January 2016

Weapons of Scottish Wars

Last month marked six years of Traveling Savage. Six years! I wrote my first post here on December 13, 2009, almost a year from the date I intended to leave my corporate job. It was a cringe-worthy, rambling manifesto that began a year of philosophical writings on travel intended more to keep me motivated than to satisfy my readers — I had no readers! I wrote in the evenings after work as a test to see if I could stick with a blog, and if I couldn’t then perhaps I didn’t believe enough in the idea. But I did stick with it, and as my departure date approached my pragmatic and soul-blasted selves tangled in an exhausting cage match of fear, anxiety, hope, and excitement. I was leaping into…into what? Read more...

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All Them Witches

In the 1968 horror film Rosemary’s Baby, Mia Farrow is destined to give birth to the Antichrist. A coterie of creepy players prepare her to carry the spawn of Satan, though the knowledge is kept from her, and only through the help of her friend Hutch does she begin to suspect her kindly old neighbors might be sinister witches. The key that unleashes Rosemary’s tide of isolated paranoia and fear? A book on witchcraft titled All of Them Witches.

The name conjures shadowy rituals, gothic mysticism, and the suggestion of deeper, forgotten powers. It’s a fantastic name for a book but it might be an even better band name. Read more...

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Ben Nevis Distillery, Fort William, Scotland

Given the number of streams pouring off the bens and munros of Scotland’s west highlands, it’s shocking to encounter such a dearth of distilleries here. In fact, you will find only one between Talisker on the Isle of Skye and Oban distillery in the town of the same name. It’s in that wide swath of the western highlands called Lochaber one will find unassuming Ben Nevis Distillery. The distillery sits at the foot of — you guessed it — Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest point, and provides a decent reason to visit Fort William.

I would venture that Ben Nevis distillery is not on many radars these days… Read more...

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Barsallach Point, The Machars, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland

Dumfries & Galloway occupies a huge portion of southwest Scotland. From the Rinns of Galloway in the west to the southern uplands almost as far as Hawick in the east, and from the Solway Coast north to elevated Sanquhar and the border with Ayrshire, this area escapes the notice of many visitors. It lies tucked to the south of Edinburgh and Glasgow and to the west of the English border, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to learn that most people arrive from Northern Ireland on the ferry to Stranraer.

As off the beaten path as Dumfries & Galloway is, it boasts one peninsula in particular that sees even fewer hardy souls: The Machars. Read more...

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