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Scotland Road Trip

James A. Watkins is an entrepreneur, musician, and a writer with four non-fiction books and hundreds of magazine articles read by millions.

From Glasgow We Go

I had long been fascinated by Scotland.  I hatched a plan to rent a car to drive around the country, clockwise.  I flew into Glasgow to begin my journey.  If you want to try this at home, keep in mind that you drive a car in the United Kingdom sitting in the right seat, driving on the left side of the road, shifting with your left hand, and using your left foot for the clutch.






Glasgow means “green hollow.”  It sits on the River Clyde, and the metropolitan area is home to 41% of the Scottish people with a population of 2.3 million souls.   Glasgow boomed in the 18th Century with a focus on the tobacco trade.  By 1900, it was the fourth largest city in Europe, trailing only London, Paris, and Berlin.  Today it is known for its architecture.  





Loch Lomond to Oban

I drove north out of Glasgow on the A82 to Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Britain and home to sixty islands.  Then we head west to the scenic little town of Inveraray, known for its white buildings.  Next, we proceed north to picturesque Oban, a tourist town of 8,000 that grew up around a whisky (Scotch) distillery, and became an important naval station during World War II.  





Port Appin

A pilot friend from Glasgow recommended I stop off to have dinner and take in the spectacular scenery at Port Appin, on my way north to Fort William.

I also stopped to see Glen Coe, site of the infamous 1692 massacre; and Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain.







Fort William

Fort William, population 10,000, is in the Scottish Highlands, one of the most sparsely populated areas of Europe. It was not always so, as before the year 1800 many more people lived there.

Quite a few major motion pictures have been filmed near Fort William, including Braveheart.





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Applecross to John O' Groats

The most westerly point of our journey takes us to isolated Applecross.

From there we travel north to Kylesku, a small fishing village that is home to one of the most beautiful bridges in the world.

We continue our journey to the northernmost settlement of mainland Britain, John o’ Groats.




We head south to the capital and largest city of the Highlands, Inverness. This is the fastest growing city in Europe, and its 54,000 inhabitants enjoyed the highest “quality of life” in Scotland.

Inverness was the stronghold of the Picts of ancient Scotland, and has been the scene of much conflict. It was here that MacBeth murdered King Duncan.





Peterhead to Aberdeen

We proceed to the easternmost point in Scotland, Peterhead (population 17,000).  This city is a major fishing port on the North Sea and site of a notorious prison.  To the south lies Aberdeen, a much larger city that is home to over 200,000 people.  Aberdeen has been settled for 8,000 years.  Many of its famous buildings are built from locally quarried granite.  It is known today as the Oil Capital of Europe.  





Dundee to St Andrews

We continue south to Dundee, population 160,000.  This city has suffered financially in recent decades.  From there we go to St. Andrews.  Though only 16,000 people live there, St. Andrews is a very interesting place.  It is known as the birthplace of golf; and has long been considered the ecclesiastical capital of Scotland.  St. Andrews Cathedral, once the largest in the country, now lies in ruins.




Our last stop is Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.  It sits next to a fjord, the estuary of the River Forth (Firth of Forth).  The 800,000 inhabitants of the metropolitan area enjoy the “most desirable city in which to live in the United Kingdom,” and only London receives more visitors.  Edinburgh is full of Medieval and Georgian architecture.  Famous residents have included Alexander Graham Bell; Charles Darwin; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; J. K. Rowling; and rock band Jethro Tull. 





History of Scotland

The first written records of Scottish history appear in the writings of the Roman historian Tacitus in AD 81. He writes of his father-in-law, Agricola, invading southern Scotland, which he called Caledonia, with the Ninth Legion. The land was inhabited by a Celtic race of people called Picts because they painted and tattooed pictures on their bodies.

Around AD 300, a group of Celts known as the Scots came over from Ireland and took over western Caledonia. In the late Sixth Century, St. Columba completed the conversion of the future Scotland to Christianity. Viking invasions began about 800, with the eventual result that the internecine wars among various Celtic groups ended as they banded together against the invaders. In 843, they united under King Kenneth MacAlpin.

