There’s more to Scotland than great beaches

In no particular order, the other things that impressed and amazed me about Scotland.

The ubiquitous whisky distilleries (but you knew that).  In 2014, there were 98 active distilleries in Scotland.  We stopped off at this one to buy a treat for Niall to thank him for looking after the dog during our trip. Lucky Niall!

The rock on the northern coastline which looks like it’s recently broken off and slid into the sea

The islands off the west coast, which remind me of our own west coast

The rugged coastline of the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides

The mountains of Harris, as viewed from the Isle of Lewis

Wildflowers growing in impossible places.  This one was photographed in a bog.

Houses that are built in the middle of nowhere. I now know what inspired Sam Mendes, the director of Skyfall

Villages built in the middle of nowhere

The picturesque town of Ullapool, which is the Scottish equivalent of Horseshoe Bay.  We caught our ferry to the Hebrides here.

The town of Stornoway, which is the capital of the Hebrides.  Stornoway also is the name of the Leader of the Opposition’s House in Ottawa. Sadly, the explanation is prosaic: the house Stornoway was named after the town Stornoway by the second owners whose ancestors came from the Hebrides.

The Callenish standing stones on the Isle of Lewis, which are almost 5000 years old.  Like the Avebury stones, the arrangement of the Callenish stones doesn’t appear to have a relationship to astronomy.  Likely the stones marked a place for gatherings and for the burial of important citizens.

Dun Carloway, a broch on the Isle of Lewis. It was probably built around 100 AD and occupied until the 1500s. Brochs are thought to be defensive structures meant to house important citizens.  Domestic animals lived on the ground floor and family on the floors above. They were incredibly well constructed.  In about 1600, this dun figured in an incident between two local families, the Morrisons and the MacAuleys, involving some stolen cattle.  It was damaged when the MacAuleys set fire to it.

And, finally, some strange men I encountered at the Butt of Lewis


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