photographers. On Sunday morning, we collectively decided again to meet at 6 in order to arrive at Arthur’s seat before it gets invaded by tourists. We first stopped at St Anthony’s Chapel before pushing the hike up to the top of the hill.

Another kind of Sigfig group selfie
Woody at Arthur’s Seat
Group photo before leaving Arthur’s Seat

After enjoying a great Scottish breakfast, we hung out in the city center while everyone’s was gradually leaving. We stopped at the 3D map of Edinburgh in front of the National Gallery, to renew a fun experience we had during Spring in London. With all the tourists around, it didn’t take long before some passerby start taking their first toy photo.

This is what happens when you start playing with your toys surrounded by tourists

And there is more …

In the next few weeks, you’re going to hear more about our trip to Scotland. Individual posts are coming from some of our participants, and we will share more about some of the creative challenges we organized, such as the “one toy to share” and “get up to catch the sun”.

We want to thank everyone who attended the event for this excellent time we had in Edinburgh. We want to thank the folks at LEGO for providing us some giveaways for the event. And we want to invite you all to join us on our next toy safari in Paris.

Wait. One more thing.

Finally, we also want to thank the organizers of Bricklive who offered us the opportunity to exhibit our toy photography work during their next show. We agreed to make the theme of the exhibition “SiP goes Scotland 2017”.
It will feature photos from all the attendees alongside some exclusive behind the scenes. If you happen to be in Birmingham from the 26th to the 29th of October, be sure to check it out! It will be awesome.

8 Replies to “SiP goes Scotland was a blast!”

    1. You mean the behind the scene images? We can for sure make a follow up post on those as it is one of our favorite past time to take photos of photographers taking photos of photographers taking photos of toys :P

  1. Looks like you all had fun. And what’s not to love about an Italian. Great choice. Great write up and good to see some photos.

  2. “If only I had time.” That’s what I’ve been saying after reading this! I so wish I could’ve gone, it looks great, but with work and studies it just didnt work out. It looks like y’all had a blast. Hopefully there will be one in the USA soon and I can make it to that!

    1. I can feel you, Bennett. I’m sorry to admit that no SiP meet-up is planned for the U.S. so far. But maybe you will be able to join us in Paris, France, next year? Hoping to see you there ;-)

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