King Duncan was killed in 1040 and succeeded by MacBeth, who was in turn killed by Duncan’s son Malcolm in 1057. Malcolm III was known as Bighead. In 1124 King David, a devout Christian brought up in England with a Norman education, ascended to the throne and would stay there for thirty years. David founded the first national system of justice and administration; standardized weights and measures; and established the first Scottish mint.

The English under King Edward conquered Scotland in 1296. William Wallace led a revolt the following year. He was captured and executed in 1305. Robert Bruce finally secured Scottish independence when he defeated the English at Bannockburn in 1314.

Great families ruled Scotland de facto in the Fourteenth Century, including the families Douglas, MacDonald, and MacLean (and later prominent were the families Campbell, Mackenzie, Ross, and Mackay). The Church of Scotland ushered in a great tradition of learning and the arts in the Fifteenth Century, and founded a university at St. Andrews.









Scotland History

In 1488, James IV was crowned King of Scotland. He was energetic, charming, intelligent, and a natural born leader of men. James IV brought Scotland to new heights of prosperity and prestige as splendid churches and grand palaces were built; stone replaced wood in the cities; music became important; books were imported; and trade thrived. He was killed in battle after attacking the English in support of Scotland’s long time ally France in 1513. His body disappeared.

Mary Queen of Scots succeeded to the throne in 1542, though less than a week old. King Henry VIII of England then laid waste to southern Scotland amidst horrible carnage. In 1560, led by John Knox, Protestant Calvinists took control of religious life in Scotland. Queen Elizabeth of England, imprisoned her cousin, the Catholic Mary Queen of Scots in 1568, and executed her nineteen years later.

In 1603, King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England, upon the death of Elizabeth I. His wife was the princess of Denmark and Norway. James commissioned the Bible known today as the King James Version, and also began to use the term Great Britain. In 1651, Oliver Cromwell, after dethroning the king of England, subdued Scotland and it was united with England for good.

After a foiled Scottish uprising led by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745, the English made wearing a kilt and playing the bagpipes a serious crime.

For 100 years cotton dominated the Scottish economy. After the American Civil War, heavy industry became king, particularly iron, steel, coal, and shipbuilding. Roads, bridges, canals, and railways were built on a massive scale in the late Nineteenth Century. And of course it was the great Scot James Watt who invented the steam engine and thus made the industrial revolution possible.

Edinburgh became one of the intellectual centers of Europe around 1800 with David Hume and Adam Smith leading the way. Soon Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott reimagined the Scottish national character in words. Carlyle and Stevenson would follow them. Scottish engineers, explorers, merchants, and missionaries became world famous.








James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on December 10, 2015:

