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On the haggis trail

In my mind, Scotland is the land of cruel misconceptions and nasty national clichés.

I’d spent my life being told that Scots were stingy, unfriendly and difficult to understand.

So when the opportunity arrived, I decided to pack my bags and go find out for myself, and hopefully fi nd some bagpipes, kilts, haggis, whisky and all things Scottish along the way.

 With lots of enthusiasm but not much cash, we (being myself, an Englishman and an Aussie girl)

began our merry adventure in Edinburgh, without doubt the heart of Scotland.

Right from the start what really blew us away about the city was its history.

It’s not confi ned to museums and dusty old encyclopaedias – it literally knocks you over as you arrive in the city.

The buildings are grey and imposing, as if they’ve been there for thousands of years (which most of them have).

The graveyard we walked past had a sign telling us this is where the original grave robbers stole bodies for medical research,

while our evening pub had originally been used as a place for hanging people 500 years ago.

While it’s true that most of these events do have a sort of gruesomeness to them,

if you are willing to relax and soak up the atmosphere, Edinburgh is an amazing city.

That being said, there’s a lot more to Scotland than just one historic city,

and it’s worth taking the trouble to see a bit of the countryside.

There are many whisky distilleries close to Edinburgh, most of which off er tours at a very reasonable price.

However, there are plenty of other distractions, for example St Andrews Golf Course is well worth a visit,

even if it’s just to say that you’ve been to the oldest golf course in the world.

As we travelled further through the country the days seem to blend together – always a sign of a nice relaxing holiday.

 I have no idea exactly when in our travels, but one day we were meandering along in no particular hurry when

we passed the most beautiful loch, with a whole lot of canoes tied to a jetty.

On the spur of the moment, and despite the rain (yes, there is one rumour that can be confi rmed – even in the middle of summer, it rains

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