Visits and Trips Magazine Issue 3 | Page 3

Fàilte gu Alba! Welcome to Scotland! I never thought I’d visit a country where the climate is reputedly as wet as my hometown, Vancouver, Canada. The cuisine had been described to me as ‘pragmatic’ and harking back to a time when heat was the only ingredient that could harmonise earthy flavours and make them inviting. The piercing notes of the bagpipes didn’t strike me as a ‘light tune’ …and made it tough to listen further – to listen for the base, for real sounds of Scotland: the hearty rumbling of mountains on high, the wind whispering through the glens, the breathy lullaby of a Gaelic-speaker, or the rhythmic beat of a highland dancer. Scotland had yet to enrapture me, but when it did I became totally captivated by its striking natural and cultural wealth! An unexpected fascination was instilled in me when, at only 15 years old, I was dragged to a Scottish clan reunion on the very distant West Coast of Canada. There, I met a handsome group of tartan-clad Scots who had inhabited my city generations back. I learned that my family name – Andrews – was taken from Scotland’s very own patron saint; that we were part of the mighty clan Ross and that we had our own tartan to boot! It was that very night that a flame was lit: a wonder for my heritage and for a culture that was burly, bold, and soulful. I was enchanted by those ancient tales of monsters living in the Loch Ness! This issue of the Visit&Trips Magazine is dedicated to Scotland and to the exciting events planned for Homecoming 2014. I have especially enjoyed assisting with this Scotland edition because of my personal connection to this land of discovery and REdiscovery for descendants of emigrant Scots, who set out to create lives for their families abroad. Above all, Homecoming 2014 will be a marvellous opportunity for international travellers to visit Scotland and experience its traditions first hand, explore its natural beauty and catchup with modern day treats like luxury locals, nouvelle cuisine and the bustle of city life. Whether you’re a “home-comer” or an interested traveller, let us stir your imagination with the V&T Scottish edition – start planning your trip today! Editors Arianna Andrews Editor in Chief Lynn Nicholson Editor Publishers Visits and Trips Network Articles and letters to [email protected] Advertising Enquiries [email protected] Arianna Andrews Marketing & Communications Manager Visits and Trips Network Production & Design