Barbara Monajem – Pics of Scotland and a #Giveaway

Barbara here. Just for fun, here are some pics taken in Scotland well over a year ago. Wish I could go back…one of these days… Anyway, enough nostalgia.


This is a wynd, or maybe it’s a close. (I didn’t take proper notes.) There are lots of these little alleys leading down and away from the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. They’re sort of spooky-looking, especially on a gloomy day, which I gather is most of the time. (I am REALLY glad I didn’t start reading Ian Rankin’s mysteries until AFTER visiting Edinburgh, or I would have been convinced the place was a hotbed of crime. Actually, we had a good time there. Great hotel, excellent food, want to go back.)


This is Edinburgh Castle from below. How daunting to think of scaling those walls!! We didn’t have time to tour it. (There are other ways to get in–no siege skills required). Maybe next time…


I need someone to identify this plant!! I’ve never seen anything so prickly before. I don’t think it’s a kind of thistle; it’s nothing like the Scottish national plant, as far as I can see. I grew up with thistles, but nothing like this.


Here is a view of the Cuillin – a mountain range on the Isle of Skye. These mountains play a major part in Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart, one of my all-time favorite books. The Cuillin are really a character in the story, and they’re about as spooky-scary as they look in this pic. Read it and you’ll see.


This is Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, as seen through the eyes of someone with The Sight (who can therefore consort with the Fair Folk).


This is the same place through ordinary eyes. Not exactly the same scene, but I wanted to put a pic of myself in this blog to prove I was really there. 🙂

Now for the giveaway — winner’s choice of one of my books to someone who comments. (If no one comments, I will buy a book for myself. A book by someone else, that is. But I don’t need any more books right now, so please do comment.)





Follow Barbara Monajem:

Barbara Monajem started writing at eight years old. She has wandered from children’s fantasy through mystery to paranormal and historical romance. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

54 Responses

  1. Kathy Davis

    I think that you should pretend that nobody commented and buy at least 2 books. 😀 I love the pictures and I hope that you won’t mind me adding them to the planning my dream trip board.

    • Barbara Monajem

      LOL, Kathy. My TBR pile will topple over if I add two more books. 😉

  2. Mary Preston

    I’d love to visit but for now I’m happy to view your wonderful pictures.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Mary. Those pictures make me long to go back… I hope you get to visit Scotland someday.

  3. ki pha

    Oh yes! I definitely want to go back to Scotland myself. And I believe we took a picture of the same close/alley and of Edinburgh Castle from below. LOL

    Why are you making me miss it!? I want to go back so bad!

    *no more books for me.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Ki Pha. I started out my trip planning to take notes about everything. That lasted about an hour, after which I gave up and just meandered around.

      • ki pha

        LOL I just wondered around too. I did have a list of what to see but, I never really stuck to it.

  4. Linda

    Did you have haggis? I’m not sure that would make anyone’s (other than a Scot’s) list of excellent food!

    • Barbara Monajem

      I had haggis every day with breakfast!! But that was at hotels and B&Bs, and although it was good, it always tasted much the same. I suspect it was commercially packaged and just fried up in the kitchen. I would like to try some homemade versions and see if they’re different.

  5. laurieg72

    Thanks for sharing your adventure. I can’t wait to read the stories your trip inspired. Do you have any more pictures of the landscape, foods you ate or men in kilts to share with us?

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Laurie. I think I may be reaching the bottom of the barrel as far as good pics go. I didn’t see even one man in a kilt!! I guess that means I absolutely have to go back. 😉

  6. Jan Goldstein

    Hubby and I are actually going to Scotland this June. Edinburgh, Inverness, Fort William, Stirling. Yes, we’ll be going to Culloden, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Ben Nevis, etc., etc. I was in the Highlands way back in 1977 but my husband has never been.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Oh, lucky you, Jan. I have photos of Culloden, but they don’t convey a sense of the place — they just look like pics of a field, alas. There’s so much to see in Scotland. Ben Nevis for me next time. Have fun!

