noah's Travel Journals

noah

 
What is your traveling philosophy?

To be open and flexible to anything

  • 27 years old
  • From Florida, United States
  • Currently in Cusco, Peru

IEP in Scotland

Traveling around Scotland with Haggis tours and learning what the HIghland buzz is all about. :)

Day 2, Culloden

United Kingdom Fort Augustus, United Kingdom  |  Jul 22, 2009
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 this is what I get from Scotland 

Day 2 June 15th

 

So this morning I woke up realizing that the night before I had just been on the loch that many believe to harbor an ancient monster that might be the one prehistoric organism to still exist. Of course I personally believe what the captain of the ship said last night which is if there are sea monsters in Loch Ness then there would be about 16 to 18 of them because obviously one creature cannot live alone without dying for thousands of years.  Anyways, this is what I woke up to in the wonderful country of Scotland today and I am still in awe of the wondrous scenery that surrounds me.  I think the majestic glens and lochs are going to be the two things I miss most about Scotland when I leave. 

            Early on in the morning we stopped again to see if we could catch a glimpse of the fabled Nessie and I had amazing soup before heading out to gaze at the beautiful Loch Ness for a couple of minutes.  Also we passed the old Urquhart Castle which was another pretty site set against the awe-inspiring glen and loch background. 

            Now I am not trying to put down the importance or beauty of Loch Ness or Nessie herself or any of the other events today but we what we experienced but definitely the breathtaking stop of the day was Culloden Battlefield.  To me Culloden sums up the epitome of Scottish Highlander culture together.  On the way to the sight our guide Collin described the story leading up to Culloden, the Jacobite Rebellion led by Bonnie Prince Charlie.  The Jacobite Rebellions were a series of rebellions that attempted to put the Stuart Royal family back on the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland.  However the last ’45 rebellion lead by Bonnie Prince Charlie was the last of these rebellions and the end of the warrior clan system in Scotland. 

            What happened was that in 1743 Prince Charles was proclaimed prince regent by his father James Francis Stuart in Italy at their residence given to them by the pope.  So Prince Charley received word from a number of clans in the highlands of Scotland that if he arrived with 3000 soldiers from France he would gain their support for a rebellion in England to put him on the throne.  In the end Prince Charles arrived in Scotland with two ships and about 700 men from France.  However within a year he was at the head of 6000 scotland highlanders on his way down to London.  This gives testament to his gift of leadership if not militarily how charismatic he was.  Within a number of months an Italian prince who didn’t speak English or Gaelic on arrival had taken Perth and Edinburgh, had an army of 6000 fierce Scottish highlanders, and was on his way down to London to take his rightful place of the throne of England and re impose the deposed Stuarts.  However the King of England was not staying quiet during all of this happening.  He had sent his son, the Duke of Cumberland to raise an army to face this Bonnie Prince Charlie.  So at Swarkestone Bridge in Derbyshire a mere hundred miles or so from England, Prince Charles and his army turned around to fight on their own Highland ground.  The main attack described to us by Collin that was performed by the Highlander Armies of those days was the Highland Charge. Which was rushing down from the hills of the highlands swinging their swords in circles around their heads into the scummy English.  J So this is one of the main reasons why the Scottish army turned around in the face of superior government firepower in England.  However the Duke of Cumberland and his Redcoat army caught the Jacobites at Culloden where despite the protests of his advisers Bonnie Prince Charlie chose to stand and fight.  Now the way I imagine it is 6000 Scottish highlanders tired and blistered up from traveling up and down the length of England within a year.   This is on a marshy, flat plain at the foot of the Highlands facing an army of fresh government, Enlgish redcoats.  So the battle started and Bonnie Prince Charlie could not find the courage to even utter the charge, in fact he cried!  He cried at the site of his imminent defeat.  So at the silence of their leader and the 20 minute battering of gunfire from the Duke of Cumberland, the highlanders charged without order into the teeth and jaws of the brutal redcoat musket fire.  About 2000 highlanders were killed in the battle.  Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to France where he spent the rest of his life in exile and heavy drinking. The Duke of Cumberland then went into the Highlands of Scotland and is quoted as making a desert out of it.  He earned himself the title of the Butcher because of his atrocities committed in Scotland.  The forced exodus of the highlands by the English were called the Highland Clearancies and this to me is a very sad thing indeed.  About only three percent of Scottish people now speak Gaelic.  During the Clearancies, Gaelic was outlawed and anything viewed as too much Highlander was banned.  In the end, this literally wiped out Scottish Highlander culture and language.  It still lives on today in the few people that still live in the Highlands such as in wild and sexy Ken at Loch Ness.  But it is a tragic thing to me to see any culture wiped clean, especially one that my family came from.  So this effectively was the end of highland culture and Bonnie Prince Charlie lives on in the hearts of Scots everywhere as a hero and as a cowardly villain.

            So as I go to bed tonight I wonder how we as a people 350 years later can stop destroying cultures today.  I encourage anyone to keep the traditions of their family and nation while also always respecting those of others.  This is what I am getting from Scotland.

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