Can’t Stop Looking At Scotland

Apr 16, 2014 by

Do you have a favorite image of Scotland?  Matador Network, an online community of travel writers, journalists and photographers, recently posted a list of 30 Images of Scotland We Can’t Stop looking At, and a quick glance through the pictures shows why these shots are so compelling.  From outrageously beautiful landscapes to ancient castles and architecture, the images chosen are clear examples of why Scotland is a major tourist destination and a photographer’s dream.

It’s hard to limit myself when it comes to views of Scotland, but here are a few of my favorite images from the Matador list.

 

 

The Great Highland Bagpipe (GHB) is one of the most iconic symbols of Scotland, and is often used by civilian and military bands, as well as by soloists. Widely used in Europe for centuries, the GHB came into use in Scotland many centuries ago as war pipes played before and during battles.

 

Castle Stalker (Caisteal an Stalcaire, in Scots Gaelic, meaning castle of the hunter or falconer), is a 14th century keep in Argyll, set on a small island in Loch Laich.  This former home of the Clans MacDougall, Stewart and Campbell is one of the best-preserved medieval tower-houses surviving in western Scotland.  You might remember seeing it in the 1975 film,  Monty Python and The Holy Grail–it is from the top of Castle Stalker that the French soldier (played by John Cleese) famously taunts the English as “English pig dogs” and “silly English K-nig-hts [pronounced kuuuh-nig-its].”

 

 

Who doesn’t love a brawny red haired Highlander? The Highland cow, affectionately known as the Hielan Coo, is certainly popular with most visitors to Scotland.  This hardy breed is native to Scotland and comes in red, black, brindle, dun and yellow coat colors.  Females have horns that generally curve upward (as in the above photo), while the horns of Highland bulls usually grow straight out and slightly forward from the head.

 

To see the rest of the Matador images of Scotland, click HERE.

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Scotland in Gingerbread

Dec 23, 2013 by

During the holiday season, one of the most popular decorating mediums is gingerbread, a tricky, but tasty substance that dessert artisans wield with joie de vivre.  Scotland and Scottish life are always popular themes in gingerbread art and architecture.   Here are a few fantastic and fantastical Scottish gingerbread creations to rouse your inner gingerbread Celt…

Lovingly decorated by a young girl fascinated with the Katie Morag stories set on a magical Scottish  island, this sweet wee croft comes with Hielan coos, sheep and lovely tartan curtains. The roses are a reference to Robert Burns’ famous song,  My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.
Find out more about Katie Morag and her creator, Mairi Hedderwick,  by clicking HERE.

Two of the most famous Scottish icons–Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness–come to gingerbread life in this fun display.  Click HERE to see the other side of Urquhart, where dwells the the dreaded gingerbread beastie known as Nessie.

Beautiful Saint Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow gets the white Christmas treatment with a liberal dusting of sugar snow.  The stained glass windows were made from melted colored sugar crystals which were “poured” into the gingerbread windows.  Read the creator’s comments about her ambitious first try at gingerbread art HERE:

Everyone knows that J. K. Rowling’s magical world of witches, wizards and Hogwarts is hidden somewhere in Scotland. Unlike the Grimm Brothers tale of a gingerbread house with an evil witch, the witch at this gingerbread Hogwarts in the woods is much more likely to welcome you than eat you.

Back in 2003,  Abercrombie and Fitch commissioned this Scottish castle, with towers and turrets,  for their Christmas catalog.  The little Scottish Terriers below, created by the same designer, would no doubt  be right at home here.

Last, but certainly not least are the KILTS, the emblem of Scottish warriors, past and present.  What Christmas is complete without braw Scotsmen men in kilts?   None, I say!  These gingerbread gents can be made to order in your clan’s tartan or you can just order a batch of assorted Scottish  men in kilts.  Dreams really do come true…

Click on the caption for information on these kilted cookies.

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