Scotland: land of picturesque scenery and questionable cuisine October 1, 2023 — by Lawson Wang Courtesy of Arahan Balasubramanian The blue Loch Shiel and the Glenfinnan Monument make visiting the Glenfinnan Viaduct a worthwhile experience. Sophomore Arahan Balasubramanian details his ups and downs during his 10-day trip to Scotland. With each breath, a small cloud of vapor formed and slowly drifted away, like a lost spirit finding its home in the foggy sky. Step by step, sophomore Arahan Balasubramanian gradually scaled The Storr in Scotland’s Isle of Skye, taking in the stunning scenery around him. Surrounded by the vast plains and the crashing waves, the ascent up the mountain into the clouds is one of the most magical moments from his trip to Europe. Over the summer, Balasubramanian and his family visited Scotland for 10 days, sightseeing its attractions and immersing himself in the culture. From living in an Airbnb castle for a day to seeing Loch Ness, where the elusive monster Nessie lives by legend, there is no shortage of tourist attractions and scenic spots. Even though Balasubramanian’s family spent a lot of time on the road, not a moment felt dull, he said. Whenever he looked out the window, he was always greeted with a grand expanse of mountains. Not only were the sights gorgeous, he said the people there were also always warmly welcoming. “The hike up The Storr went all the way up to the fog barrier, so it kind of felt like you were in the sky,” Balasubramanian said. Scotland wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine, though. The constant rain and cold during his visit was a huge obstacle. The rain was not only uncomfortable but also made a lot of the tourist attractions like the Fairy Pools and Isle of Skye inaccessible. Surprisingly, the biggest disappointment Balasubramanian noticed in Scotland was the food. Instead of the traditional Scottish food he expected to find and enjoy, he only found the American food they serve there to be tasty. “At the Mexican place we ate at, we got a burrito but they didn’t even have rice or beans in there,” Balasubramanian said. The lack of food options, combined with the eating restrictions from his culture, made his overall experience of exploring various cuisines quite sour. Balasubramanian said he would visit Scotland again if given the opportunity, since he missed a lot of scenic places on his trip due to the weather and time constraints. “I would definitely recommend visiting Scotland. There are places that you should go to that I didn’t get to go to and the scenery there is very beautiful,” Balasubramanian said. “Even though the foreign cuisine was not very good, and the weather rained during the later quarter of my trip, the scenery and beauty of Scotland really made my trip overall very enjoyable.” Tags: summer, trip 1 view this weekAbout the contributorsLawson WangLawson Wang, Class of '26, is a starting writer of the 2023-24 staff. He enjoys exploring all types of stories but particularly enjoys life. Outside of journalism, he spends his free time running, playing video games, and studying math.