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Have You Heard of These Attractions?

Discover these unique and offbeat experiences in Scotland!

Fingal’s Cave – Isle of Staffa, Scotland

Photo by Desire Kranenbur

From Pink Floyd to Jules Verne, everyone has been influenced by this astoundingly geometric cave. The cave was a famous wonder of the prehistoric Irish and Scottish Celts and a significant location in their tales. One Irish tale, in particular, provided an explanation for the cave’s existence as well as that of the nearby Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. The cave was known to the Celts as Uamh-Binn, or “The Cave of Melody.” Since they are both made of clean basalt columns, according to tradition, these were the end parts of a bridge constructed by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (also known as Finn McCool) in order to travel to Scotland where he was to face his enormous foe Benandonner.

In actuality, the tale that links the two structures is geologically accurate. The ancient lava flow that produced both the Giant’s Causeway and Fingal’s Cave may have once formed a “bridge” linking the two locations. Naturally, this occurred approximately 60 million years ago, long before anyone would have been alive to witness it. However, the ancient peoples’ use of logical reasoning served as the basis for the connection and the legend that the two locations must be connected.

Sir Joseph Banks, a naturalist, visited the cave there in 1772, which led to its rediscovery. Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem in Six Books, purportedly translated from an ancient Gaelic epic by Irish poet James Macpherson, was a fairly well-known poetry series at the time of Banks’ discovery. The novel had an impact on Goethe, Napoleon, and Banks, who gave the Scottish cave, which already went by the name Uamh-Binn, the name “Fingal’s Cave” in honour of the Irish myth.

Eilean Donan

Eilean Donan – Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland

Photo by Christian Lendl

The island fortress known as Eilean Donan has spent years consolidating its position as the most recognisable representation of Scotland for both locals and visitors, having been featured in photographs, advertisements, and movies.

The Bishop Donan’s monastery cell was first established here in 634 AD, on an island a mile from the village of Dornie. Alexander II constructed the original Eilean Donan in the 13th century to protect the Kintail Mountains and the Isle of Skye against Viking invasions. It is reported that the old castle had a huge

curtained wall enclosing the entire island and connecting seven towers. The castle has appeared in several commercials, television shows, and motion pictures, including The New Avengers (1976), Highlander (1986), and Entrapment (1999). IMBD includes 21 films that used it as a setting as of 2021, starting with “Bonnie Prince Charlie” with David Niven in 1948. The MacRae family still owns what is known as the castle’s fourth iteration, and they operate a tourist attraction and restaurant for individuals who are interested in delving into Scotland’s feudal past. The history of the castle’s second and third iterations is unknown.

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre – Glasgow, Scotland

Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre

In this Scottish exhibition, the intricate clockwork contraptions create little realms of fantasy and terror. The Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre brings historical tales to life with whimsy and frequently ghoulish creations by fusing AUTOMATA, HAUNTING LIGHTING, AND distinctive soundtracks.

The life works of Russian-born mechanic and sculptor Eduard Bersudsky are displayed in this astounding kinetic theatre. Sharmanka, which translates from the Russian to mean “hurdy-gurdy,” frequently provides guests with theatrical phantasmagoria performances, in which Bersudsky’s incredibly intricate mechanical exhibits lurch to spooky music recounting memories of Communist Russia’s frequently hazy past. Numerous tiny people and monsters turn cranks or ride gears while larger components start to move as each intricate piece lurches to life. Every improvised structure and magnificent airship is its own little living universe.

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