The Hazel Eyed Traveler

A scenic travel and lifestyle blog by Katie Alice

Why I Fell in Love with Scotland

Scotland, a land of haunting beauty, enchanting landscapes, thrilling histories, and friendly people more than happy to sit down and have a chat.   I visited Scotland for the first time this summer and quickly became enthralled with this majestic and wild untamed country.

The locals informed me that I was fortunate when I visited as I experienced more sunny days than cloudy days while in Scotland.   I felt grateful although I had prepared full on for the typical cloudy, windy, rainy Scottish weather that you hear about it.

I easily fell in love with Scotland and these are just some of the reasons.

scotland, highlands, sky fall
1. The Landscape Everywhere I turned I felt my eyes grow large with wonder at the beautiful and varied landscape that is Scotland.  From the powerful and majestic highlands to the bright blue beaches with white sands.  I embraced every varied landscape with open arms but I felt my favorite were the Scottish Highlands.  With the wind fiercly blowing through my hair and stormy clouds gliding above the highland peaks.  I could almost imagine the haunting bagpipe music being carried on the winds.   The sound began in the distance almost inaudible and steadily grew stronger. The very moment it reached it's peak the fierce Jacobite highlanders of old came running over the mountains with a fierce cry.   Proudly wearing their various clan's tartans they descended upon their enemies brandishing weapons to defend their beloved Scotland.
Isle of skye, scotland, loch, summer in scotland

2. Lochs
A land brimming with freshwater lochs, sea lochs, and lochans you can hardly step 10 feet without bumping into one.  Although the most famous loch is Loch Ness it is by no means the only Loch.   It has been estimated that there are 31,460 freshwater lochs which does not even include the sea lochs.  If there was ever a contest for the country with the most Lochs, Scotland would win by a landslide!

Scotland, King, Robert the Bruce, King robert the bruce, braveheart, Saint conan's Kirk
3. History of the Scots 

The Scottish people have a rich and full history.   While there I touched standing stones and cairns which had been built before even the pyramids.   And of course the tumultuous history between the Scots and the English is a long and ancient story.  Each country fighting to hold the throne over both Scotland and England.   A number of Scottish royals fought for their country from Mary Queen of Scots,  King Robert the Bruce, and Bonnie Prince Charlie.  Not all stories ending happily but making for a colorful tale nonetheless.  I am very excited for the new Mary Queen of Scots movie.  Hopefully it will due justice to the relationship between Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I. 

Kilchurn Castle, dalmally, Scotland, Scotland in summer

4. The Scottish People
It was lovely being among the Scottish people.  I quickly learned that whatever they were thinking appeared on their faces.  My tour guide would speak bluntly but I could see the great love and patriotism he held for his country. The Scots I mingled with were quite the outgoing bunch and once you got them talking they would chat your arm off.

Eilean Donan castle, scotland castle, scotland, scotland in summer

5. The Castles

Ahh the castles, the so many different castles.   Seeing and touring castles I felt that I had died and gone to Heaven.  Hundreds of these powerful of old structures speckled the Scottish countryside.  Built near oceans, on high mountainous grounds, and by Lochs, everywhere I looked I would find a castle.   It was like I woke up and stepped into a fairytale of medieval lore.

Scottish breakfast, forty augustus, Scotland, Summer in scotland, eggs, tomatoes, blood pudding

6.  The Scottish Food
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and the photo of my breakfast really sums up how delicious the Scottish food was.  Scots serve delicious hardy breakfasts.  Every bed and breakfast we stayed in served a savory Scottish breakfast.  I even tried the blood pudding!  Previously I had only read about this unusual dish and was unsure what to expect.  I can happily say I enjoyed it and more than that I even enjoyed the Haggis.  I avoided ordering it until one of my later meals. I told myself you are in Scotland and you cannot go home without trying this meal that only the Scottish people are known for.  I am so glad I did because it completely blew away my every expectation.

highland coos, coo, coos, highland cows

7.  Highland Coos
Who cannot look at that face and not love a highland coo?  They are such a signature animal of Scotland with their  long hair falling over their eyes.  We had great fun trying to spot highland coos on our adventures over Scotland.

Isle of skye, scotland, summer in scotland, atlantic ocean8.  The Scottish Accent
Really when it comes down to it I love all UK accents.  But the Scots have their own magical way of speaking.  Not do they only have their own lingo at times but their brogue can come out in full force.  At these times I would sometimes have to pause and question to myself whether the language they were speaking was English.  Once I cleared it up I realized they were just speaking full on Scottish!

Isle of lewis, scotland, coast, scottish coast, atlantic ocean
9.  Scottish Storytelling
The art of telling a story is a true talent.  The Scottish people do not lack that fantastic ability; storytelling.  Our guide beguiled us with many a story with the stunning backdrop of Caledonia.  Their accents did not hurt in the storytelling department as it made the tale that much more exciting.

dalwhinnie distillery, Scotland, Whiskey, Scots, Scottish whiskey

10.  Whiskey
Last but certainly not least you cannot visit Scotland without tasting authentic Scottish Whiskey.  Not one to partake in strong spirits I had not tried whiskey prior to visiting Scotland.   But as they say when in Rome....  We went on a whiskey tour which I very much enjoyed and finished it off by having a wee spot of whiskey at the end.  A perfect ending to a Scottish whiskey tour.

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