Top things to love about my ‘wild, outrageous, awesome 3-day Skye High’ adventure with Anne on the Haggis tour.
1. Finally, I’m on a small bus group tour with a median age of around 25 instead of the usual 55.
2. We had a brash young local Scot for a driver/tour guide/dj/entertainer – the kind who tirelessly plied us with wee bits of stories about Scotland and her famous (and unknown but interesting) children while changing gears and scrolling down for the right music on his ipod to accompany his stories.
3. Watching tourmates dunk their faces into a river for seven seconds each for eternal beauty as mythically promised by a faerie to a young sad princess who lost all her charms because of an accident.
4. Getting a taste of the high altitude dizziness and suffocation Knox and I missed in Tibet as Anne and I managed to climb a high hill on Skye Isle and I felt like a Bronte heroine with the screaming brutal wind near-dragging me to the edge of the cliffs.
5. Setting foot on the banks of Loch Ness and pinching myself awake to make sure I’m really really in Scotland (well, ok, the cold wind hitting my face made sure I was awake, but still, the reality wasn’t sinking in).
6. Spending time with Anne to catch up and exchange little stories about what’s been up with our little lives.
7. Of course, the scenery!! Scottish Highlands is beyutipol!! I don’t understand how they can get in the mood for all those bloody wars when they’re surrounded with so much loveliness.
8. Meeting Hamish, the Highlander Cow and the countless sheep grazing on the hills. Adorable!
9. Realizing that all the doodles I used to make when I was in nursery had a very international flavor to it. I used to always draw two big mountains, the sun, clouds and a very simple angular house beside a brook. Scotland pala yun! Social na bata talaga! hahaha
10. The nerd in me got a kick out of all the new factoids I picked up. A few of them are as follows:
– William Wallace is not Scottish!! He’s Welsh!
– The stick referred to in the phrase “beat with the ugly stick” is from a Scottish field hockey game that uses the hardest wood available.
– “To pummel” – came from the Scottish sword fighting technique of using the butt of their swords to beat their enemy when their blade is too long for close contact battle
– The king of the Duone Castle (where Monty Python was filmed) is currently David Hasselholf.
All quite useless, really, but there you go.