lynn wilson~ That is a vicious lie about King James that no one takes seriously among learned people. This comes from 'Black Studies' classes, which also teach the utter nonsense that the ancient Greeks ‘stole’ their entire culture, philosophy, science, knowledge, and even democracy from Africans! I have heard that this is also taught in public schools of black neighborhoods. They also teach that the Jews in the Bible were black. In one such class, it is claimed that Aristotle came to Egypt and stolen everything he knew from the Great Library of Alexandria. The Library in question was only built after Aristotle’s death by his pupil Alexander the Great and in fact Aristotle had never set foot in Egypt. The othe professors at universities know full well that the ‘Afro-Centric History’ taught in the Black Studies programs are as phony as a three dollar bill but dare not say that in public because they will be called racists. I thought college was there to learn the truth not pure fiction pretending to be truth invented to make black people feel good. But it doesn’t make them feel good. It makes them angry when they are taught falsely that they once had the most magnificent civilization on earth but it was stolen by Europeans who have ever since covered the whole thing up. It is sheer nonsense. Everything taught by Afrocentrists is utterly absurd. For instance, they tell the class that the Europeans stole something called the “Egyptian Mystery System” when it is well known that was made up in the 18th century by Abbe Jean Terrasson. They teach that historical figures such as Aesop, Socrates, Hannibal, and Cleopatra were black when in truth they were not. Cleopatra was Macedonian, from a family that ruled Egypt for centuries but were not native Egyptians. The Romans came up with the name “Africa’ and by it only meant the northern coast across from Italy, which was populated by Berbers (who look like Arabs) having no clue about sub-Saharan ‘Africa’ where the black skinned people lived. One famous black historian says Cleopatra describes herself in the Bible as black, in the Book of Acts, apparently unaware that she is neither mentioned in that book nor anywhere else in the Bible. In his fraudulent telling she is alive when the Book of Acts was written but she had in fact been dead for 90 years. And this man is a tenured professor. Some of my liberal friends laugh it off and say it can’t hurt anyone for blacks to believe it such myths if it gives them some racial pride. To oppose them is seen as ‘white supremacy’ at worst and failure to be ‘open-minded’ at best. Now they want to call this not history but ‘cultural history.’ What is that? Made up history designed to make up for past oppression, increase self-esteem, and establish ‘social justice.’ The express purpose of creating phony history out of thin air is the “lessen European cultural arrogance.” What it produces in more abundance is resentment of their white classmates as ‘oppressors.’ The great shyster Marcus Garvey wrote in 1923 that Negroes invented science, art, government, the university, writing, religion, and civilization but whites had stolen everything from them, ruined their magnificent civilizations, and hidden the truth from everyone ever since. This made him an object of worship in the black community but not a word of it is true. It is utter propaganda but amazingly many educated black Americans seem to believe it. In this school of thought, not only was Moses a sub-Saharan black African but so were the Mayan, Inca, and Aztec Indians of the Americas. And get this now---Europeans know this but pretend otherwise. If this is allowed to stand in our greatest universities what is to stop anyone from inventing any false history? If we have learned nothing in the 20th century it ought to have been the danger of not correcting propaganda. In our colleges today it does not matter that what is taught is true or not but whether it is taught because of a laudable social goal. Liberals seem to think that promoting their social goals is in fact the very purpose for which they want to use universities. Classrooms are being used to arouse hatred of white people---particularly of white men---by teaching false fables to make groups who have achieved less feel better about themselves.

lynn wilson on December 09, 2015:

beautiful article, but what I would like to know is how King James went from BLACK to White and his family. We all know that King James was a black man.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 22, 2013:

shofarcall— Hello! And welcome once again to the HubPages Community. I promise I am coming soon to check all of your Hubs.

I am well pleased that you enjoyed this article. Yes, I do recall that you were so blessed as to be able to live in the West Highlands of Scotland for 11 years. For me, that is a dream! There is not much I could wish for that would please me more than to be able to live for a time in Scotland, Wales, or Ireland. I simply love all three of those marvelous places.

Thank you for taking the time to peruse this page. I sincerely appreciate your lovely comments.

God Bless You and Keep You!

james :-)

shofarcall on January 20, 2013:

Hello James,

This was such a pleasure for me to come across this hub of yours because as you probably read in my profile, I lived in the West Highlands for 11 years. I lived near the famous Inverewe gardens on the West Coast close to Gairloch and 32miles before Ullapool.

It is such an amazing part of the world. The play of light is glorious and the people are the salt of the earth. So lovely to see a picture of Applecross. Isn't the pass to get there just astonishing? One of the most wonderful things about Applcross is that the loch appears "as glass" on a still day and there is probably one of the best pubs/restaurants in all the Highlands there. Lovely atmosphere and an incredible chapel, and it is such a surprise when you walk into it because it looks dour from the outside (grey stone) but inside, it is filled with light flooding in, painted white with a little gallery above and simple woven chairs. Thank you for all the other places and pictures too. Know them all well. Makes me nostalgic!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 30, 2012:

Paraglider— Greetings to you, my friend. It is a distinct pleasure to hear from you again. I appreciate the return visit to "Scotland Road Trip." I loved my time in your native land and have longed to go back there. Perhaps one day I will be able to.

As always, your comments are keenly perceptive and brilliantly articulated. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Scotland's great poets and writers with me. I never fail to enjoy reading your words. I hope all is well in your world.


Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on July 27, 2012:

Greetings Sir James - just revisiting this one, and noticing: "Soon Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott reimagined the Scottish national character in words."

That's a very perceptive comment. Scott was primarily a Romantic poet, steeped in chivalry, heraldry and mythology. He would probably have remained as such, had he not been replaced in the public imagination by Byron who far more looked the part and lived the life. Also Scott had massive debt problems. So he slid out of the poetry limelight and took to novel writing, at first anonymously. As a romantic, he greatly exaggerated the chivalry and glory of the clan feuds (which in reality must have been pretty grubby affairs). He also created the myth (which went on to become an industry) of the clan tartans and regalia. Yes, local weavers had different styles before, but that was about as far as it went.

