• Who would have ever imagined Caribbean style beaches?
When you are surrounded on three sides by water (North Atlantic Ocean, Irish & North Seas.) you are bound to have some beaches. What is surprising in this case is the magnificence, style, variety and beauty of Scotland’s beaches. On Harris for example, the beaches look like they have been plucked from the Caribbean. In St Andrews, the West Sands beach is nearly two miles long with a vast tide (note the beach behind a huffing and puffing me thegrandview.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/run.jpg). In Elie, there is a annual celebrity cricket match on their beach. North Berwick’s beach on the Firth of Forth/North Sea is spectacular in its simplicity. Man does not live by golf alone.
• Music – It’s not just bagpipes.
Although I have come to love the bagpipes (my phone ringtone is a bagpipe driven Scotland the Brave), Scotland’s music scene has flourished for decades. You haven’t lived until you have heard Lonnie Donegan sing “Rock Island Line.” Lonegan arguably introduced and invented the style of music called “skiffle” to an unsuspecting Great Britain. There is no doubt that he influenced the Beatles and Stones. Recent new artists like Franz Ferdinand, Snow Patrol, Belle and Sebastian, my favorite, Mogwai combined with wily old vets like the Edwyn Collins led Orange Juice, Mark Knopfler and the “voice”, Annie Lennox provides us with a modest look at a long and colorful music heritage in Scotland. If Memphis is the home of rock in the US, Glasgow may be the home of rock in Europe.
• Europe’s most beautiful city: Edinburgh?
I consider myself fortunate that I have visited most of Europe’s great cities. While each are beautiful in certain ways, I always default to Prague, The Czech Republic capital and Edinburgh. Coincidently, the heart beat of both cities are the centerpiece castles. What wins me over for Edinburgh is its people but more on that later. If you like London, imagine Edinburgh to be a more manageable microcosm of London. Scotland’s capital city has 400,000 residents and while big by some standards it feels small. Not to be missed is the Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world, which takes place every August.
• I love that Scotland is/or can be a self-sufficient nation.
It’s hard to believe that Scotland has only 5 million inhabitants or roughly the same size as Massachusetts. They have a seat of government again. They produce oil in the North Sea, grow their own vegetables and other crops, brew beer and distill whisky, raise cattle and sheep, has an active fishing industry and has large life science and chemical industries. I read recently that Scotland has enough wind power to heat two Scottish winters. Can independence from England be far away?
• Most importantly of all, I love the Scottish people.
No one ever likes when you generalize about a negative trait but for some reason they are ok with it if it’s positive. Go figure. I love the Scottish people because they have a wonderful sense of humor. Get into a conversation with a Scotsman and you will be flummoxed by the quickness of their wit and their banter. I love them because of their immense national pride (much like America’s.). They are incredibly polite, straightforward and honest. They will celebrate at the drop of a hat and by all means be thrilled to bits if you joined them. That’s my kind of people. Slainte Mhath
Possibly Related Posts:
- Back from St Andrews But Not Really
- Aye Wonder Pre-Flight
- St Andrews in All Its Glory
- Week 27 – 5 x 5
- Dum Spiro Spero*