Okay, Scotland! I hope you will be prepared to receive me because I sure is heck am preparing myself for a wonderful visit next year!
Some of the preparations have been just gathering about things I wanted to do, or to eat, or places I must go see when I will make my visit to Scotland. I started listening to podcasts by travel expert, Rick Steves who has a couple of podcasts about Scotland.
- Scotland from Travel with Rick Steves
- Edinburgh-Cultural Heart of Scotland from Travel with Rick Steves
- Edinburgh and Scotland from Rick Steves’ Britain
- Scotland Highlands from Rick Steves’ Britain
- Ken Hanley ‘s Scotland from Travel with Rick Steves
And I highly recommend listening to podcasts produced from BBC Radio Scotland. I’ve downloaded these interesting audio walking tours created by Neil Oliver called A History of Scotland. I also recently discovered these podcasts (BBC Radio Scotland) which may be of interest called Scotland Outdoors, 15 minutes about the Scottish countryside.
If you’re looking for something a little more humorous, I highly recommend either downloading Scotland’s Funny Bits from MacAulay and Co., or listen to his program in full on BBC Radio Scotland here. What I enjoy about listening to MacAulay and Co because it is a radio program about what’s happening in Scotland though not limited to just Scottish culture.
Another benefit to listening to radio programs on BBC Radio Scotland is acclimating myself to the accent. Although I don’t think the Scottish accent is difficult to understand, I do have a fear that I may not understand because I did encounter a Scotsman and I did not understand him. I may have been tired and getting car sick but at a certain point, his words became incoherent to me. I felt bad. He was a really nice man on holiday in the same ranch as we were.
I strongly recommend listening to various programs offered on BBC Radio Scotland. I learned a thing or two about football, specifically the rival teams in Glasgow, the Celts and the Rangers. Informative and definitely insightful for someone who isn’t into sports and don’t necessarily share the level of enthusiasm for any sport in general. Unfortunately, being outside the UK, we do not have access to the videos, which sucks because there is currently a great new program about Scotland called, Making Scotland’s Landscape with Iain Stewart. But I think they will be providing a radio version in the near future, which I think you can listen to here.
Besides listening to BBC Radio Scotland and podcasts about travels to Scotland, books are another resource in my preparation for my visit. Here is my list of books:
- Scotland: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture by John H. Scotney
- How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Authur Herman
- Scotland: The Autobiography 2,000 Years of Scottish History By Those Who Saw It Happen by Rosemary Goring
- Scotland: The Story of a Nation by Magnus Magnusson
- Scotland: A Concise History by Fitzroy Maclean
I haven’t gotten all of them yet. I have the first two and will provide a book review for the first one in a future post. I know my list may be a little overkill but it would be nice to get some historical background of Scotland because they do have an interesting history…
And here is my travel guidebook list:
- Wallpaper City Guide Glasgow
- Fodor’s See It Scotland
- The Scottish Islands: Western Isles
- The Scottish Islands: Orkney and Shetland
- Knopf Guide: Scotland
- The Civilized Shopper’s Guide to Edinburgh and Glasgow
- Scotland (Eyewitness Travel Guide)
Another great resource for preparing my trip to Scotland is Twitter! I am following several Scottish twitterers who are tweeting something about Scotland. You can see who is tweeting what about Scotland here.