Shooting Otters

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Scotland – No Room at the Inn

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Scotland is a beautiful country with wild landscapes, long flowing rivers, spectacular waterfalls and a myriad of myths and legends. It’s no wonder its one of the highest ranked travel destinations in the world. So with that said here is why you should avoid it…seriously!!! AVOID!!!

When most people think of Scotland they think of the romantic images of wild landscapes peppered with beauty spots, the perfect places to spend an afternoon exploring, picnicking or simply relaxing with a good book or their own thoughts. The reality is somewhat different. Scotland has become a victim of its own success. There are no more quiet beauty spots where you can relax and contemplate life the universe and everything. Find a viewpoint overlooking a perfect landscapes as the sunsets beyond and the chances are you’re going to be elbowed out the way by a pushy tourist who wants that perfect photo to upload to their social media profile and show all their friends how perfect their holiday is. While visiting Eilean Donan Castle, the day after they had posted on their facebook page to ignore the media reports of Scotland being overflowing with tourist, a family friend told me they were virtually trapped in the castle unable to move for more than ten minutes because of the crush of people. Some children started to cry until a member of staff eventually managed to get things slowly moving again. They said they couldn’t see what was in the rooms as there was simply nothing but a crush of people squeezing by each other in every room.

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Scotland has reached saturation point, the roads are clogged with hire cars full of drivers struggling to grasp which side of the road to drive on and keep up a reasonable speed. The roads also suffer from endless delays caused by accidents. On a recent visit to friends in the far north of Scotland three times cars came towards me on the wrong side of the road and I narrowly avoided a head on smash.

Feeling tired from driving then pull over for a short break, that is if you can find somewhere that hasn’t already been taken by one of the endless numbers of campervans filling up every possible parking place, often overnight. Tents pitched at the side of the roads with people unable to find space in a designated camp site or too cheap to pay for one often leave an awful mess behind. There is a lack of toilet facilities so you can imagine the mess in some places that causes. Add  to that Scotland’s policy of ‘take your litter home’ means few if any bins at all to put litter into so many don’t bother and just dump it in the parking areas.

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There are no quiet spots left, with social media driving people to come and see for themselves the beautiful landscapes full of lochs, rivers and glens they post on their facebook pages has resulted in an massive increase in visitors, with many business reporting a 40% increase on last year’s figures and they were already up a similar amount from the year before. However, what these photos and posts are not showing are the crowds of people three deep at some viewpoints waiting on their turn to be able to take a quick selfie. Some beauty spots resemble a busy city high street with the number of people trekking across worn out paths to reach them, while their badly parked hire cars clog the single track roads. When visiting Scotland these days don’t think peaceful time spent in  beautiful surroundings, think more black Friday sales as people push, shove, honk horns and scream at each other as they scramble to find parking or get that ”unique” photo that they saw on their friends instagram.

Visiting Scotland is no fun anymore, unless you head high into the hills there is virtually nowhere you’ll find space for yourself and before you do that you probably need to find somewhere to park… so good luck with that!!!

Castles in Scotland – Tour Guide

Tour guide to some of Scotland’s many Castles. If your planning a trip to Scotland or a short visit and considering visiting some of Scotland’s Castles then this guide will give you some background information on some of the more popular spots.

 

We Are Not So Different

Having worked all around the world for the past fifteen years from 3rd world countries to war zones I have continually heard the same thing being said from all side. Everyone wants peace, everyone wants to be left alone to live their lives, to find a good job and raise their children in a better world than they live in now.  People are basically the same in their hopes and dreams for a better world it’s just no-one can agree on how to make this happen.

There are some misguided fanatics who think violence is the only way to bring about change but these people generally are fighting for a minority view, and they’re a minority for a reason. These violent movements usually involve limiting other peoples freedoms and choices. If you need a gun to get your point across you have already lost the argument. No one really cares what other people do as long as they don’t harm anyone or try to stop others from following their chosen path. But when you start trying to limit peoples freedom you limit their choices and consequently their opportunities.

Everyone wants opportunity, opportunity to do better, to live better to find something more. To live fuller lives. Whether its opportunities to work, to explore, to travel or simply just to find food and shelter. By denying people their freedom, you deny them hope and without hope comes despair and anger and inevitably violence.

Give people education and they will use it to invent, to discover to create something new. Give people freedom and they will express themselves in new and unique ways. They will share ideas and build on them, it will bring people together rather than driving them apart. Give people opportunity and they will take it.

Groups that want try to limit knowledge, or punish individual expression  serve only themselves and not others. For the world to be a better place we need not just tolerance but genuine compassion for our fellow man. We need to give people  opportunities and help each other work towards a better future for us all.

Give people the same opportunities and they will most likely make the same choices.