-By David Klumpp
I would suggest that you go to Scotland. Really, get up and go now. Edinburgh would be a good choice, but you could also do Fort William, or even Loch Ness. Please, I don’t care. Just get out of my chair, I need to write this travel column.
As I was saying, there are many plausible reasons for visiting Scotland, a place some have called the New Hampshire of Europe! Here are just a few:
1. Mountains – Scotland’s mountains may not be as high as the Appalachians or the Rockies, but they are more weirdly shaped. This leads to compelling photos and occasional awkward explanations to the grandchildren. The mountains, or “highlands,” have also been home to several famous Sean Connery movies, notably Highlander: There Can Be Only One, and its sequel, whatever that was called.
2. Scots – Or “Scotsmen”, as roughly half of the population likes to be known, are renowned for their ability to ingest disgusting Scottish delicacies. In reality, this ability is less impressive than it seems. For example, haggis, the national dish, is rumored to be a revolting blend of all the organs of a sheep, but this is not true; the stomach is omitted, because it is used as a cooking-pot to boil the other organs. Blood sausage, the national breakfast food, is not at all what it sounds like. That’s the good news–the bad news is, it’s mostly sheep organs as well.
3. Dependable Weather – You may have known that it rains 20% of the time in Scotland, but what you may not know is that it rains 20% of the time every day. This leaves a solid 19.2 hours each day available for hiking, bicycling, and picnicking, provided you can guess exactly when those 19.2 hours will be. It’s like the homeless person’s version of Wheel of Fortune!
4. Bagpipes – The “piper” of Scottish legend is like a one-person band, if that band were six pretty mediocre oboe players and one guy squeezing a big sack of bad breath. As the beloved guardians of Scotland’s heritage, thousands of pipers are dispatched each year to roam Scotland’s various glens, hills, and on-ramps, exalting them with sweet droning. Perhaps if you are lucky you can get a bagpipe made just for you at one of the country’s ancient Piperies, where the instruments still assemble spontaneously as an unwanted by-product of the home-plumbing assembly line. (continued on next page)
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