***image1***Dunoon, Scotland, and its neighboring towns hold more history in the air than any book. The local restaurants offer a wide variety of local favorites including fish and chips, and the people are extremely friendly. The annual Cowal Highland Gathering took place from Aug. 23 to 25. This year’s gathering is the 114th time Dunoon has hosted this tribute to Scottish heritage. More than 3,500 competitors – many from Scottish communities in exile as far as British Columbia and New Zealand − attended to participate in the gathering’s events: highland dancing, heavy athletics, solo playing, and pipe band competitions. After attending the Cowal Highland Gathering the sound of bag pipes follows for weeks.
***image3***Another attraction, seven miles north of Dunoon, is the Benmore Botanic Gardens. The avenue of giant redwoods some of which were planted in 1863, are more than 40 meters tall. Many locations are represented in the gardens, such as Chile, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, China, Japan, and the Himalayas.
In this 150 acre mountainside plot more than 250 species of plants from around the world mix to create one of the most beautiful places on Earth.