What is so special about Scottish Highlands that captivates your heart and soul forever? This region of the United Kingdom has kept the great genuine traditions, which still attract people from the remotest parts of the world. The romantic scenery, original native garments and the whole ambience saturated with Scotch spirit? These are only a few elements, which make Scotland so irresistibly magnetic.
In Scotland, past penetrates into the future and leaves a significant trace in the present. Can you go past a man wearing a skirt? If you are in Scotland, don't be misled by the eccentric look for the tartan skirt is obviously a kilt, the male garment, often worn at formal occasions, for example a wedding. It is much the same as top hat and tails in England or tuxedos in America. Kilts are gaining popularity throughout the world for casual wear, of cause without all the necessary accessories, while traditionally wearing a kilt presupposes a number of specialties:
- Kilt is usually worn with a soft deer skin pouch and is called a sporran
- A small dagger (Sgian Dubh) is added together with the tall stockings
- Today it is common to wear a special jacket with the kilt, it can be either green or black
- A fly plaid is also a part of a full kilt uniform, fastened with a plaid brooch.
An interesting and contoversy fact about wearing a kilt is still under debate: some people believe, that underwear is inappropriate with the kilt, it contradicts the tradition, while others find it as a form of exhibitionism, or even self-indulgence. However, the majority of kilt wearers don't discuss what they have (or don't have) beneath their kilt. Let's leave such an intimate detail up to the individual wearer and get closer aquainted to one more distinguishing feature of the region: Scotch whisky.
The word 'whisky' was first used in the 18th century and means 'Water of Life', earlier it was referred to as aqua vitae (the Latin for 'Water of Life').
As the legend goes, the mystery of distilling came to Scotland from Ireland in the 400s A.D, however, industrial distilling was not spread until the 1820s. Whisky is the lifeblood of Scotland and is often called the toast of civilization. It is commonly believed in Scotland that whisky is the finest alcoholic drink ever made by the mankind. Now there are several primary kinds of the beverage: Malt, Liqueur and Grain.
The most popular Malt Whisky is made in Speyside, a modern sub-dervision of Highland. Today more than a half of Malt Whisky is distilled here, and when it is matured, it gains its own, unique Speyside flavour.
Liqueur in Scotland is a sweet spirit based on whisky and the flavouring agent can be a sophisticated composition of herbs, flowers, fruit, seeds or roots. Try Scotland's Liqueur and you will estimate it at its true worth.
The process of making Grain is very close to that of making the Malt Whisky, but it uses unmalted cereals and is considerably lower in alcohol.
It is hardly possible to be as impressive in describing Scotland as impressive the country is in reality and thus never hesitate to grasp the opportunity to feel every zest of the region.