Burns also was no simple 'plowman poet'. He was well educated, well read and a diligent researcher. He adopted the moribund 'Standard Habbie' form and turned it into a powerful and natural vehicle for lyric, satire and narrative. He has a claim still to be the World's most celebrated poet.

But the guy that Really understood and captured the Scottish psyche was Robert Louis Stevenson.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 11, 2012:

mqzkika— I am well pleased to see how much you liked my Hub about the Scotland Road Trip. It was a blessing to me.



James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 23, 2012:— Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub about my Scotland Road Trip. It was a great time in a fascinating place.

I once had a lawyer named Armstrong. Good man. My family was originally from Wales.

I appreciate your comments! from upstate, NY on February 20, 2012:

My own ancestors were from the Scottish Border lands and were either killed or run out of Scotland when King James ascended to the throne in England. Today if you go to Scotland their are barely any Armstrongs left although they were once a very prominent scottish clan.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on January 01, 2012:

CASE29Mitzi— I appreciate your interesting remarks. There used to be an old saying that the only place in the world where Jews could not make a living was in Scotland. Which is extraordinarily politically incorrect. :D

CASE29Mitzi on December 31, 2011:

That is understandable that money can make us free. But how to act when one has no money? The one way only is to get the mortgage loans and bank loan.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 10, 2011:

GISmith— You are welcome! I am so glad that you enjoyed this Hub. It means a lot coming from one who so well knows the terrain. :D

Thank you for visiting and commenting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 10, 2011:

Kaie Arwen— You are most welcome, my dear. You have been here before! You were the third commenter on this Hub—20 months ago. Still, it is always a distinct pleasure to hear from you anytime.

Thank you for coming back. :D

Gillian Smith from Wales on October 08, 2011:

A very nice trip thank you!

Lived in Scotland for years and studied archaeology at Glasgow University

I spent alot of time in Shetland and Orkney , also the western Isles so I enjoyed your write up

Kaie Arwen on October 08, 2011:

I put a search for Henry VIII into your content box and ended up here............... methinks I've been here before ;-) The sights are no less stunning this time around! Mesmerizing! Thanks for the smile :-D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on August 10, 2011:

angie ashbourne— Thank you!! Thank you very much! :D


angie ashbourne on August 10, 2011:

Hi! James Great Hub! I enjoyed the photos. Angie

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on July 31, 2011:

Sueswan— Hello! Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

I'll tell you this, visiting Scotland will in no wise disappoint. It remains one of the highlights of my life. Wales is also a great place to visit, which I have written about as well.

Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your comments. :)

Sueswan on July 29, 2011:

Hi James

My father was Scottish but lived mostly in England before coming to Canada and settling in Fort William, Ontario.

My grandmother lived in Dundee for awhile.

Visiting Scotland has always been on my to do list but even more so after reading your hub.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 25, 2011:

Reptile Blog— "ed-inn-burr-oh" would be the correct pronunciation. Enjoy your visit. It is a fabulous city. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I did.

Reptile Blog on March 23, 2011:

So settle this for me--how do you pronounce Edinburgh? Is it "ed-inn-berg" or "ed-inn-burr-oh?" I'm flying there in two weeks with my wife and I don't even know.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 28, 2011:

Kamran100— You are quite welcome. I am glad you enjoyed the journey. Thank you for coming along and I am well pleased to receive your remarks. :-)

Kamran100 on February 27, 2011:

Scotland is wonderful place. i like geographic, travel, and history, your hub inspired me for journey of Scotland, thanks for provide a road map of Scotland, nice and beautiful hub:)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 07, 2011:

GPSWorldTraveler— Hello. I am glad you enjoyed my article. Scotland is indeed amazing. I look forward to reading the Hubs of your trip. It sounds lovely.

