weareallpilgrims

Camino de Santiago

Scotland A Land of Heroes

james-iv

One of the advantages of taking a “Road Scholar” tour is the quality of the guides. You learn so much about the areas you are visiting. We have been blessed with a wonderful Scottish guide named, Robin McGregor. He has been just fabulous and we have come to understand “just a wee bit” of Scotland through his excellence guidance.

This is a land rich in heroes from what I have learned. Men and women that represent some of the best. These are people of strong character. They were good stewards of the lands and of the people. The would go the distance and do whatever it takes to serve the common good. A clan chief was a steward of the lands for his clan and they served him with loyalty and knew he looked out for their good. A number of the kings of Scotland that ruled their nation with great justice and Scotland prospered under their leadership.

But, alas the strong energy to rule or be the one who rules does eventually result in some very tough and difficult times and Scotland sure has that history as well! The clan warfare and the their struggles with England are truly epic stories of struggle and triumph. You can’t make this stuff up even.

So we are now rapidly heading to the end of our visit to Scotland. I can say, very honestly, I truly respect and appreciate this great land and people.

Long live Scotland!

Blessings,

John

P.S. The image above is of King James IV of Scotland one of the last kings of Scotland to speak Gaelic.

Photograph of the Week

Loc Shiel

We got to enjoy of wonderful boat ride down, Loch Sheil, one the lochs in the Highlands of Scotland. A loch is body of water surrounded by land on at least three sides. In the Highlands they have very tall mountains surrounding them.

The photography was taken from the boat of a glen (valley looking to the West, I believe it is in the Moidart region).

The Highlands – Raw Natural Beauty

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I have fallen in love with the raw natural beauty of the Highlands of Scotland. They are like nothing I have ever seen or experienced. I used the word “raw beauty” as it is the first words that come to my mind when I try and explain these most interesting landscapes.

I have attempted to try and capture their beauty in the photographs and videos I have taken but I am afraid that it is not going to do justice. I am on a Road Scholar tour, and as such I am limited in my opportunities to explore and really capture some of the beauty of the Highlands.

I did get some opportunity and whenever I did no matter what the weather conditions (and there was some very harsh weather) I went out and stomped through the landscapes. Wow, I have never walked in such difficult and tough conditions! We are in still in summer and the land is so wet and soft and filled with soaking vegetation it is hard to walk any distance. How did people get around? These Highlanders of Scotland were one very hardy bunch, that is for sure!

What struck me when I thought how they made it in this land, was how close they must have been as a community or clan. There is no way you survived on your own! They had figured out way of living in this “land you just survive” and made it their own and they loved it. It was their own.

I no longer wonder why the Romans gave up and never conquered the Highlands. It was too hard to do and there was no value they could see they could take from these lands!

What an amazing place this Scotland Highlands are! I love them the fact they have not been changed. They are eternal landscapes, raw beauty!

We have “developed” far too many wonderful places in this world in the name of progress. Long live the Scotland Highlands!

Blessings,

John

P.S.

The image at the top of this blog was taken from a train going through the Rannoch Moor in the Highlands. The home you see is a Highland home that was destroyed by taking out the rafters by the British when they conquered the Highlanders and cleared them out of the lands. They would not sell them the wood to restore the home either. Many of the Highlanders were “cleared from their lands” in this way.