Visiting Scotland? Things You Should Know
As a native Scottish girl, I don't always think about what it's like for someone to come and experience my country for the first time. It definitely has its own quirks, its own language and its own customs. It can be intimidating (and a culture shock), but it's one of the best countries in the world to visit.
Planning a visit? Here are some things to remember:
You will experience four seasons in one day
I'm not exaggerating. I've woken up to torrential rain in the morning, sweated out the afternoon (because I was dressed for torrential rain), and witnessed a snow flurry before bed. Scotland - particularly the West - can be completely unpredictable when it comes to weather. The bonus of this is that it creates some of the most amazing landscapes you will ever see. Just make sure layers are your best friend.
These weren't taken as far apart as you might think...
We speak our own language(s)
Scots tend to have our own words for things that already have perfectly useable words in the first place. They're different from region to region and generation to generation, so no point in trying to learn them all. Just accept that the gibberish you just heard was a well constructed, clever sentence that you can't understand and nod along.
Some of our buildings are older than your country
Yes America, I'm talking to you. Scotland has a rich, bloody history that TV shows will never do justice to (although Outlander is making a great attempt). It's literally around every corner. If you like scandal, betrayal, blood and war then make sure you take a tour. You will not be disappointed.
We're some of the friendliest people in the world
Need directions? Great. Fancy a quiet drink on your own? No chance. Scottish people are renowned for enjoying a good blether. If a stranger stops us on the street for directions, we're more than happy to help. We'll probably walk you to where you need to go, chatting away the whole time. Don't be afraid to approach a Scottish person. Chances are, you won't meet anyone nicer.
It's not all about haggis
Don't worry, there's more to eat than sheep's stomach. Scotland has some of the best restaurants in Britain, and is especially good at seafood. If you're about more than the food, then we do a great night out. Some of the best restaurants, bars and clubs I've ever been to have been in my own city!
Have you been to Scotland? Any tips to add?