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Scotland

Autor /naireUnixRink Dodano /30.04.2007

I would like to tell you about the region which is the big part of Scotland-The Northwest Highlands and Grampians.
It is the most mountainous area of GB, a popular center for winter sports (e.g. Cairngorm range), truly “wild” area of Britain. The Highlands are formed on Lewisian gneiss, the oldest layers of rock in Scotland.
The population is small and concerned in the towns. People live in the mountains or beside lakes. There is quite cold climate (esp. On the west coast, because of The Gulf River).

The Northwest Highlands are the northern third of Scotland that is separated from the Grampian Mountains by the Great Glen (Glen More). The Great Glen, also known as Glen Albyn or Glen Mor is a series of valleys in Scotland running 100 kilometres from Inverness on the Moray Firth to Fort William at the head of Loch Linnhe. The Great Glen follows a large geological fault known as the Great Glen Fault.

The Grampian Mountains or Grampians are one of the three major mountain ranges in Scotland. The name Grampians is believed have first been applied to the mountain range in 1520 by the historian Hector Boece, a transliteration of the Roman Mons Graupius, recorded by Tacitus as the site of the defeat of the native Caledonians by general Gnaeus Julius Agricola (his father-in-law) circa 83 AD.

The Great Glen is a natural travelling route in the Highlands of Scotland, which is utilised by both the Caledonian Canal and A82 road, which link the city of Inverness on the east coast with Fort William on the West.
Its strategic importance, in controlling the Highland Scottish clans, particularly around the time of the Jacobite uprisings of the 18th century is recognised by the presence of the towns of Fort William in the south, Fort Augustus in the middle of the Glen, and Fort George, just to the north of Inverness.
The range includes Ben Nevis (the highest point in the British Isles at 1,344 meters above sea level). The mountains are composed mostly of granite, gneiss and marble.
The ascent of the mountain by the well-constructed tourist path is long but easy, and attracts over 100,000 ascents a year by some estimates. However, the mountain also contains some of the highest cliffs in Great Britain, which harbour some classic rock climbs as well as being one of the principle locations in the UK for ice climbing. The name Ben Nevis is usually translated as 'malicious' or 'venomous mountain', although some people believe Nevis to be derived from the Gaelic for 'cloud' or 'Heaven'.It is often known simply as The Ben.As the highest mountain in Scotland, Ben Nevis is one of the three British mountains climbed as part of the National Three Peaks Challenge. The first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis was made on 17 August 1771 by James Robertson, an Edinburgh botanist, who was in the region to collect botanical specimens. The first competitive race was held in 1899. 10 competitors set off from the Lochiel Arms Hotel in Banavie. The winner was Hugh Kennedy, a gamekeeper at Tor Castle.

Ben Macdhui (also spelled Ben Macdui and Ben MacDui; in Gaelic, Beinn Mhic Dhuibh) is the second highest mountain in Great Britain. It lies in the Cairngorm mountains in Scotland, on the boundary between Aberdeenshire and Moray.
It is claimed that Ben Macdui is the home of Am Fear Liath Mòr (the "big grey man of Ben Macdui"). Opinion is divided as to the substance behind this reported phenomenon, which it is claimed resembles a yeti.

The Caledonian Canal runs in this boundary with the rest of the country which extends from Loch Linnhe in the west, to the Moray Firth. It runs some 100 kilometres (62 miles) in a North-east to South-west direction. Only one third of the entire length is man-made, the rest being formed by Loch Dochfour, Loch Ness, Loch Oich, and Loch Lochy. There are 29 locks (including eight at Neptune's Staircase), four aqueducts and 10 bridges in the course of the canal.
The canal was designed by engineer Thomas Telford ably supported by William Jessop and built between 1803 and 1822 at a cost of £840,000, but was never a great commercial success. As the canal was originally built too shallow and suffered from poor construction in places, most traffic still used the sea route. The canal is now mainly used by pleasure craft. It is maintained and run by British Waterways, a governmental organisation.

Loch Ness (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Nis) is a large, deep freshwater loch in the Scottish Highlands (5718′N 427′W) extending for approximately 37 km (23 miles) southwest of Inverness. The loch is a tectonic lake resulting from a movement in the earths crust. The Loch Ness surface is 15.8 meters above sea level. It is the second deepest loch in Scotland, and the UK. The loch contains more fresh water than all that in England and Wales combined. At its deepest part, 226 m (740 feet), London's BT Tower at 189 It also acts as the lower storage reservoir for the Foyers pumped-storage hydroelectric scheme, which was the first of its kind in Britain. The turbines were originally used to provide power for a nearby mill, but now electricity is generated and supplied to the National Grid.
At its southwestern end, near Fort Augustus, one can see the only island on Loch Ness. Cherry Island is an example of a Crannog (artificial islands generally from the Iron Age).
It is said that the loch never freezes and this is true.