Thank you for visiting and commenting. And you are most welcome. :)

GPSWorldTraveler from Washington State, USA on February 04, 2011:

Hi James, It was fun reading your article. I am in the midst of posting articles about our Scotland Road Trip - we spent two weeks touring and I found it amazing that so few places our paths crossed. I started out in Edinburgh headed south, then west, then north and left the country via the southern boarder. Scotland is so amazing. Thanks for show casing the parts of the country I missed... they were beautiful.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on November 29, 2010:

Nicky Bantham— Hello! And welcome to the Hub Pages Community! I look forward to reading your Hubs.

I would take your friend up on her offer. It is gorgeous country. I'm glad you enjoyed my Hub. Thank you for coming on the journey with me. And you are welcome. :-)

Serendipitous on November 29, 2010:

Hi James. I have a friend who lives and works in Scotland. She's given up trying to describe its beauty to me, every time I am invited for a visit and don't go. I've certainly been seduced by your beautiful pics and well-written illustration of Scotland.Thank you for your inspirational travel documentary above!Hope to have more such postings in future.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on October 21, 2010:

Stan— You are welcome. I am so glad to have inspired your trip. I couldn't receive better applause than that. Thank you very much for letting me know.

Stan on October 20, 2010:

Thanks james for this post im inspired by your road trip, and am now planning one myself.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on September 09, 2010:

Gordon Hamilton— Thank you very much for taking the time to read my piece. I also enjoy hearing or reading the reactions of people to my home areas. It surely looks different to them than it does to me. I never knew how beautiful my hometown was until I left for 18 years and came back. Odd isn't it?

Gordon Hamilton from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom on September 08, 2010:

James, the only bit I can't understand is why I have never found this wonderful Hub before! Although I have travelled extensively throughout Scotland as a lifelong sea angler and lover of the countryside, you have actually included here a couple of places I have never visited. It is a pleasure in all respects, however, to read your reactions to what you found here.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on June 02, 2010:

liswilliams— I'm glad you do! Thank you for the compliments. I appreciate this visitation.

liswilliams from South Africa on June 02, 2010:

love your travel hubs, James. I only got to Edinburgh, but someday will venture further. Your pictures are great!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on May 15, 2010:

heyju— I am surely glad you did. Though I am sorry to disappoint with the lack of anecdotes. Thank you for your your comments and you are welcome.

heyju on May 14, 2010:

Loved the hub as always James...Yes Scotland has always fascinated me too. Although I was hoping for a personal hub about your mishaps and adventures ..Driving on the "right side" and all the wonderful and colorful characters you met along the way...But I did love the rich history and the beautiful pictures...makes me want to go even more. Thanks so much for sharing : )

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on April 12, 2010:

Enlydia Listener— Scotland is a great destination. If I may be of any service, do not hesitate to let me know. Thank you kindly for visiting my article and for leaving your warm words.

Enlydia Listener from trailer in the country on April 12, 2010:

Scotland is one of the places I would really like to visit...when I wrote my historical novel years ago, I placed it partially in Scotland, so I did a lot of research about Scotland...if I ever get back to the I know who I can go to for first hand know to add flavor to it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 27, 2010:

Sam Wroxall— Welcome to HubPages! I did enjoy this trip very much, thank you. It was in May so I did not experience the cold.

Sam Wroxall on March 26, 2010:

Your trip to scotland sounds like you enjoyed it, I liked scotland when i went their, the only trouble is it's a bit cold in winter

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on March 26, 2010:

stars439— Thank you, my brother, for your accolades. God Bless You!

stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on March 25, 2010:

Wonderful Hub and beautiful land. The photos are breath taking. God Bless You.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 16, 2010:

Freya Cesare--- Oh yes, you should make this trip if you can, my dear. You are welcome and I thank you for your kind comments. :)

Freya Cesare from Borneo Island, Indonesia on February 16, 2010:

That is the place I want to go! But I really need to saving more to be able to go :( .Beautiful pictures, James. Make my dream getting stronger. ^_^ Thank you. I wish time will come soon, when I can say loudly, "Edinburgh, here I come!" :D

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 16, 2010:

nextstopjupiter--- You're kidding!? I thought you had Europe covered my friend. I would surely take in the scenery of Scotland. In summer. :D

nextstopjupiter from here, there and everywhere on February 16, 2010:

Hi James, believe it or not - I never visited Scotland, but with your hub in mind, maybe things will change ...

