Tuesday, September 09, 2014


Between my new-found obsession with the Outlander books and TV show, and my recently taking notice of Scotland's upcoming election to determine whether they will go for independence (here's a great link about why you should care), I have Scotland on the brain.

When I was seven, I had a dream one night that I went to Scotland. Of course, I knew nothing of the place, except that there was some sort of Loch Ness Monster there, and bagpipes. In my dream, it looked pretty much like my own neighborhood. When I woke up, however, I was determined to someday see the place.

I got my opportunity in 1999, as a 20-year-old college student spending a semester in London. While my cohorts went to Amsterdam for the "culture," I headed north on BritRail to the land of 1/4 of my ancestors, most notably John Savage Cooper, my great-great-grandfather.

Scotland is a beautiful place, and I've always felt so lucky I got to see it--twice! Once in March 1999, and again in May that year, when I took my parents to see it at the end of London Semester. I did not go back in 2004-2005, and sometimes I regret that I didn't. I'm convinced, however, that I will go back someday.

My pictures were taken on film back then, of course, but I once scanned a few, and tonight I dragged out my London Semester scrapbook and took some pictures of pictures with my iPhone.

A Heelan Coo (Highland Cow) post card.

Holyroodhouse, which features prominently in the 2nd
Outlander book.

Dad and I at Edinburgh Castle

Scottish ducks!

Mom and Dad on a boat on Loch Ness.

Some scans:

The Caledonian Canal at the Fort Augustus end of Loch Ness.

Fort Augustus

This apparently didn't scan well, but that's Inverness. 

Castle Urquhart (ruins) on Loch Ness.

Loch Ness

Twenty-year-old Meg by the ruins of Castle Urquhart.

Whatever happens with the independence vote, Scotland will always be a special, beautiful place.

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