- The Land and it's beauty. It felt like we really experienced most of all Scotland has to offer in topography. Arriving by ferry on the ocean shores with its crisp air, serene beauty and quiet lifestyle. To the rolling hills and Huge pastures of the lowlands and Midlands. You were shocked at how much land with so few people it felt like! It is just mind boggling after living in Southern California. Land land and more land. To the Lochs and Highlands, of what you think IS Scotland. The misty rain hanging over the lakes (lochs). Tall mountains with waterfalls, and a lot of Pine trees which I wasn't expecting. The Troon beaches of Ayr, which are very South Carolina feeling with scrub brush and Big sandy beaches. Really diverse and quiet pretty all around. One can feel life all around you.
- Scotch the "Water of Life"- So says Darren. This one of course I can't really agree on because everyone who knows me; knows that Champagne is MY Elixir of life. But for men, Scotland is to men what Champagne France and Paris is to women. Rugged outdoors with fine locally made, Single Malt Scotches, a mans world! The Whiskey Trail is the region of Scotland where you can follow Scotch Distilleries and do tastings like you go to Napa to taste wine. Beware however, Scotland has a ZERO tolerance for drinking and driving so be sure to have a designated driver!
- History- So we've been all over where History has been in England, Ireland, France, Italy and even America, but there really is something about the stories of Scotlands history. Perhaps, because so many movies have been made and Mel Gibson made you know them; or you just know more about a lot of the names shared like Robert the Bruce, William Wallace and more. Driving down the road and a castle popping up and you read the history and its facts, and you actually have read about them in school. Wars you remember in movies and you are standing on the field that it actually took place! You can still FEEL the history coming off the land and the buildings you are in. The haunting bag pipe music really helps send it thru you too.
- Fresh Scottish Salmon! I haven't eaten Salmon since the Fukushima meltdown and I don't like farm raised so to be finally able to eat wild caught Salmon in the cold waters of Scotland was a thrill for me. And boy is it good, the smoked salmon especially from our favorite small smoker we found: Marrbury Smokehouse, oh man this place was the best! They too have a castle!! Randomly we met the owners far from their restaurant in a town called Perth. They were so fun and nice. Unfortunately they only ship within the UK but if you are ever over in Scotland its a Must visit.
- Castles, as always. Always in search of more Castles, Scotland did not let us down. We found some fabulous ones and even better, Actual Castles from Darren's lineage of his Campbell Clan. So exciting to see in person what we've researched online and then be standing in it! Cannot imagine being a current descendant of direct lineage and knowing you OWN this castle, even if its been turned over to the National Trust. Crazy cool. (many of the gentry had to turn there lands/castles/manors over to the National Trust due to the Very expensive taxation put on them) TO SEE MORE OF SCOTLAND: HTTP://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/BELLASTRAVELS1
There are so many amazing sites and things about Scotland. We tried to narrow it down to 5 that summed up the feeling. Everyone should visit at least once in their life.