“Scotland is surprising and fascinating, all the way from Hadrian’s Wall to the Outer Hebrides. I could spend hours listing all the beautiful buildings in wild, untamed surroundings, the unique history, whiskies and ales of each region, and the friendliness and kind-heartedness of the locals (if you can decipher what they’re saying, that is – the accent isn’t exactly BBC English).
The fact is, though, you can find these in any guide book, so I thought I’d share some of my own personal favorites. One concerns the Lady Dervorguilla of Galloway, a 13th-century noblewoman, who loved her husband so much that after his death she kept his heart in an ivory casket, and asked to be buried with it in her arms when she was laid to rest in Sweetheart Abbey, which she founded. The good monks (apparently) complied with this request. Among the ruins of the abbey, there is still a stone marking the so-called ‘Lady’s Grave’ where a statue shows her holding a heart in her hands – a symbol that there has always been – even in those grim times – such a thing as immortal love.
Scotland also possesses forests where people go if they want something from the faeries because that’s where the faeries live. Plenty of colored ribbons, tiny figurines, and other mascots show how many have been here and entrusted their wishes to the faeries. Does it work? Who knows? All I can say is that all I wished for came true.
Scotland is definitely worth visiting – it’s a magical country. There are many ruined castles and monasteries, and each is packed with historical lore. Charming villages and old towns likewise await. If you’re in Glasgow, I’d particularly recommend ordering fish and chips at ‘Chippy Doon the Lane’. Oh, and they have some great ales – Ossian and Three Sisters were especially good. (H. G. 2017)
Of course as everybody knows most Scots live in castles or ancient stone cottages... I suppose part of the reason for this is that as the weather is somewhat harsh even the most lowly of houses are made of granite stone. OK this is not true, but outside the large housing estates of places like Glasgow and Edinburgh, it feels as though it is. The houses have to be stone because of the risk of attracting the attention of the Loch Ness Monster.
People flock to Loch Ness in hopes of catching a sight of the monster, which every Scot will tell you definitely exists. Also its good for tourism.
Things to avoid in Scotland are the midges, Scotland’s answer to the mosquito. Small things sometimes you can’t see and they bite. They have been know to drive cattle and horses mad, jumping of cliffs, to try, vainly, to escape them.
Under no account attempt crying freedom in impersonation of Mel Gibson’s portrayal of William Wallace. At best this will earn you contempt at worse a Glasgow kiss, (head butt. Don’t ask: is this money real?’
Scottish money is different than English, though both are good in either place. Also there are different versions of Scottish money with different designs from three banks; The Royal Bank of Scotland, The Bank of Scotland, and the Clydesdale Bank, don’t worry.
Don’t, whatever you do, think, say or in any way intimate that Scotland is part of England. See the reference to the Glasgow kiss above. Please, please, do not be tempted to say“Och aye the noo” in a cod Scottish accent. If you translate it literally it means “Oh yes just now.” I suppose that could be good or bad depending on what was on offer. Don’t embarrass yourself. To conclude Scotland is a canny wee country. (Alan Durant, 2020)