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Discover 20 Fascinating Places That Proove That Scotland Is An Amazing Place

Discover 20 Fascinating Places That Proove That Scotland Is An Amazing Place

Everybody associates Scotland with beautiful landscapes and stunning views which change every second with the variable weather conditions. You can easily get 20 different shots of the one place in one minute, especially when clouds, rain and sunshine take it in turns.

I took a tour of Scotland last August. I noticed that there was much discussion of the referendum and very often, YES notices and posters were displayed in windows and gardens. There were not that many NO posters but in the end they won. Scotland is still part of the UK although it will have more autonomy.

Here are 20 of the most memorable places in this amazing state.

1. Dunnottar Castle

Dunottar

    This is my favorite painting of this amazing castle by Walter Hugh Paton 1828-1895, in the Scottish National Gallery. The clouds and rainbow capture the atmosphere beautifully. Much better than waiting for the weather to change! Its name is also a little dramatic as Dunottar means a ‘fort on the shelving slope.’

    2. Edinburgh Botanic Gardens

    Blue poppies

      I never knew that poppies could be blue as well as the usual red, yellow and white. This is a field in the gardens, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the World Wars. The blue poppy is actually the national flower of Bhutan and was brought back to the UK in 1926. George Mallory discovered it while trying to scale Mount Everest. This was a failed attempt and the blue poppy was the consolation prize.

      3. Fort Augustus

      Fort Augustus

        Fort Augustus is one of the best places to view Loch Ness. It also gives you a chance to see the Caledonian Canal locks in action as it connects Scotland’s east and west coastlines. Only about a third of this canal was constructed as the rest is made up of lakes (lochs).

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        4. Loch Ness

        LochNessJPG

          Here’s an interesting story about the famous photograph of the monster which was taken by Dr. Kenneth Wilson. It was actually taken by Ian Wetherall in 1934 who asked Wilson to send it to the Daily Mail. Wetherall wanted revenge because he had been sacked from the mission to find the monster. He cleverly attached a wooden neck to a toy submarine and this fooled the world for over 60 years. In 1994 his stepbrother, Ian Spurling, confessed that it was a hoax.

          5. Edinburgh’s elegant houses

          Georgianhouses

            Most of the Georgian houses were constructed in the years 1765-1850. Most of them occupy the New Town which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are now grey or black in appearance due to the fact that the smoke from the coal fires has dirtied the original stonework. It is not surprising to learn that the city’s nickname is Auld Reekie (Old Smoky).

            6. Glencoe

            Glencoeright

              One of the most spectacular glens in the Highlands. It was here that a terrible massacre of the McDonald clan took place when King William’s troops killed 38 people in 1692.

              7. The Great Glen

              greatglen

                The Great Glen, as its name suggests, is a deep glacial valley which follows a geological fault line. The higher areas are often referred to as ‘The Roof of Scotland’.

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                8. The National Wallace Monument

                WallaceMonument

                  William Wallace was the hero who led a revolt against the English tyrannical rule. They won the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297. This was the subject of the film Braveheart, starring Mel Gibson. The film won 5 Oscars.

                  9. Rannoch Moor

                  A combination of rivers, rocky peaks, small lakes and bog make this landscape exceptional

                  RannochMoor

                    10. The Elephant House Café

                    Elephant house cafe

                      What’s so special about this typical café in Edinburgh? This is where J.K.Rowling, the creator of the Harry Potter books, wrote the first book in the series. She was a single mother and had nowhere else to write. The toilets are full of Harry Potter grafitti now.

                      11. Buachaille Etive Mor

                      Buachaille

                        The translation of this Gaelic name is the ‘the great shepherd of Etive.’ A haven for climbers, photographers and hill walkers.

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                        12. Cairngorms National Park

                        Cairngorms

                          13. Loch Laggan

                          loch laggan scotland

                            Apart from its beauty, this loch became famous as the location for the BBC series Monarch of the Glen.

                            14. Blair Castle

                            Blaircastle

                              A castle with a remarkable history. There are connections with Mary Queen of Scots, Bonnie Prince Charlie and even Queen Victoria. The Victorian Ballroom is decorated with 175 pairs of antlers.

                              15. Pitlochry

                              Pitlochry

                                This town became famous in Victorian times for tourism, no doubt attracted by the fact that Queen Victoria spent a lot of time in the area.

                                16. Birnam Wood

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                                Birnam

                                  Birnam Wood, which is mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth is part of the Perthshire forests.

                                  17. Perth

                                  Perth

                                    The medieval capital of Scotland. Nearby is Scone Castle where many of the Scottish monarchs were crowned.

                                    18. Loch Leven

                                    Leven

                                      This is near where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned before escaping to England where she was executed.

                                      19. Forth Bridge, Edinburgh

                                      ForthBridge

                                        There are actually two bridges, one for the railway and the other for road transport. There are plans to replace the road bridge by 2016.

                                        20. Isle of Skye

                                        Isle of Skye

                                          This is probably the most beautiful part of Scotland. If these dramatic landscapes and wild places do not impress you, nothing will!

                                          Featured photo credit: Scotland/Moyan Brenn via flickr.com

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                                          Robert Locke

                                          Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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                                          Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                                          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                                          10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                                          There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                                          One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                                          In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                                          Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                                          1. Cat Camel Stretch

                                          Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                                          Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                                          Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                                          Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                                          2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                                          This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                                          Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                                          The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                                          Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                                          Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                                          3. Jumping Jacks

                                          Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                                          Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                                          4. Abductor Side Lifts

                                          Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                                          Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                                          5. Balancing Table Pose

                                          This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                                          Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                                          ablab

                                            6. Leg Squats

                                            Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                                            Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                                            The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                                            7. Push Ups

                                            You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                                            An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                                            Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                                            This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                                            8. Bicycle Crunches

                                            There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                                            Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                                            9. Lunges

                                            Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                                            Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                                            This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                                            10. Bicep Curls

                                            You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                                            Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                                            Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                                            Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                                            Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                                            These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                                            You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                                            Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                                            More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                                            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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