During my frequent travels through the internet world, fulfilling my mission to explore strange Celtic worlds, to seek new Celtic life and civilization, etc., etc., I sometimes see pictures that are mistakenly identified and shared–over and over again–as “Scotland”.
SPOILER ALERT: Despite what you may have heard, the things you see on the net are not always true or correct.
Take, for example, this lovely photo of a castle tower in a remote loch–it’s misty, it’s romantic, it’s magical, so it must be in Scotland, right?
While the scene is perhaps reminiscent of beautiful Eilean Donan Castle in the western Highlands of Scotland, this tiny tower is dollhouse size by comparison. It’s actually a folly tower (meaning it’s merely ornamental) set in the magnificent gardens of Pena National Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) in Sintra, Portugal. Northern Portugal has a strong Celtic heritage, so at least the confused captioner is keeping it in the family, so to speak. The “castle” is one of two such structures that are home to the park’s elegant swans and ducks, which sometimes sit at the base of the towers, preening their feathers for the tourists.
Photos are often shared as is, with the sharer unaware of the mistaken identity of the photo. It happens to the best of us, usually with no one the wiser and no harm done. Honestly, I do understand why the first picture above has been repeatedly misidentified as a Scottish scene, but the research geek in me just has to set the record straight— for posterity, ye ken.
Clap along if you’ve heard American singer Pharrell Williams‘ tune Happy, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack album, a pop song that has become a huge success here in the US and internationally. The song is written, produced and performed by Williams and has spawned more than 1000 covers on YouTube from cities around the globe, where happy locals dance along to the extremely catchy song. There’s a multitude of happy people in the Celtic realm, and they’ve posted their own videos to prove it. In fact, Oprah Winfrey will feature a HappyDonegal video in an upcoming special show ( Sunday night, 04/13/2014) with Pharrell Williams, a decision sure to please the Donegal tourism board.
So, get your dancing shoes on and clap along–I guarantee you won’t be able to sit still–with the happy Celts in these fun videos.
Sebastian, from the travel site OffthePath.com, dons his kilt and dances through the streets of one of my favorite cities, Edinburgh, Scotland. He’s also the very first video Kilted Hottie of the Day on the WESC Facebook page.
How about clapping along with a few happy Dubliners?
Dancing kilts in Glasgow makes me HAPPY!
Beautiful Celtic Brittany is so happy in Lorient!
Here’s the Donegal video Oprah will feature on her show. *Trivia: can you identify the guitar player statue seen in this video?
Still need to dance? Click HERE to find other cities who want to share their happiness with you, including Cork and Galway. I didn’t find a Welsh city, but I’m sure they’re happy, too.
* The life-sized bronze statue is of Rory Gallagher, a famous blues-rock musician born in Ballyshannon, Donegal. The statue is in the town square; Ballyshannon holds an annual Blues Festival in Rory’s honor.