Last update 25-10-2019

Hail Caledonia

This website is completely dedicated to Scotland

5 addicted friends; Frans,Jos,Koos,
Henk,Bernhard are maintaining this site.


build by jos aalders

other websites
Business site garden art -Dutch-
Jos in Chile
A cycle tour through Chile -Dutch-
Movies about Islay -Dutch-
Outdoor stories -Dutch-
Everthing about Islay-Dutch

























Latest; Scotland 2018


Why Scotland?

Why do we get emotional when we watch YouTube and see Murial Gray ascending the Five Sisters of Kintail? Why do we often get our 25 year old dusty slides out and feed the projector tray after tray, just to see us walking in a misty, sepia colored remote part of Scotland? Why do we always decide to go back to our secret land for at least once a year? Moreover, why o why does nothing ever change?
There is no easy way to explain this addiction for “The promissed Land” as we call it, or is there? Off course people have their favorite destinations and tend to exaggerate things, but please let me try to state: Why Scotland?
The very first time I went with a friend on motorbikes, travelling all the way north, it was Easter time and freezing cold. We were camping and I remember him trying to sleep with his leather motor suit on. This was the first time we saw Glen Coe and we loved it. We made it all the way to Durness.
After a few years of biking and seeing all the little roads, we tried walking and from then on we did that more and more. The very first Scotland walk I did with my friend Frans, was a track from Inverkirkaig around the Mount Suilven in the Sutherland district, a 40 mile walk that we did in three days. Years later we climbed the Suilven. And it is this mountain that I chose to be my destination. 
I remember a beautiful trial that led us from Gran Stacky to Sandwood Bay and Cape Wrath, where we slept in the engine room of the Lighthouse.  Later, on the way to Durness we spotted about 50 seals on the sands of Balnakeil Bay.
Last August we hired bicycles and went to the Isles. However, that still does not explain the fondness of Scotland. Maybe it was the afternoon that we climbed the Buchaill Etive Mor (The Sheppard of Glen Coe). It was a steep climb through a gully filled with snow. There was hardly any wind. A woman got scared of heights. How did she get back? There was a border collie. At the top we just sat there staring over Rannoch More and Glen Coe in amazement and complete happiness. Later we descended in the dark towards Loch Etive. Our very concerned friend Koos who did not do the climb was flashing his torch leading us to the road and the make shift camp. The question now is:

Dear reader I can go on forever and my friends would certainly say, "Hey, you forgot to mention this and that." I think that all the experiences I mentioned builded up an feeling that deepens like a coastal shelf, a feeling that you can't let go and that makes you return to SCOTLAND for ever.
May I suggest to just go there. (Not all of you.) Get off the beaten track and sing:

"Hail Caledonia"



Song text Hail Caledonia


A nice story from Jos, but if the essence of "why Scotland" has been answered by this remains questionable. He mentioned many reasons to love Scotland and he memorized the dearest and most beautiful moments. I fully agree that they all contribute, however, for me I think it was love at first sight, something magical that gives you butterflies in your stomach. A yearning for a lover who also has her quirks and demands. A lover that sometimes provokes you to the limit, but then, just before you're done with here she'll give you a reward: a bothy in the snow, a warm sun that dries up your clothes, a vista through a hole in the clouds, a Guinness in a little hotel bar that opened a little earlier just for you, a single malt whisky next to a blazing campfire, a magical light that evokes religious feelings, enough to overwhelm you and make you worship this "harsh mistress" over and over. This beloved land breathes freedom and space has a supernatural beauty and is indescribably impressive. There is no other place in the world that can live up to her, and despite adventures in other countries, I'll be loyal and true to her, FOREVER.