We made it out of Newcastle and took a back road into Scotland. Along the way we stopped in a cute little English Tea Shop nestled in the middle of the country side. The moment we got here we could feel the pace changing. It was like stepping in on an episode of All Creatures Great and Small. It was kind of neat to have tea amongst the birds, butterflies and sheep. It even stopped raining for a bit.
There were instant cues that we were heading into Scotland. In the border territories everything suddenly turned brown and it got extremely windy. The word craggy comes to mind when I think of this area. Wood fences began to turn into stone walls and the scenery became very dramatic and extreme. I couldn’t help but notice that it looked a lot like Nova Scotia. Perhaps there is a reason why Nova Scotia is called New Scotland.
When we got to the border it was really windy and there were bag pipers playing. I immediately got emotional. There is so much of Scot culture in Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada that I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed when we got to the root of it all. This is the place where it all started; Calgary is named after a place in Scotland as are most places in Canada. We owe the Scots a lot!
The Scots and Brits are smart, they took all their intense Scottish wind and harnessed it. Part of the UK’s attempt at moving forward environmentally is to have 10 percent of their power derived from renewable energy sources by the year 2010. Their answer to this challenge was to create wind farms in the craggy border and swamplands south of Glasgow. You could see the tops of the windmills in the distance over the hills, but nothing prepared us for the sheer magnitude of them when we came across a wind farm. The turbines are massive – and working like crazy.
Chris’ comment about Scotland later: “You knew when you entered Scotland: it stopped raining, there was the sound of bagpipes in the air, and some really big turbines.”