Scotland "Land of the Free"

I Am Home Again - I have return to Scotland.

I Am Home Again - I have return to Scotland.

“I breath the sweet air. I feel the energy of the earth coarse up through my feet. My lungs fill, my legs become strong. I pick up the sword, run full tilt into the forest, and yell “I AM FREE!” I AM HOME TO MY BELOVED SCOTLAND ... wait someone is saying we are in Perth... aah, Perth I am Lady of Perth and have returned home.”

Can’t explain it - but there is something about Scotland which provoke these thoughts... these feelings. It started to happen in Edinburgh, but when we dropped down into Sea Houses the poetic drum beat dimmed and the passion for freedom quelled. But now that we are exploring the Scottish Borders I can hardly stop feeling I AM FREE.

Freedom is not an esoteric thought in Scotland. It is the essence of the land. Much like the sun, the rain, the wind... or perhaps it is the blood that has been spilled upon the land.

William Wallace and King Robert the Bruce fought for freedom. Out of their fight came a document called the “Declaration of Arbroath” signed on April 6, 1320, written by Bernard, Abbott of Arbroath - the Chancellor of Scotland.

Words from this document inspired similar wordage in the Declaration of Independence and on the battle field at Valley Forge, in 1777 by George Washington.

Below is an excerpt from Document, spoken by King Robert the Bruce.

"For so long as a hundred of us remain alive,
we will never submit ourselves to English dominion.
We fight not for glory nor riches nor honours;
but only and alone we fight for freedom,
which no good man gives up,
but with his life."



However, perhaps they, as I, unknowingly are touched by the war cry of a people who lived on these lands over 5000 years ago... the Picti or the Painted people.

"Equality, choice and consideration of others rights was the basic foundation of the Picti civilization."

The clan systems that descended from the Celtic and Pictish tribes at the time of Robert the Bruce still upheld the power of these beliefs. Within this structure, the chiefs were not ‘rulers' in the feudal sense, but were considered to be the ‘first among equals'.




Some of the beauty on our drive through the Scottish Borders.

Sir Walter Raleigh's Vista On the way to Perth we happened upon this amazing vista.
Sir Walter Raleigh's Vista On the way to Perth we happened upon this amazing vista.
Cramond Island was amazing.  There were artifacts dating back to 142AD, a Roman Settlement. Early Christianity made a foothold on this island...then
Cramond Island was amazing. There were artifacts dating back to 142AD, a Roman Settlement. Early Christianity made a foothold on this island...then
in the war it was used as part of their defense system and this walkway installed.
in the war it was used as part of their defense system and this walkway installed.
Balvaird Castle, was also a stop.  Most interesting, the outside and gardens were completely open to the public, however if you wanted to see the inside you needed to contact the chamber of commerce.
Balvaird Castle, was also a stop. Most interesting, the outside and gardens were completely open to the public, however if you wanted to see the inside you needed to contact the chamber of commerce.
Balvaird Castle
Balvaird Castle
Scotland is so amazing with the diversity of land and water. Found this tunnel fascinating and the bridge led from one pasture to another.
Scotland is so amazing with the diversity of land and water. Found this tunnel fascinating and the bridge led from one pasture to another.
Perth river - What can a person say? On one side of the bridge was the park and behind us the city.
Perth river - What can a person say? On one side of the bridge was the park and behind us the city.


The Picti like the Scots were fierce warriors. Their foes were the invading Romans and Christians. One of the most re-known female warriors in Celtic mythology is Skathach or “The Shadowy One”. She is famous for invincible battle methods such as the magical leap and the battle yell.

As was the custom in their culture she taught the young men the skills of being a warrior. Scathach did not train women because of a Celtic belief which stated that only women could teach men effective battle skills, and only men could teach them to women. 


It was this passion which the Scottish people I met on our journeys seemed to carry within their hearts and their spirits still today.


Pictish symbols found in stone.
Pictish symbols found in stone.

