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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 September 16, 2019

                                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                          How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                          You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                          We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                          The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                          Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                          1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                          Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                          For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                                          • (1) Research
                                          • (2) Deciding the topic
                                          • (3) Creating the outline
                                          • (4) Drafting the content
                                          • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                          • (6) Revision
                                          • (7) etc.

                                          Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                          2. Change Your Environment

                                          Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                          One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                          3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                          Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                          Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                          My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                                          Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                          4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                          If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                          Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                          I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                          5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                          I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                          Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                                          As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                          6. Get a Buddy

                                          Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                          I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                          7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                          This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                          For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                          8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                          What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                                          9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                          If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                          Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                          10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                          Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                          Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                          11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                          At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                          Reality check:

                                          I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                                          More About Procrastination

                                          Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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