Every time I travel to a new destination I am always amazed by the unique charm each place carries.
Going back to end of summer last year, visiting an old friend turned out being an odd but memorable experience. I flew to Scotland, where I stayed at a Camphill School as a visitor and traveled in between to Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
What I find most treasurable about every destination are the memories, impressions, and emotions attached to it. Each place speaks differently and develops a special meaning to each person.
From meeting the friendliest strangers on bus rides, hearing compelling stories from a former royal air force soldier, and having the perfect small talk conversations about Scottish culture to seeing beautiful cities and enjoying scenic views everywhere I go, Scotland gave a lasting impression and spoke wonders to me.
It spoke endless green hills and countless hairy cows
Traveling on a bus around Aberdeen and Edinburgh was far from boring. The roads were filled with beautiful stone houses I dreamt of one day having and, of course, infinite green hills and cute pals like in the picture above.
The highland cattle (aka hairy cows) are a very famous Scottish cattle breed for having big horns and a thick and long hair coat (they are even hairier than in the picture, I guess these ones had their hair cut due to summer time).
Tragic stories behind dramatic stone castles
I happened to visit one of the most impressive fortresses in Scotland, not only because you can see Scottish history through its architecture but also strategy through its location. Despite the castle being located on a beautiful cliff with a breathtaking view of the sea, it was strategically built in such a place to make it a difficult target for enemies to attack in battles.
A beautiful and caring Camphill community in the outsides of Aberdeen
I had the pleasure of staying at my friend’s volunteer home at the Camphill outside Aberdeen where I was able to be part of their activities and learn more about their lifestyle.
The Camphill experience is simply beautiful, for both students and volunteers. After a week and a half of staying there, helping my friend and spending time with a couple of students, I understood why volunteers get quickly attached to the people and the lifestyle. Life is simpler and humbler, every day is meaningful and everything is done with care, compassion, and respect. My experience at Camphill deserves its own post, there is so much more to tell.
A thriving cultural and artistic scene
Edinburgh’s International Festival began the day I traveled to the city. After arriving I was immediately struck by waves of artists performing on the streets, promoting their theater plays and concerts, and decorating the alleys with creative crafts and vivid music. Every five meters, not even every corner, I found talented musicians, actors, and other street artists. My day in wonderland looked crazier than Alice’s.
Unfortunately, I could only stay for one day in Edinburgh, so that didn’t allow me to actually completely enjoy what the festival offers. But it’s an experience I can’t spare my life from, I’ll have to go back again.
People passionate towards their culture
I’ve always wondered what are the stories behind street/public artists and what are their intentions behind their public performances. I adore these performers simply because they provide live music to your experiences, they enhance them and make your memories on that place more special.
I indeed had that in Stonehaven as I visited Dunnottar Castle, I couldn’t feel more in Scottish lands as when I was enjoying such a view while hearing bagpipe music in the background.
My trip to Stonehaven was my first “solo-adventure,” and as I was feeling bold and daring, so I dared to approach the bagpiper as he finished his performance to ask him why does he does he come so far to play for an hour. He apparently does it just for fun. He stops by earlier on his way to his job, puts his traditional dress on and plays the bagpipe, just because he likes it and wants to give tourists a real Scottish experience. He didn’t even consider himself a good bagpiper and likes to give his little free time for that.
I always believed that having real passion towards your own culture is wanting to share it with strangers and invite them into them, not pushing them out. And people like these are who prove it and are worth talking about.