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 15, 2010:

BritFun--- Thank you. I am well pleased that the photos were enjoyable for you. I don't think we can ever see it all. This is one of the joys of travel.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 15, 2010:

Tony--- I am glad you are. I'm sure you'll have a great time. If I have been of any help, I am grateful. Thanks for coming and commenting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 15, 2010:

Cassidella--- Hi! Thank you for saying so. The imagination is a marvelous thing. I'm glad you took the journey. Thanks for coming!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 15, 2010:

dragonbear--- I am glad you had the opportunity to make that beautiful trip. Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub and for leaving your kind compliments.

BritFun from Oxford on February 14, 2010:

Great hub. Particularly enjoyed the photos. I've traveled round Scotland quite a bit - but there's always plenty more to see.

Tony on February 14, 2010:

We're planning a trip to Scotland this summer. This Hub has been very beneficial, thanks.

Cassidella on February 13, 2010:

Hi James,

This is a beautiful hub! Even though I haven't had the pleasure of visiting Scotland, I have just revisited your photo gallery and allowed my imagination to take me there again.

dragonbear from Essex UK on February 13, 2010:

Hi, did a similar trip over two weeks last summer... beautiful scenery, had a great time. Great Hub!

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 13, 2010:

Nemingha--- How nice to see you again. I am well pleased to have triggered these wonderful memories in you. Thanks for reading my article and for letting me know you enjoyed it. You are welcome, too.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 13, 2010:

ESTAN FULLER--- Thank you, Captain. What a joy it is to hear from you today. I would hope you and Linda go to Scotland. It is truly beautiful to behold, my friend. I still treasure those days at Sunjet--and our friendship. Let's get together soon.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 13, 2010:

pachuchu1977--- I'm glad you did. Thank you! Welcome to the Hub Pages Community.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 13, 2010:

Dim Flaxenwick--- Thank you for your compliments. The trip was very relaxing and highly pleasurable. I'm glad you enjoyed the journey. I appreciate your visit.

Nemingha on February 13, 2010:

What wonderful memories of my own time spent in Scotland many, many years ago your hub managed to trigger. Thank you.

ESTAN FULLER on February 13, 2010:

James; A wonderful post you constantly amaze me.I've only be to Scotland once and that was briefly for fuel at Preswick Airport,en route to Dahrain, Saudia Arabi during the 1st Gulf War I was flying the DC-10 with 240 troops.After reading your Post I would like to take Linda there and take the same trip you did.Sometime would like to have Lunch with you and your Bride and your father too and Ole Paul also. I still treasure the days I spent at SUNJET with all the fine people. ESTAN FULLER

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

HealthyHanna--- You are welcome. Thank you for your kind comments. I appreciate you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Mystique1957--- You are most welcome, kind sir. Thank you for your warm accolades. You are much appreciated as a shining presence on HubPages. Always a pleasure to hear from you.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

prettydarkhorse--- I would surely love to have the chance to spend as much time in Edinburgh as you had the chance to do, though I surely understand your hesitation. Priorities and all. You are quite welcome. Thank you for coming and for your nice comments. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Dave--- Thank you, Brother. Yes, I will. Thanks for coming by to say hello.


pachuchu1977 on February 12, 2010:

Love it. Excellent job.

Dim Flaxenwick from Great Britain on February 12, 2010:

Loved the comment about haggis. I dared to eat it once.Excellent rendering of your trip. I felt I was with you ....Pictures beautiful.

Hope you managed to relax and enjoy it as well as put this great hub together.

God Bless

HealthyHanna from Utah on February 12, 2010:

The next best thing to really going there is to visit Hubs like yours. I may never make it to Scotland, but, now I feel like I have.


Mystique1957 from Caracas-Venezuela on February 12, 2010:

This is a great tour you got here,lad! I can`t thank you enough for this lovely trip, me friend!!

I wish from my heart to visit this beautiful land, and I "well"...

Excellent hub, James!

Two thumbs up and a Braveheart,

warm regards and blessings,


prettydarkhorse from US on February 12, 2010:

David Hume and Burns are great in their own fields, , I wonder and I wander, I like the place, it is a dream for me to go there. Ten years ago, I was in early twenties and I was admitted to University of Edinburgh, I applied as a fellow, but it didn't pushed through as I dont like to leave a child without the care of a a mom.

