(View from Skye Bridge)
I'll be heading to Scotland in a couple of days for research and fun. Fortunately for me, when I go to Scotland, research and fun happen simultaneously. Nothing is better! Although I love to read certain historical research tomes, especially those written a hundred or so years ago, others can be somewhat dry and snoozeworthy. I'd much rather roll up my sleeves and dig in, so to speak. I can more easily learn what the peat smoke drifting on cold ocean mist smells like if I'm actually on Isle of Skye, instead of reading a secondhand account. A side benefit is that I am so immersed in the setting I can bring it to life more vividly, realistically and also draw the reader in more easily. Not only that, I'm in a dream come true location for me. (Photos: above, Old Man of Storr, trying to hide in the drifting mist on Isle of Skye. Below, croft cottages at the Skye Museum of Island Life.)
If I want to accurately describe the smell, feel and atmosphere of a dungeon, then I want to actually be in a dungeon, at least for a few minutes. (Below, Urquhart Castle)
This trip I hope to visit several castles in the east of Scotland, in Aberdeenshire, a place I haven't been before, along what is known as the Castle Trail. At mid-point we plan to cross over, and drive along Loch Ness (below), to the Western Highlands and the Isle of Skye to take in the very different scenery, topography, etc. I'll be sure to take lots of pictures to share when I return. Where is your favorite place to do hands on research?