The best kinds of travel recommendations are obtained from works of fiction.
The Loch Ness monster has always fascinated me, ever since I was a wee baby. My mum used to tell me (imaginary?) stories of encountering the monster on her trip to Scotland before I was born and her claims were backed by a rather realistic souvenir of Nessie that came back with her. That, combined with the good ol’ conspiracy theories and a mythical beasts encyclopaedia put Scotland on a must-visit category on my bucket list.
When I finally visited Scotland, little did I realise that Nessie wasn’t the only fascinating thing out there. Edinburgh itself presented a whole new world of gothic mystery along with city feels and the Highlands revealed a magic of their own. I’ve recounted some of my adventures in two of my Scottish-based posts which you can find here and here but in this post, Imma show you certain glimpses of the trip that I found unique and pretty enough to present as postcards. These include pictures taken from a bus, or buildings that I passed on a walk or even pieces of nature that look unique. As for Nessie, well, she’s kinda shy to pose for a camera but she does tell you where the lighting’s the best:)
This is a picture of one of the buildings that surrounds the Royal Scots Greys Monument in Edinburgh. The monument itself is a statue of an equestrian soldier which isn’t in the picture but it is surrounded by these gothic buildings that could well be castles. A bit of history here: The Royal Scots Greys was a cavalry regiment that served from 1707 to 1971. This a a regiment that has practically seen it all, right from the Seven Years’ War, the Crimean War, the Anglo-Boer War right to the Second World War and beyond. I think it’s lovely that the troops have a monument dedicated to them and the surroundings really bring in that Gothic feel. Houses such as the one pictured remind me of all the classic scary stories such as Dracula and Frankenstein and I always feel that a ghost of some sort haunts these places. *Jenny of Oldstones plays in the background*
After all, Edinburgh is no novice to ghost stories.
This is a rather unique angle of the St Giles’ Cathedral. This is on the Edinburgh High Street and I got this picture on a walk to Mercat Cross where I went on this ghost tour in the vaults of Edinburgh. Mercat Cross is an interesting place in itself previously known as a place of announcing Royal proclamations as well as a wee bit of beheading and execution. Today, it’s the starting point of a ghost tour. All I can say is if you find anyone wandering here, they ain’ always lost.
While we’re talking of Gothic buildings and unique photographic angles, here’s a picture of the Scott Monument taken from the cab. I like how the monument looks as though it’s in the middle of a Time warp and that we’re about to plunge into an alternate universe. The reason I love the Scott Monument is because it is dedicated to a writer, none other than Sir Walter Scott, the author of Ivanhoe. It is the second largest monument in the world that is dedicated to a writer and I love the gesture. Writers are beings that are truly immortal as they live a million lives all in the strokes of a pen and it’s comforting to see a writer being commemorated. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword, innit.
This is a very unique photo that I got early in the morning while leaving Edinburgh city for the Highlands. Jenners was Scotland’s oldest independent departmental store. It was established in 1838 and had a successful streak, both as an independent and an acquired unit. However, there’s a sad turn to the story as the store closed down permanently owing to the pandemic and it has now been vacated. It’s really amazing how such small and distant things can arouse emotion. I visited Edinburgh in 2016 and the Jenners store was something that had really stood out but the news of its shutting down really makes me miss it even though I’ve had such a tiny association with it. However, there is another branch in the Highland village of Loch Lomond that is still operational but I will miss seeing this on Princes Street the next time I visit Edinburgh.
This is the Muir Hall in the burgh of Doune. It was on the road from Edinburgh to the Highlands. This hall was built in 1922 and currently it serves as a community centre for people with learning difficulties. I really like how everything in Scotland has some history behind it. This is the place that proves that stones indeed do tell a story. I like thinking of all the people that have lived and led their lives in these places, in a different world altogether, intermingling with historical events that stunned the world. It gives an encouraging feeling that no matter what, life goes on and we do overcome all the odds. I think this is really comforting in a time where apocalyptic thoughts form an integral part of our nervous activity.
This picture reminds me of the scenery drawings most of us make as wee babies. There are mountains, trees, long grasses as well as the main element, a house with a sloping roof in a clearing by the lake. This scene here was my idea of a dream home back when I used to draw the said scenery in crude crayon strokes, the only thing missing is the sun in the corner. But hey, this is UK weather, the sun’s way into the corner, not to be seen. The bus ride through the Highlands have multiple clearings by the Lochs(lakes) such as this one and in one such clearing, we’ve got the filming spot for Hagrid’s Hut in the Harry Potter movies. It’s important to keep your eyes and cameras ready as these clearings serve for some great pictures. Pro tip: Grab the window seat!
These pictures are the signboard and the building of “The Legend of the Dew of Ben Nevis” Distillery and Visitor Centre. The title of the place is impressive. It makes me curious about the Dew of Ben Nevis. What if it’s the Elixir of Immortality? Talking of elixirs, you may not get the one for immortality but you’ve got whisky to make up for it. The Scottish love their whisky and it is said that a huge crate of Scotch can actually attract the Loch Ness monster to come out of hiding. Does it actually work? Well….you find out.
Whisky shops in Scotland often have postcards which one can take as souvenirs. Here’s one that I brought back from a whisky shop in Edinburgh.
Cool, ain’ it?
The last picture in this series of postcards is of the Forth Bridge in Fife, a place that we drove past on the way back to Edinburgh.
This bridge is close to the Queensferry Crossing Bridge which is one of the most photographed bridges in Scotland. The whole set of bridges gives me an industrial vibe and all I can think of is ship trades and cargo. It serves as a nice indicator of the actual movers and shakers that show the degree of advancement of the human race.
And that is a wrap!
Until Next Time:)