Our trip to the Isle of Arran was an incredible experience. Upon arrival, I certainly see why the isle is called “Scotland in miniature.” From the rocky seashore to the peaks including Goatfell, from the fields clad in wildflowers to the impressive evergreen forests, from the boggy marsh areas to the rolling hillsides, everything felt like it was out of a fairytale book. Although the trip was extremely busy, I think we all enjoyed the break from city life. Immediately after our arrival, we visited the Arran Distillery and Arran Aromatics. Both are widely known for the quality and unique nature of their products. Visiting these two businesses reminded me of Scottish ingenuity and creativity throughout history. After spending a few hours relaxing in this beautiful place, we went to the Fisherman’s Bar, which had opened a few months earlier and yet had all the atmosphere of a more established Scottish Pub. As I listened to a folk artist pump away on an accordion and admired the dark woodwork, I thought about the long-standing traditions this place had recreated. I’ve decided Scotland has a certain flavor that keeps being reinvented, yet stays true to itself. I enjoyed walking back along the shore, smelling the saltwater, and watching the sky change over the waves. I still am amazed at how long the sunset will linger here in the UK. It was 11 pm and the atmosphere still hadn’t made it to dusk. The second day, we woke up to a full Scottish breakfast and proceeded to tackle Goatfell. The hike up was pretty tough, but the view from the top was well worth it. I was so happy to see that the Isle had been relatively untouched by tourist development and that it’s natural beauty was preserved for us to see. After we made our way down the rocky slope, we ate at the distillery and then visited the neolithic standing stones on the isle. Our guide told us that the tallest of the stones will line up with the sun between two mountain peaks. As we stood in the center of a natural bowl, I could see why the people who lived so long ago chose this site. Again, Arran is incredible. I hope this isle remains separate from the bustle of urban development in the future. I would return in a heartbeat.
- June 16th Reflection on Communication with regard to the Referendum
- My Understanding of Scottish Nationalism