- Capital: Edinburgh
- Language: English
- Area: 78,772kmsq
- Population: 5.222 million
- Currency: British sterling
Scotland is beautiful, fascinating country. Its two big cities,- Edinburgh and Glasgow- hold almost over half the population, so you can just imagine how deserted some other areas of the country can be, particularly the highland regions which are full of castles and traditions. Perhaps the only things letting the country down are its food and weather. The food consists of fat and more fat and at one point, they had the highest rate of heart disease in the world. Their winter weather can be as biting as anywhere in Europe especially when the northern wind starts blowing through your bones. If you can cope, however, this country is probably the best place to visit in the British Isles.
For such a small country, Scotland has had an immense influence on the world. Without Alexander Bell and John Logie Baird for example we would neither be able to talk to people on the other side of the world nor watch the superbowl from our homes. Away from the televisions and telephones, Alexander Fleming discovered insulin and penicillin. John Crofton discovered a treatment for tuberculosis. Sir William Leishman found a vaccine for typhoid fever. And there are many more (look them up on Wikipedia. Admittedly, they have slowed down since the mid twentieth century, but one can’t help feeling that we owe Scottish people our lives!
There are Highland Games in almost every state in America, but none can compete with the Scottish Highland Games. This is the where the games began and where you will have the most authentic highland experience. The oldest games take place in Ceres in Fife (they started in 1314), but there are also games in Crieff, Burntisland and Dunoon. The Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon is the biggest games in the world, attracting over 20,000 spectators.
The Edinburgh Festival is the premier festival for the literature, arts, film and particularly comedy. Virtually all successful comedians first made their name here. If they win the coveted Perrier award, they are pretty much set up for life. Just remember, if you go, the city will be packed- it is said that during the festival, Edinburgh’s population quadruples.
The Scottish love soccer and their domestic league has one of the biggest rivalries of all sports; the so-called Old Firm clash between Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic. If you are not Scottish, then you may find it understand the fervent hatred these teams have for each other, particularly as the hatred has its roots in religion. At the same time, it is difficult not to admire their passion. The downside is that both teams completely dominate Scottish soccer. Aberdeen was the last team, other than Celtic and Rangers, to win the Scottish title, 25 years ago. Therefore, like many other nations all over Europe, Scotland can be considered to be one nation that places a lot of premium on sports, and it is going to remain like that for quite a long time.
Story By World By Shotglass
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Special thanks to our contributors:
Simon Arms (Berlin, Germany) for story editing.
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