We were first introduced to Cairns on our drive out of Inverness. Our first Stone Circles however we meet while visiting friends in Invuriere. Cairns it seems are burial chambers, while stone circles are places of honor and ritual.

Once the Romans and Christians took control of the country, they set about to destroy the culture and these stones. In fact the Church published a “How to Book” on how to destroy these stone circles and cairns. As the stones were intensely large and heavy, it took much ingenuity to break them apart. One suggestion written by the church was to "build a large fire built against the stone and when the stone was red hot, pour cold water on it so that the elements could break into many small pieces”... later dynamite was used.

The stones were also taken away and used as part of fences and buildings. As we would drive down these little country roads we often wondered if some of the gate posts had been part of an prehistoric site.

We are really glad that they are now considered important historical monuments and protected in all of the UK and Ireland.

It was wondrous finding them often with sheep. We saw 13 or 14 in our travels and hopefully I will post more about them in later articles.

Balnuaran of Clava, the first prehistoric site we saw.  At this time we didn't know the difference between a cairn and stone circle.
Balnuaran of Clava, the first prehistoric site we saw. At this time we didn't know the difference between a cairn and stone circle.
The burial chamber were surrounded by a stone circle.
The burial chamber were surrounded by a stone circle.
We found out that stone circles were often hard to capture, as they were exceedingly large.
We found out that stone circles were often hard to capture, as they were exceedingly large.
As with all of the following prehistoric sights they were located out somewhere, often in a field or woodland.
As with all of the following prehistoric sights they were located out somewhere, often in a field or woodland.
Found it mind boggling the details of these sites...
Found it mind boggling the details of these sites...
and how well built!  To last 5000 years, woah.
and how well built! To last 5000 years, woah.
This was an amazing drive, through the most lush forest, perhaps in a later article I will add pictures of the amazing trees and road.
This was an amazing drive, through the most lush forest, perhaps in a later article I will add pictures of the amazing trees and road.
Ok, here we are.
Ok, here we are.
To think that the pictish symbols are still readable!
To think that the pictish symbols are still readable!
On top of the hill is our next stop.  It is a stone circle we must see before we leave this country.
On top of the hill is our next stop. It is a stone circle we must see before we leave this country.

Comments 8 comments

Ali 6 years ago

Barbara, these are terrific, like the other postings. Thanks!!! ali


GPSWorldTraveler profile image

GPSWorldTraveler 6 years ago from Washington State, USA Author

Yeah, glad you enjoy reading my posts. Thank you.


Darlene 6 years ago

Ah, ye doeth me hearrrt gud!! xo


Marian 6 years ago

wow Barb - so glad you ACTUALLY got to see the Picardy stone & Dunnydeer in the background = great shots & great of Gary, too...

... shall email - just a little catchup time needed

... am impressed by your Pictish knowlege (Skathatch's magical leap & battle yell!!) & I thank you for planting the seed of 'who would the Scots be now if MQS hadn't been executed?'

thank you for that - it's posted at

http://youngbloodblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/gab...

didn't realize how long it is since your visit - you stirred up the stones something classic!!

regards to both x M


Dardia profile image

Dardia 6 years ago from Michigan

Beautiful hub! I have been fascinated with Scotland since I was a child. I don't even know what draws me but there is something. Thanks for sharing this interesting hub and the wonderful pictures.


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 5 years ago from trailer in the country

I have never been to Scotland, but it is the one place I would really LOVE to visit. Thanks for taking me there virtually for a little visit.


d.william profile image

d.william 5 years ago from Somewhere in the south

Loved this hub. Although i never gave Scotland much thought, as Ireland has always had my main interest, i love the photos and your explanations. Interestingly enough i did not know that the Romans and those god awful christians raided Scotland. They sure wreaked a lot of havoc all around the world and still are at their meanest today (christians).


GPSWorldTraveler profile image

GPSWorldTraveler 5 years ago from Washington State, USA Author

Thank you for your kind comments. Scotland is an amazing place to visit! Yes, I agree, there are a lot of mean spirited people in the world.

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