Meet the Team: Branka
Meet the Team
Last but not least, in our Meet the Team series, we have the newest addition to our lovely team of fantastic guides, Branka. If you’re looking for travel tips for your next trip to Scotland, look no further, our guides have insider expert advice, and they know everything about travelling in Scotland from hidden gems to fascinating history, myths and legends.
Why did you become a tour guide?
I have always been fascinated with history and folklore, and I guess at one point in my life, I decided that I wish to share that passion with others. I knew that my patience didn’t quite extend to being a school history teacher, so for me, it made sense that tour guiding was going to give me that opportunity. Getting the job at Macbackpackers was definitely a dream come true for me, and more.
What’s your favourite Scottish story (history/myth/legend)?
This is a great question, and in all honesty, I could give many answers. I think the one that stands out to me as a favourite is about a remarkable warrior maid who lived on Skye named Scáthach ( also known as the shadow). In general, I enjoy highlighting the amazing women of history, especially since in most cases, women are written out of history. I feel like it is my duty to give these women the recognition they have always deserved.
What’s your favourite MacBackpackers tour?
All of the tours have their benefits; however, I think you can never go wrong with the 3 Day Isle of Skye tour. It is such a quick and exciting way to get to know some of the most scenic parts of Scotland. Saying that the longer tours give you a more luxurious time to explore Scotland and most importantly it gives us, the tour guides, a chance to get to know everyone and bond with the group which is also one of my favourite parts of the job.
What’s your favourite season to explore Scotland?
My favourite season to explore is definitely autumn. Everything is quieter in terms of tourism, the weather can still be somewhat nice, but the thing I enjoy the most is the variety of colours that are splattered across the hills.
Alongside autumn though, I do have to admit that I also enjoy summer, apart from the amazing shades of green which you can witness during this time, it is also nice to have a little bit of warm weather to go along with your exploring. (Last year it even got warm enough, for me to wear SHORTS!)
Your top three favourite books/podcasts (of Scotland)?
Damn Rebel Bitches: The women of the 45’ by Maggie Craig is definitely my favourite at the moment because it is a book which focuses on the female involvement of a very important and large piece of Scottish history, the Jacobite era.
From Caledonia to Pictland: Scotland to 795 by James E. Fraser. I revisited this book very often during my time at University and was definitely a starting point for a lot of my knowledge.
Scottish folk tales by various authors. I love folklore, and this book has a little bit of everything that can help in various situations, whether you’re bored, or you want to escape a busy schedule for a couple of minutes.
Favourite Scottish food/drink/whisky?
Haggis is by far my favourite Scottish food. You can definitely improve a lot of regular meals with a touch of haggis such as lasagna, yummmmmmmm. Favourite Scottish drink would be Irn Bru, perfect for hangovers, and sadly I don’t have a favourite whisky yet.
If you weren’t a tour guide, what would you do?
I would probably be a regular bus driver. It is something I enjoyed doing in the past, and I would go back to if I needed to switch careers.
Best travel tip?
I think it is important to have a plan, but have an open mind to explore things which may not be in the plan, take the road less travelled as some would say, you never know what you may find and come across. With that being said, if you are travelling alone, make sure someone knows where you are; because better safe than sorry.
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