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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 March 13, 2019

                                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                          How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                                          Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                                          You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                                          Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                                          1. Work on the small tasks.

                                          When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                                          Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                                          2. Take a break from your work desk.

                                          Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                                          Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                                          3. Upgrade yourself

                                          Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                                          The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                                          4. Talk to a friend.

                                          Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                                          Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                                          5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                                          If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                                          Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                                          Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                                          6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                                          If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                                          Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                                          Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                                          7. Read a book (or blog).

                                          The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                                          Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                                          Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                                          8. Have a quick nap.

                                          If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                                          9. Remember why you are doing this.

                                          Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                                          What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                                          10. Find some competition.

                                          Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                                          Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                                          11. Go exercise.

                                          Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                                          Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                                          As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                                          Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                                          12. Take a good break.

                                          Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                                          Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                                          Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                                          Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                                          More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                                          Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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