Magical Scotland
Hiking the Scottish Highlands is a breathtaking experience.

Magical Scotland

There’s somethin magical aboot Scotland. Public transportation is simple tae figure oot, the people are bonnie, an the scenery breathtakin. Thare is a familiar familial belongin i’ Scotland—a feelin o’ bein Scottish e’en whan you’re no. A trip tae Scotland feels like a trip home.

Thare are pubs everywhere. We endit each day on our wee hike from Aberfeldy tae Pitlochry wi delicious beer an excellent food. Haggis, fish an chips, meat pies—all better than the last. Warm fire places invitit us closer after trudgin through the rain, gear soakit, ma ten year old boots failin miserably against the Scottish weather. Gortex nae lasts forever an Scotland provit tae be the last stop for this pair.

Pub Taps
The pub stop was a great end to every day hiking the Highlands.

The inns were brilliant. Warmin radiators i’ the rooms, towel heaters, soft beds, an welcomin hosts. The owners made us dinner at one stop: Scottish salmon an venison pies wi seasonal vegetables an beer—there wis aye beer. We slept like babes snugglit beneath doun comforters.

The weather wis perfectly Scottish. Days nearit 60 degrees, a light rain—tomorrow’s whiskey— settlin gently upon our gear (and no sae gently one day).  We pluckit along through pine forests, ower fertile farmland an rollin streams. Each day deliverit its rewards: colorful scenes o’ a fairytale land.

Overlooking Lock Tay. No monsters here.

It wad no be possible tae find better hikin companions. Jeannette an Annie walkit through miles o rain, soakit feet, battlin blisters an nursin sore muscles—chattin away. I’d turn around tae see thaim bent ower a flower on a bush, or takin photos o sheep, remindit o’ hou these sisters, despite bein a half century old, still hadn’t lost their childlike wonder. They were the best travelin partners.

Hiking companions
Hiking companions and their bonnie idea to end our last day of trekking at the distillery.

The trip wis also educational. We learnit from a couple wi their dogs thon “collie” is Gaelic for sheepdog. A Border Collie is a Border Sheepdog. A Beardit Bollie is a Beardit Sheepdog (havin met both on the trail).  We found haggis tasty, the Scottish breakfast quite filling, an thare is little better than a bowl o’ hot soup an a pint after a long walk. The Scots also taucht us we won’t burn i’ hell for drinkin Scottish whiskey wi a wee bit o water—despite whit pretentious Americans an Hollywood wad have us believe. Scotland wis a trip tae the best Uni.

Edradour Whiskey Barrels
The Scottish saying goes, “Today’s rain is tomorrow’s whiskey.” Edradour makes some of the finest.

Scotland is aboot the senses. Emergin from a shadit forest path tae gaze upon lush green, rollin fields, white sheep dottin the landscape, deep blue lochs reflectin nature’s palette. Feelin the rain tap against our hoods, the warm sun on our faces as it darit tae peak through the clouds after midday. The taste o’ a pint after a long walk, an the smell o’ a slichtly peaty whiskey while the fire driit our clothes. The sound o’ a Scottish accent at the end o’ the day, welcomin us home wi coffee, tea an chocolate. Scotland wis warm e’en whan it wis cauld.

Hiking the Highlands before the tourists arrive makes them your own.
Scottish Snail
Even the Scottish snails are photogenic. Photo by Annie R.

If ye get a chance tae visit Scotland, don’t hesitate. It’s magical.

Many thanks to Lingojam for help with the translation.  Lingojam, a website where you can create your own translator.

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Unless otherwise noted, I drew or took the photographs in the article—as lame as they may look.  Any resemblance to persons living or dead is just plain scary.  Copyright can be found here for my original work.

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