    • Barbara Monajem

      LOL, Melody. I probably *will* buy myself a book. I can resist buying almost anything except food and books.

  7. Charlene Whitehouse

    I always wanted to go to Scotland. I wish I had the money to go. I love the photographs

    • Barbara Monajem

      Thanks, Charlene. I hope you get to go there someday. 🙂

  8. laurenlinwood

    I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland, Barbara. Your pictures are urging me on. Maybe if I tell my hubby I simply must set a book there, I can talk him into going for research purposes!

    • Barbara Monajem

      I’m sure you’ll get there, Vicki. You’re the most energetic woman I know.

    • Barbara Monajem

      I love your photo, Christine! What an awe-inspiring view of that cliff. 🙂

  9. Debra Jo (Ballard)

    Your pictures make me want to go to Scotland even more. I would love to stay there for a week and go to Ireland for a week.
    Thank you so much for the chance and for the dreams. Have a wonderful March.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Debra. I hope you get to go to both Scotland and Ireland. I was in Ireland for a brief stay several years ago and would love to go again and have a little more time.

  10. Geraldine Pierson

    Thank you for showing us your pictures. I would love to go to Scotland and Ireland. Oh well, I live my dreams by reading novels about them. Thank you for your giveaway and a chance to win one of your books.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Jerry. I get a lot of my travel pleasure from reading rather than going places. Travel requires time and money, and often stamina as well. I’ve noticed that my backpack gets lighter every year. 😉

  11. Donna Bayar Repsher

    We loved Old Town in Edinburgh and loved wandering the streets of the Royal Mile. What totally blew us away was the sign outside Edinburgh Castle alluding to the fact that the site had been consistently inhabited for 8,000 years. And here in the U.S., we put 200 year-old buildings on the historic register. I never quite appreciated how new our country is compared to places like Edinburgh.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Donna. Wow, I didn’t see that sign — didn’t have time to tour the castle, either. Maybe next time!

    • Barbara Monajem

      Glad you enjoyed them, Violetta. 🙂

  12. Alyssa Alexander

    Gorgeous pictures! Oh, I so want to go!

  13. Barbi Davis

    Thank you for sharing. Have always wanted to go to Scotland. And seeing through your eyes is incredible. Thank you Barbara for a chance at one of your books..hugs

    • Barbara Monajem

      Thanks, Barbi! I hope you get to Scotland someday. 🙂

  14. BelleAmiAuthor

    Oh, happy Barbara, lots of comments. I haven’t been to Scotland yet, it’s on my bucket list.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Tema. Whew! Lots of comments means I don’t have to add to my own TBR pile. 😉

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Michaele — I agree, Ireland is lovely. I didn’t get to see nearly enough of it. Hopefully you will visit Scotland. Alva looks like a picturesque little town. 🙂

  15. Liette Bougie

    Great pictures. Maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to go visiting other countries. One can dream, right?

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Liette! Dreams are the first step to getting there…

  16. Glenda

    I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland! These are gorgeous pictures!

    • Barbara Monajem

      Thanks, Glenda. I hope you get there some day.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Denise. Scotland is an absolutely stunning country. I wish I could take pictures that better capture its beauty.

  17. Rebecca Bell

    I’d love to visit Scotland it looks beautiful. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures. <3

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Rebecca. Glad you enjoyed the pics!

  18. Nan

    Looking at your pic of the alley I was thinking, if you tripped at the top of the stairs you could roll for miles before you come to a stop! haha. Nice pics and I’ve never seen the prickly plant before. I too would love to go to Scotland and just day dream in a castle there.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Nan. Yup, it would be a long way down to the bottom! I hope you get to that castle in Scotland. 🙂

  19. Laurice McClung

    I don’t believe any excuse is needed to buy books!

  20. Barbara Monajem

    And the winner is… Liette Bougie!! Liette, I will email you about your prize. Thanks for the comments, everyone — glad you enjoyed the pics and hope everyone gets to visit Scotland someday. 🙂