Most people think that the Loch Ness monster first appeared in the 1930s and it is certainly from this time that Nessie became famous but sightings of something unusual in the loch date back much further than this.
It is said that the residents around the loch used to tell their children stories of the kelpie to keep them away from the dark dangerous waters of the loch. The story was of a fearsome beast who lived in the loch and when hungrywould leave its watery home and transform itself into a beautiful horse which would wait for some unlucky traveller to climb on its back then it would gallop straight into the loch and feed on its victim.
Rumours of a monster or animal living in the loch are claimed by believers to have been known for several centuries, though others have questioned the accuracy or relevance of such tales, which were generally unheard of before the early 1960s when a strong "wave of interest" in legitimizing Nessie's 1930s-based history began.

Urquhart Castle
Magnificently sited, overlooking Loch Ness. Urquhart is one of the largest castles in Scotland, with a long and colourful history, built in the 1230s, seized by the English in 1296, sacked by the MacDonald Lord of the Isles in 1545 and left to fall into decay after 1689. Most of the existing buildings date from the 14th century and include the Grant Tower (16th century) the best-preserved part of the complex.

Several rivers rise in the Grampians - the Tay, the Spey, the Don, the Dee and the Esk.
The Spye River-the second longest and the fastest flowing river in Scotland. The Spey changes its course very frequently, either (relatively) gradually as a result of deposition and erosion from normal flow, or in a matter of hours as a result of going into spate. The Spey spates very quickly due to its wide catchment area in the mountains, as a result of rainfall or snowmelt. The river traditionally supported many local industries, from the still popular salmon fishing industry to shipbuilding. The river is also known for the quality of its salmon and trout fishing, including a particular genre of fly fishing that uses a unique two-handed fly rod (commonly known as a 'spey rod') and the 'spey casting' style, both developed in Scotland.
Speyside distilleries produce more whisky than any other region.

The Tay River - the longest in Scotland 120 miles (193 km).
The largest city on the river, Dundee, lies on the north band of the Firth. Like the River Spey, it’s salmon river. In the 19th Century the Tay Rail Bridge was built across the Firth at Dundee as part of the East Coast Main Line, which linked Aberdeen in the north with Edinburgh and, eventually, London to the south. On December 28th 1879 the bridge collapsed as a train passed over it. The entire train fell into the Firth, with the loss of 75 passengers and traincrew. The event was 'immortalised' in a poem, The Tay Bridge Disaster, written by William McGonagall. McGonagall, who lived in Dundee for much of his life, is famous for being one of the worst poets in the English Language.

The River Don is a river in the North-East of Scotland. It rises in the Grampians and flows eastwards, through Aberdeenshire, to the North Sea at Aberdeen. The Don passes through Alford, Kemnay, Inverurie, Kintore, and Dyce. Its main tributary, the River Urie, joins at Inverurie. It is 82 miles (131 km) long.

Inverness (Inbhir Nis in Scottish Gaelic) is the only city in the Highland council area and the Highlands of Scotland.
Inverness was granted city status by the Queen in December 2000, and celebrated its new status officially in March 2001. This city status was granted, however, without definition of either boundaries or representative corporate body.
In 2001, the population of the city, or the urban area centred on the former burgh, was 51,832, and is expected to double over the next 30 years. Recently, Inverness was named the fastest growing city in Western Europe, with many new housing estates being built around the city. A large number of Polish immigrants have recently caused a considerable increase to the Invernesian population and helped contribute to the local economy.
Tourism is important to the city's economy, as are administration and healthcare.
The city is the self-proclaimed "Capital of the Highlands". It is the administrative centre for the Highland council area and for the Inverness committee area of the Highland Council.
Buildings in Inverness include Inverness Castle. Built on the site of its medieval predecessor in 1835 it is now a Sheriff Court.
Inverness is an important centre for bagpipe players and lovers. Every September the city hosts the Northern Meeting, the most prestigious solo piping competition in the world. The Inverness cape, a garment worn by pipers the world over in the rain, is not necessarily made in Inverness.

Another major event in calendar is the annual City of Inverness Highland Games. In 2006 Inverness hosted Scotland's biggest ever Highland Games over two days in July, featuring the Masters World Championships, the showcase event for heavies aged over 40 years.
The first games are said to have been organized by king Malolm canmore in the 11th century. He wanted faster messengers and, to find, the best, he organized a hill race.
Now there are many different acitivities during Highland Games (throwing the hammer, tossing the tree trunk, running, jumping, piping, dancing).

