There is so much talk lately about the referendum on whether Scotland should stay a part of the UK or become independent. Reading about it, makes me even more confused. But who am I to say what is right. Besides I don’t want to talk about politics, I just want to say that from the first moment we landed in Edinburgh, a few years ago, I fell in love. In love with the beautiful countryside, with the architecture and the sea, and the people and everything that makes this land so truly amazing. I am basically saying that as long as we get to visit it again, I really don’t mind whatever it is.
To this day, even without the constant mention of the referendum, I still often think of it, the light drizzle and dark skies, the waves crashing into the shore and of the friendly people, who are always ready to help – though sometimes no matter how hard I’ve tried I barely understood what they were trying to say. What is there not to like, Scotland should be on everyone’s bucket list. But maybe that’s just me.
Because as strange as it may sound, I like to believe that in one of my former lives, if that is at all possible, I was all British, perhaps somewhere along the lines of Mrs Bucket, though I don’t think hubbs would go for her husband. The minute I started learning English, found out there’s this place called the UK where everything seemed better than here, hey I still think so, it must be the grass is greener … I felt such a strong connection that never ever left. One of my first trips was to London and the city makes it so easy for you to fall in love with it. It’s vibrant, big, beautiful, with all the historic and new buildings side by side, always busy and never dull. There is something going on there at all times. So, after a week of course I was completely starry-eyed and begged my father never to go back home. And at that time I really knew nothing much about Scotland.
Years later me and hubbs went to visit my brother who was at that time living in Dundee. Almost the same as with London, but for all the different reasons, the second upon landing in Edinburgh, I felt like coming home. Then I realized perhaps I wasn’t really Mrs Bucket in my former life, perhaps I lived somewhere far away on the Shetland Islands that are to this day still on our bucket list. Everything in Scotland suddenly felt right. It is basically almost impossible not to love the land. But especially these amazing five places will make sure you never look at any other place in the same way:
– The capital of Scotland. I now mostly remember the dark roofs, the amazing castle on top, where we had such a great tour guide. I can still quote (though loosely) some of the things he mentioned. Just walking around, soaking up the feel of the city, made us content. Running into a man in kilt was just too good to be true.
- There is something so serene about the Highlands and almost mystical. You cannot help but stare at the beautiful scenery and the little streams that seem to be coming from everywhere. Or get stuck in the marshes with dark skies looming dangerously over your head.
Loch Ness and other lochs
- Yes, I know everyone has heard of the Loch Ness and its infamous Nessie but despite its fame, the lake is still a sight to behold. Maybe it was because of the lack of tourists that the place seemed almost deserted, maybe I imagined it differently, but it amazed me. And other lochs as well, wild and unspoilt, as if they were from another place and time. Just sitting on its shores, elevated all my worries, because it made me feel so insignificant in the whole scope of things.
Eilean Donan castle
- There is probably no movie set in Scotland that doesn’t feature this beautiful castle on a small island. And I chose it just because of that. This is what we imagine, when we think of Scotland, Highlands and this castle and seeing it for real, makes you realize you’ve made it. You came to Scotland. I guess it’s like walking on Brooklyn Bridge to know you’re truly in New York City. But it was nothing like in the movies, it was more imposing, fiercer as it just stared to rain and I realized how many storms and troubles it already conquered.
Staying at a lighthouse Rua Reidh
- We were lucky enough to have spent two amazing nights at a lighthouse called Rua Reidh, set in north-west coast of Scotland. The only sound we heard at night were the waves crashing into the cliffs. I have never slept more soundly anywhere else, except in my own bed. Completely deserted, only one tiny road leading up to the lighthouse, with nothing but sheep to keep you company, we have found the perfect place to unwind and feel Scotland.