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Scotland and England, Spring 1995
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At Bannockburn It was June of 1314, and the forces of Scotland under the command of Robert the Bruce faced the forces of England under Edward II. The Scottish army was smaller, poorly armed in comparison to the English, and without the cavalry or archers the English King could call on. But they knew the land, and at the end of the two-day battle at Bannockburn, the Scots had re-established their independence and forced the English, ultimately, to abandon their claim to the Scottish throne.

The history of Scotland -- turbulent at best -- has left a legacy of castles all over the countryside. Many are in ruins, especially along the border with England, but many are in surprisingly good condition, and some even remain in private hands. It's easy to drive along back roads almost anywhere in Scotland and suddenly come across a well-preserved monument to those violent times. The castle at right is an example. Scottish Countryside

St. Andrews How did St. Andrew, the brother of St. Peter martyred in the year 62 A.D., end up as the patron saint of Scotland? Well, the story is that an angel appeared to St. Rule (also called St. Regulus) sometime in the eigth century and told him to take certain of the relics of St. Andrew to a small town in coastal Scotland. That town -- St. Andrews [photo left] -- is pleasant, and the site of a major university and (of course) a major gold course.

Scottish countryside There is enormous variation in the Scottish countryside: forest, open fields and meadows, highlands and moors [photo left]. It also has 2300 miles of coastline because of the ruggedness of the coast. Add to that the many lakes (called "lochs"). That's Loch Ness at the right. And no, I never saw Nessie. Loch Ness

Isle of Mull22

Isle of Mull20

Isle of Mull21

The Isle of Mull is the second largest of the Hebrides islands lying off the west coast of Scotland.

The Hebrides were first populated by Celts in the first century A.D. They suffered under raids from Norsemen in the eighth century and eventually came under Norse sovereignty until 1266.

The island boasts flora [top left] and fauna [top right], wildly beautiful coastlines [center left] and coastal flowers [center right], castles [bottom left] and waterfalls [bottom right]. It's a place to be alone with your thoughts. Silent, lonely, desolate in some ways yet spectacularly beautiful, Mull is well worth a visit.
Isle of Mull18

Isle of Mull17

Isle of Mull19

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