A Sunrise over the university campus in Dundee
Sunrises (and probably sunsets as well) are particularly beautiful on this part of the world lately. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I live in the “sunniest city in Scotland” (and here I was thinking that was a silly thing to say) or it’s just the time of year…
In any case, I’ve been enjoying my walks to work lately, they seem to be perfectly times with the sun rising over the Tay river.
The wonderful colours during sunrises and sunsets due to the fact that sunlight has to travel much longer through the atmosphere than during midday. As sunlight travels, more blue and violet light is scattered out of the beam that eventually reachers our eye (this is called Rayleigh scattering, i.e. differential scattering depending on the wavelength – or colour – of the light), causing the sky to appear more red for the morning or evening observer.
When clouds are added into all this, sunsets become even more awe-inspiring. Clouds reflect the first rays of light (in the case of sunrises) back to the surface. With their interesting shapes, the result is fantastic.
So why are there so many wonderful sunrise views here? I have a few theories:

  1. Scotland is pretty Northern (at least compared to what I’m used to). That means the sun stays relatively low to the ground this time a year, prolonging the “best light” duration. Sunrises and sunsets do take a while here.
  2. Weather in Scotland can best be described as “temperamental”. Quite often we get all seasons in one day. The day can start out wonderfully, but end up in pouring rain. In any case, the chances of having the combination of sun and quite some clouds is probably quite high compared to some other places I’ve lived.
  3. I’m easily impressed.

Probably, the reality is a combination of all three. In any case, waking up and walking to work in this light often makes my day. It makes the lack of mountains all around – something that made me love my time in Grenoble, in the French Alps – completely bearable.
So before I head home for Christmas, let this be my present to you. The view from my flat followed by the room in my office. If I plan things right, that’s how my day starts (though in the summer I doubt I’ll be getting up at 4AM just for the view).
Sunrise views from the university building towards the river Tay

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