Thank you for the nice history and fetaure of the place, I love the images, lovely!!GLEN COE is a paradise -- GOD exist!

Thank you, Maita

Dave on February 12, 2010:

Nice hub James -- can you shoot me an e-mail update off-line? You are missed.

Blessings, Dave

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

DynamicsS--- Hello my Canadian friend. It is an awesome trip! Highly recommended my dear. The linkage between Scotland and Jamaica is new to me and quite interesting. Thanks for bringing that to the fore. And you are most welcome. It's great to see you again.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

dali48--- You are welcome. Thank you for this visit. I truly enjoyed reading your little story of your fun experiences in Scotland. I can see why you have decided to be a writer. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community. I look forward to reading some of your work, which I shall do shortly.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Paraglider--- I had been hoping you would come by. Thank you for the affirmation, sir. I did know this was your country of birth, of course. I hope I did it justice--what one can in 1260 words anyway. Ah yes, weddings and funerals. I get back to Michigan that same way. There is no place like home. Then again, you can't go home again. Eh?

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Michael Shane--- Thank you for your kind compliments. I am most appreciative. I am indeed lucky and blessed in many ways. Being able to visit Scotland is truly one of them. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

greensnob--- Another disturbing Hub!? :-)

I am glad I was able to bring back such fond memories. "Ladies from Hell" referred to the Royal Scottish Regiment in the First World War. This regiment is now called The Black Watch. Surely among the finest soldiers in the world, past and present.

You are most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and for leaving such wonderful comments. I appreciate it.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Moonchild60--- Things are going OK. How are things going for you?

You should go and take in the beauty of Scotland with your own eyes. It is much more amazing than pictures can convey. But I am well pleased that you enjoyed the photographs so much. You are welcome and thank you for coming.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Rose West--- Thank you! Thank you very much. I am gratified to read your words.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

advisor4qb--- I rock! :-)

I am glad you loved it and appreciated the history and the pics. Thank you for coming and letting me know.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Journey *--- You are welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Allan McGregor--- I took a look at the web site of Mr. Ross. It is intriguing and so I have it bookmarked. Thank you. The link you provided for Arbroath didn't work for me.

The quote you presented is quite interesting. I have heard several of these "lost tribes" theories including one about the American Indians. I appreciate you mentioning that. Thanks for coming back.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

drbj--- It's great to see you again. Six cities! It seems as if we have common tastes in places to visit. Thanks for the heads up on your Hub. I am going over there right now to see. You are welcome.

Sandria Green-Stewart from Toronto, Canada on February 12, 2010:

Wow! James, this sounds and looks like an awesome trip. I'd definitely love to go there now. Some of the places have names of place in Jamaica, like Inverness and Aberdeen. I suppose that the historical linkage of both places is apparent based on tobacco and sugarcane.

Thanks for the history lesson.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

infonaturale--- Thank you for your kind comments. I very much appreciate you stopping by on your journey.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

heart4theword--- What a coincidence! I am glad my timing was good. Thank you for this visit and your comments. You are surely welcome as well. :)

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

Pamela99--- Thank you for your compliments. I am pleased that you liked the images and history--two of my favorite things. I would visit if you are able. It is beautiful and fascinating.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 12, 2010:

caretakerray--- You are welcome, Ray. Holy Loch looks like an interesting place to be stationed. Submarines? Thank you for visiting and commenting.


Wolfgang G. Greiner from Germany on February 12, 2010:

Thank you for your interesting hub about Scotland - At the end of our 2nd term as exchange students in Leeds (1872/73) we 5 went to Scotland by car (VW-Beatle). Our 1st stop was in beautiful Edinburgh where we went sightseeing. Next day we went on to Sterling where the fine weather changed (in March) and we got trouble with our old car. First I had to change a wheel, then near - Loch Lomond - our windscreen wipers broke in a snowstorm and we fixed 2 selfmade ropes to move them by hands. I decided to go back to the next village to have bed & breakfast because I nearly couldn't see anything and had to look through the little by-window. We found a friendly landlady who warmed us with tea and biscuits and next morning we drove back till Glasgow - in heavy rain and always pulling the ropes - where we had my car repaired... (d.48)

Dave McClure from Worcester, UK on February 11, 2010:

Hi James - great job. I was born a little south west of your trip, in Ayr, Burns country and lived about 25 years in Scotland. But the four years I spent in BBC Scotland took me all over the country for outside broadcasts, including many of the Western Isles. I don't get back so much these days - weddings and funerals, the usual thing!

