Fourteen Things I Didn’t Know About Scotland Before the October Holidays

Travel broadens the mind, they say. Travelling certainly provides an education, quite literally ‘on the go.’ And what’s that adage about ‘travel yourself interesting’? Well, the Wells Family went north for the recent October half term holidays, and we had the most brilliant time. We started in Inverness, worked our way west towards Fort William, had a pit stop on the Isle of Mull, then drove across to Stirling, and finished the week in Edinburgh. It was epic. And here are fourteen things I didn’t know about Scotland before this trip…

ONE.
Scotland was born south of the equator.

TWO.
Everything to the north of the Great Glen Fault (which, roughly speaking,  runs from Inverness to Fort William) is sliding southwards little by little all the time, or so we were told. Or maybe that’s just a myth to entertain the Sassenachs?

THREE.
It really is heart-breakingly beautiful up in the mountains.

View of Ben Nevis

View of Ben Nevis

FOUR.
Scottish people have a sentimental if entirely irrational attachment to the myth of Nessie.

Nicky, not Nessie. No monster here today.

Nicky, not Nessie. No monster here today.

FIVE.
All the lochs are said to be connected by underground rivers. I find it hard to wrap my brain around this, especially as some lochs are fresh water and some are sea water, but once more, this is what we were told.

SIX.
You can get married on a beach on the Isle of Mull if you’re so minded—even in October.

The bridal party heading to Calgary beach to tie the knot. And no, I have no idea who they are but they were quite happy to let me take a photo!

The bridal party heading to Calgary beach to tie the knot. And no, I have no idea who they are but they were quite happy to let me take a photo!

SEVEN.
Haggis isn’t as horrible as it sounds. In fact, we quite enjoyed it. Thank you, Karen Soutar!

This young man had three helpings and completely shunned the sausages that Karen had so thoughtfully cooked as an alternative!

This young man had three helpings and completely shunned the sausages that Karen had so thoughtfully cooked as an alternative!

EIGHT.
A ride in a mountain gondola beats a rollercoaster ride hands-down in the thrill and stunning views departments.

These 'cages', as the boys dubbed them,...

These ‘cages’, as the boys dubbed them,…

... would take us all the way up there. And they rocked and swayed in the (very gentle) breeze. LOVELY.

… would take us all the way up there. And they rocked and swayed in the (very gentle) breeze. LOVELY.

NINE.
When James Bond retreats to Skyfall, that seminal scene with the car-and-the-view is set at the bottom of Glencoe. Been there, done that!

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We should’ve got out of the car to stare moodily into the distance… #Skyfall

TEN.
The place is awash with distilleries (alas, you’re not allowed to visit with children under nine. No wee drams were being had by any member of the Wells family.)

ELEVEN.
Beer battered scallops are surprisingly yummy. I know. They shouldn’t be, but they are!

Fresh Isle of Mull Scallops. Nom nom nom.

Fresh Isle of Mull Scallops. Nom nom nom.

TWELVE.
Contrary to popular belief and much to the children’s disappointment, you can’t get deep fried Mars bars in every Scottish chippy anymore. In fact, we never managed to find a chippy that sold them. Ho hum, something to keep for another trip…

THIRTEEN.
There’s a lot of German in the Scottish language. Loch being a case in point (literally meaning ‘hole’ in German and pretty much pronounced the same way in both German and Scottish). And ‘kirk’ is another classic. I was surprised at how many ‘kirks’ there were about in Scotland. ‘Kirk’ being an old German word for ‘church.’

FOURTEEN.
The scenery around Loch Linnhe looks exactly how I imagine Alaska or Newfoundland, all shimmering water and lush green hills. Evidently I’ll have to go to Alaska and Newfoundland one day to test this impression…

Simply lovely. Breath taking. So beautiful!

Simply lovely. Breath taking. So beautiful!

And that, as they say, was that. We really enjoyed our trip and didn’t really want to come home. Should I ever win the lottery, we shall be relocating to Mull, and that’s a fact.

 

 

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6 responses to “Fourteen Things I Didn’t Know About Scotland Before the October Holidays

  1. Great pics, and I’m so pleased the haggis was a success! I also love Mull – I’d move there if I had a lottery win, too. 😉

  2. I bet those scallops were as memorable as the rest of the trip!

  3. Great pics and lovely that you all had such a grand time (the omission of wee drams notwithstanding).

    Scotland truly is a magical place, almost as special to me as Cornwall! Hmm, if I didn’t live in the far southwest of England, maybe Scotland would *be* my Cornwall! After all, both have kilts! My Cornish co-author wears his periodically!

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