noah's Travel Journals


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  • 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. :)

First day out of Edinburgh to Loch Ness

United Kingdom Fort Augustus, United Kingdom  |  Jun 14, 2009
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 The history behind the country is a big part of what is behind the complexity of ‘Scottishness’. 

So today, we started our first journey outside of Edinburgh. We are traveling with Highlander Explorers and our guide Colin, who is an amazing guide thus far.  Throughout the driving he has been telling us of the interesting and unique history of Scotland, or Caledonia as the Romans called it.  I can already tell that this trip is going to be one of the most fascinating trips of my life.

The main thing that really gets me is the scenery.  It is the most amazing and unique landscape that I have ever scene. The switching from the Lowlands to the Highlands as we drive was really eye opening.  It makes me wonder what the ancient peoples such as the Picts, Scots, Vikings, and Romans thought of it when they came here to live. To me, it is no wonder that the Picts and Scots had natural gods when they came to see the rolling mighty of the great glens and lochs of Scotland.

So today we passed by the Fourth Road Bridge on our way out of Edinburgh and Colin told us the crazy story of Archie who fell down a whole in the bridge and eventually died in the hole!  But the story behind it is insane.  Archie’s co workers tried to get him out but after a couple of failed attempts they just lowered down food to him laced with arsenic and it killed him!  To me, either what Colin said about Scots never lying is true and Scottish construction workers are crazy or actually Scots cannot help but lie and really Archie never died.  Whatever you choose to believe, the storytelling skills of Scots are amazing.

Finally we arrived at Ft. Augustus where Loch Ness is located and the fabled Loch Ness Monster!!!  It is a beautiful place where you can see how Highland culture thrived around mysteries and harsh environments.  Also we went to see the famous wild, and sexy Ken who showed us how a highlander used to dress and how is family would’ve lived back 500 years ago.  It is almost insane the things that these people went through.  Also the same kilt was worn everyday 365 days a year.  The kilt was also a napkin for everything.  Animal feces, blood, dinner, literally everything.  So even though old Highlander culture is amazing, I’m sure that it had its own interesting smell also.

Already, I am seeing that the culture of Scotland is a complex and unique thing that is going to keep me awake at night.  The history behind the country is a big part of what is behind the complexity of ‘Scottishness’.  It can be exemplified at every turn in Scottish history.  For example, Scotland was independent for the longest time even through Roman imperial rule in England.  But it was a Scottish king who precipitated the unification of England and Scotland in the 1500s.  I think the best way at this point for me to describe Scottish history is fiercely independent yet knowing what is best for them.  In conclusion for today, I officially love Scottish beauty and lore and it will be hard to leave it in a week.

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  • First day out of Edinburgh to Loch Ness

    June 14, 2009
    No Photo | No Video

  • Day 2, Culloden

    July 22, 2009
    No Photo | No Video