Such places are seen while in dreams – A quaint village in one of the most remote places of the British Isles bounded by the mighty Atlantic and the cold North Sea – the sparsely inhabited Isle of Skye holds a distinct place in the Scotland tourism map. Surrounded by the slow moving mystical hazes, one can only play hide-and-seek with the peaks of the far away hills. Right in front of me I have the remnants (back waters) of the mighty Atlantic. In there, 3 white sailboats lies anchored at convenient distances, rocking away blissfully. Somebody’s playing a faint tune of the Skye Boat song, at a nearby pub, while I sit by the seas looking at the majestic bridge that connects this island with the Scottish mainland. I started writing this blog on the third day of our Scotland trip and yes it was overwhelming, that I could not resist but start the introductory paragraph with a description of the Isle of Skye.
A country of medieval castles, warrior clans and of Viking attacks. Moulded by the indomitable spirit of the mountain songs and the undying spirit of a highlander. It’s a country so beautiful, that if you are born here, you would know, – how to fight the world. A land proud of its descent, its deep, dark history of killings, mass massacre, and betrayal. The wind here speaks of the many battles fought, rebellions that took away many sons of the soils; it also speaks of the fairies, faunas, and the giants that were born from word of mouth and through generations. It’s a mystical and romanticized tale of emotions and evolution of a country. The people’s tryst with the atrocities made by the English men over the years and their destiny with the Royal Monarchy of the British Isles strike a chord with the traveler. And the battles still rages even after 300 years of submission.
When we landed at the shores of the historic city of Edinburgh, it was cracking dawn, and the sun rays shone brilliantly through the imposing stone walls of the city’s buildings. What struck me was literally everything from the city tower clocks to privately owned building were made of the steely, greyed out stones. The city, does boast of magnificence and a royal feel. The streets of Edinburgh does have a feel of London, however it has an essence of its own. Fervent displays in the shops to attract the horde of tourists thronging every nook and corner of the royal mile. The myriad hues of the pedestrians and on-lookers, from every race of culture
The Royal Mile being the busiest tourist place in the old town of Edinburgh, where you get the famous stories of Maggie Dickson, famous story of survival, the parades and the incessant sounds of the intriguing bagpipes are bound to make to feel overwhelmed. The day we reached Edinburgh, we were accidentally shoved into one of the numerous walking tours that are being conducted by the city tour guides. These are mainly free walking tours and the tour guides takes a group walking along alleys of the city, talking away with glee and passion, translating the city’s inherent history, their tussle with the British. Of how any Royal announcements still take 3 days to be announced in the city of Edinburgh than in London. In the earlier times, a person used to ride in horses covering the entire distance from London to the city in 3 days, and this ritual is still being followed officially. Fascinating Customs.
One of the best things to see the city is to take on the walking tours. Abundant tour guides, you can book one on arrival from your hotel/hostel. And then you also get to see the cafe where J.K Rowling sat wondering about the next lines of Harry Potter and yes, her inspiration for Voldermort’s name Tom Marvolo Riddle in fact came from the grave a person named Thomas Riddle, a stone throw distance away from the cafe she sat upon, pondering. Its 2.5 hour long tours, our tour guide Andrew was fantastic. You can also take a peek in to their website Edinburgh Walking Tours.
24 hours well spent at the ancient capital of Scotland. and oh yes, how can I forget the Haggis. (Wiki Definition: Haggis is a savory pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours.) Its traditional, its Scottish and it just melts into your mouth.