Well, mostly travels anyway. This is really just an excuse to tell stories about places I’ve been or adventures I’ve experienced. I hope you find them entertaining.
“There can be only one!”
The Isle of Skye. Even the name sounds mythical. It’s reputation, what little I knew of it, was of a place with spectacular views around every corner. Thus my excitement when, while researching a trip to Scotland, I found a tour option that included this potential feast for the eyes. This stop could be the highlight of the trip.
But how did it measure up?
They call it The Glen of Tears.
Located in a treeless valley, steep cliffs on either side, its rugged beauty belies a historical incident of such treachery its infamy lives on, 325 years later.
O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road,
And I’ll be in Scotland a’fore ye,
But me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o’ Loch Lomond.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard this chorus before, and perhaps have even sung it. And there’s a fair chance you thought it a sweet, wistful song about some poor Scottish lad breaking up with his sweetheart and rueing the occasion. But the backstory isn’t quite so sweet.
It is a question I first heard in Ireland. Our host, while introducing us to an assortment of Irish flavors asked, “Without looking at that sign over there, tell me, is whiskey spelled with an ‘e’ or without one?”
Poised and proud, the Duke of Wellington sat astride horseback. Behind him, an impressive edifice, a monument to the arts. Completing the tableau, his bonnet; a hat, a peaked tam-o’-shanter, a crown awarded by his Scottish hosts.
Did this title give you a sinking feeling? Not to worry, plenty of good things to come…
Finn McCool, a giant among Irishmen, never bested in a fight, thought himself invincible. Then he saw the Scottish giant Benandonner charging down the causeway with blood in his eye, and he shivered in fear.
There is a town in Northern Ireland that has an identity crisis. It doesn’t know whether to call itself Derry or Londonderry. But why?
Does this picture give you a sort of fuzzy deja vu?