Aberdeen, often called The Granite City, is Scotland's third largest city, with a population of 212,125. Aberdeen is the chief commercial centre and seaport in the north-east of Scotland. The city is often referred to as the Oil Capital of Europe thanks to becoming, in the 1970s, a major service base for the extraction of crude oil in the North Sea. The city forms the Aberdeen City unitary council area, and it is surrounded by the Aberdeenshire council area. It mostly stands between the mouths of the rivers Don and Dee.
The coat of arms shows a red shield bearing three triple towered castles within the double royal tressure. It is widely accepted that these represent the fortifications which from earliest times stood on the three hills where the city sprang up, namely Castle Hill, the Port or Windmill Hill (now Gallowgate) and St Catherine's Hill (around the present Adelphi). The Arms are supported by two leopards – one either side – and above, the scroll with the words "Bon Accord".
Legend has it that during the Wars of Scottish Independence, when the Castle of Aberdeen was stormed and the English troops 'were killed all in one night', the watchword to initiate the campaign was 'Bon Accord', and it is from this massacre that the Coat of Arms and the motto originated.
Aberdeen International Youth Festival - The World Festival of Youth Arts takes place in Aberdeen.
The local dialect is Doric, very different from other dialects of Lowland Scots or from Gaelic. It has its origins in the farming communities nearby and is not as spoken as widely as it used to be. However, some words are still sometimes used...
· "Fit like?" - A greeting, essentially, "How are you doing?"
· "Fit?" - "What?"
· "Far?" - "Where?"
· "Aye" - "Yes"
· "Na'" - "No"
· "Wee" - "Little", this famous Doric word has become common worldwide nowadays
· "Dinnae ken" - "Don't know"
Aberdeen Harbour is the principal commercial port in northern Scotland and an international port for general cargo, roll-on/roll-off from and container traffic.
Aberdeen is also a growing business center as a result of the North Sea oil industry.
When it comes to agriculture region of Aberdeen has even its own special breed of cattle, called Aberdeen angus.
Balmoral is today best known as a Royal Residence, the summer retreat of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. The history as a Royal Residence dates back to 1848, when the house was rented to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They very much enjoyed their stay in the house, and they paid just over £30,000 for full ownership. Prince Albert immediately started making plans to extend the existing fifteenth century castle, and make a "new" and bigger castle fit for the Royal Family. It is now full and working estate with around 100 buildings surrounding the castle itself. The castle not including its land and estate is valued at around £160 million and remains privately owned by the British Royal Family.
The Isle of Skye, usually known simply as Skye (An t-Eilean Sgitheanach in Scottish Gaelic), is the largest and most northerly island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. In Scottish Gaelic "sgiath" means "winged". The main industries are tourism, agriculture, whisky-distilling, brewing and craftmaking. The main town and capital of the island is Portree, which is known for its picturesque harbour. Skye is renowned for its spectacular scenery, vibrant culture and heritage, as well as its abundant wildlife including the Golden Eagle, Sea Eagle, Red Deer and the Otter. People there are crofters (croft=small house).
In terms of local government, Skye forms part of the Highland Council area (Comhairle na Gaidhealtachd) based in Inverness. Of all the Inner Hebrides, Skye has the most in common with the Outer Hebrides, with nearly half the population speaking Gaelic, and many belonging to the Free Church of Scotland, known for its strict observance of the Sabbath.
The Talisker Distillery, which produces a single malt whisky, is beside Loch Harport on the west coast of the island. There is also a famous blend called Isle of Skye, produced by MacLeod's.Whisky has been the most important drink in Scotland since 1494.
Bonnie Prince Charlie, Scotland’s most famous prince, escaped to the Isle of skye, dressed as a woman , after his defeat by the english in 1746.
The Isle of Skye has been immortalised in the traditional song The Skye Boat Song and in the book To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.
Iona is a small island, in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. Iona has an important place in the history of Christianity in Scotland and is popular for its tranquility and natural beauty. Its Gaelic name is Ì Chaluim Cille (Saint Columba's Island), or sometimes just Ì or Idhe. Iona lies approximately one mile (1.6 km) from the coast of Mull. The island is 1 mile wide (1.6 km) and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) long with a resident population of 125.The highest point is Dun (101m).
See Picture ‘Ninth century St Martin's Cross’.
Visitors can reach Iona by the 10-minute ferry trip across the Sound of Iona from Fionnphort on Mull. There are no cars on the island.
Iona inspired the composer Mozart to write his overture “The Hebrides”.

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