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Scotland Adventure

Several fond memories from hitch-hiking in Scotland in the summer of 1976 (following my junior year abroad in Paris):

After several wonderful days in Edinburgh, I stuck my thumb out for points north. I soon discovered that it was the "Glasgow fortnight" -- the two weeks during which most Glaswegians go on vacation. Now, I have a pretty good ear for language, but I spent many a puzzled hour in the cars of several very nice, very chatty Glaswegians, nodding my head and not understanding a word they said.

One of the aspects of Scotland that most struck me was the immediacy of (and passion for) history, which two memorable rides underscored:

One was with a lovely old English couple of Scottish ancestry who were happy to take me to my destination as long as I didn't mind stopping along the way at the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie was last seen on Scottish shores 200-odd years ago. When we arrived at the spot, we got out of the car and with tears in our eyes, waved to the empty sea.

I got a ride from a truck driver who said he'd be glad to take me to the town I requested but would have to drop me off a block short of my destination, because "that's a MacDonald establishment and I'm a Campbell." He then proceeded to explain that in 1692, the Campbells slaughtered the MacDonalds of Glencoe in the middle of the night after being their guests for two weeks. Four centuries later, the event was still fresh enough for him not to feel welcome at a MacDonald inn.



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