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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 18, 2020

                                          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                          7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                                          Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                                          Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                                          1. Exercise Daily

                                          It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                                          If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                                          Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                                          If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                                          2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                                          Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                                          One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                                          This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                                          3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                                          Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                                          Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                                          Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                                          4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                                          Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                                          The basic nutritional advice includes:

                                          • Eat unprocessed foods
                                          • Eat more veggies
                                          • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                                          • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                                          Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                                            5. Watch Out for Travel

                                            Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                                            This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                                            If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                                            6. Start Slow

                                            Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                                            If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                                            7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                                            Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                                            My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                                            If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                                            I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                                            Final Thoughts

                                            Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                                            Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                                            More Tips on Getting in Shape

                                            Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                                            Reference

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