Michael Shane from Gadsden, Alabama on February 11, 2010:

Absolutely, beautiful hub & pictures. Your a lucky guy to get to do all this traveling the world. This is another place I would love to see one day!

greensnob on February 11, 2010:

James, another disturbing hub! What I mean to say is that you have disturbed my memories of my past living in The United Kingdom. I had many wonderous experiences in Scotland. Almost as if it were a dream, magical place, magical people. One of your photographs of the sun reaching the mountain side is one of my most memorable sites in my whole life. I have never forgotten that rich color of green bursting forth from a grayish cold haze.

Maybe one of your readers can help. I knew the Romans built Hadrians Wall to keep the Scots on the other side and the Scottish warriors wore their clans tartans as skirts or wraps. But did the Germans really call the Scots the 'Ladies From Hell?' because of their ferocious warring over their beloved land?

Thank you for taking the time to document your wee little trip to the old country.

Moonchild60 on February 11, 2010:

Hi James!! How are things going? I just wanted to stop by and was treated to these stunning pictures. I had no idea I would be reading about Scotland and see such stunning pictures!!! I am so impressed. It makes you want to go there immediately to take in all that beauty in person. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

Rose West from Michigan on February 11, 2010:

Very cool hub! The pictures are beautiful and the trip sounds amazing. You make me want to visit myself.

advisor4qb from On New Footing on February 11, 2010:

You rock! I love this hub! Beautiful pictures and yet another awesome history lesson!

I have also always been fascinated by Norway, and the pictures I have seen look pretty similar. I would love to go to either of those places!

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on February 11, 2010:

These are great pics James. I have never been to Scotland and I really want to go. Thanks for sharing. - Journey *

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 11, 2010:

DeBorrah K. Ogans--- You never fail to brighten my day when you visit. Thank you for your wonderful laudations and you are quite welcome, too. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the commentary and illustrations. God Bless You, Sister. :D

Allan McGregor from South Lanarkshire on February 11, 2010:


Apropos Clan Ross, you might like to look up the ministry of a good friend of mine who lives nearby, Alan Ross. As well as a thorough gentleman, he is a formidable New Testament prophet who ministers worldwide, including 16 States of the Union. His website is -

And as one student of history to another, here is an extract from a seminal document called The Declaration of Arbroath, addressed to the Pope in Avignon in 1320 and often considered a precursor of America’s own Declaration. The full declaration, translated from the original Latin, can be found on http://

Although some of its claims are questionable, there is separate evidence corroborating the claim that the Scots and Irish originated from the Middle East and may indeed be among the lost Tribes of Israel. Remember, the Lost Tribes are only hidden from Man, not lost to God. What follows is an extract from the reamble:

‘Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since. In their kingdom there have reigned one hundred and thirteen kings of their own royal stock, the line unbroken a single foreigner.'

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 11, 2010:

ethel smith--- Thanks for coming. I appreciate your compliments. You are most assuredly welcome. :)

drbj and sherry from south Florida on February 11, 2010:

Hi, James. I visited six of the cities you describe on my last visit to Scotland in June - it was definitely deja vu reading your informative descriptions. Thanks for the hub. Wanted to give you a heads-up that I just wrote a new hub about choosing avatars and linked to you using your avatar as an example. 'Twas my pleasure and you can feel free to reciprocate any time.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 11, 2010:

sheila b.--- I am well pleased that you enjoyed the journey so. Thank you for perusing my article and leaving your warm words for me to read.

James A Watkins (author) from Chicago on February 11, 2010:

Jane Grey--- Well. :-) You have also just made my day! Rarely have I read such erudite comments that also uplifted my spirit and affirmed my work. You are welcome, Jane. Thank you very much for writing your words to me today.

infonaturale from Nigeria on February 11, 2010:

Your hubs are always great and informative. Good work.

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