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Tour o’ Scotland part the first

August 3, 2009

Tuesday, up at the proverbial crack of dawn for the 7AM train out of KX. Next stop, bonnie Edinburgh!

Nightmare finding the bus to the (very substandard) B&B, it turns out that Princes St (and most of the rest of Edinburgh) is being dug up for a tramway. Just the one. None of this mucking about with multiple routes – just simple, good old-fashioned A to B transportation. Perhaps needless to say, many Edinburghians are less than thrilled.

Leaving the accommodation (‘petite’ they told us, before sending us and our baggage down the hallway with a magnifying glass,) we head to Leith; some buses and some walking in drizzle, to see the sights, and eat some fine Scots fare – oysters, mussels and smoked haddock with fishcake at the Ship on Shore (which proclaimed sustainable seafood on the menu but sold dredged scallops. Not impressed with that little bit of greenwashing.) Not much really in the way of sights – tourists by the horde up the Royal Mile to the castle – but we start a walk in Holyrood Park, as it started to rain again. So, caught a bus back to the B&B (we had day passes, v. good value at £3) to dry out and check emails and suchlike things. Managed to get hold of a Flickr friend, and we arranged, despite a reprise of the Princes St shambles, to meet for a quick drink and chat and some (not so great) Chinese. So now I’ve met someone, in person, though the interwebs. Even my mother beat me to that.

Weds: haggis with trad fry-up for breakfast, pick up car drive to Elgin via Perth, Pitlochrie, Blair Athol (where I had “Sporran o’ Plenty” for lunch – a steak stuffed with haggis – with chips) &c.

the Sporran of Plenty

Indian nosh in Elgin, much better than expected, for dinner. So much for my ambition of three meals of haggis in a day.

Thurs: around Elgin to beachy place with very blue water called Findhorn – crab and the biggest fish and chips (haddock) known to humanity. Chips, always chips. No Mars bars yet, deep fried or otherwise. We watched the rain roll in from the west as we ate, and headed back to the car just in time to get wet. Post lunch – Speyside whisky tour – visited the Cardhu distillery at Knockando and toured, discovered there are many cute names for bits of whisky making. Also discovered that peaty whiskey isn’t the be all and end all of whisky. ‘Plain’ whisky stills are beautiful and look like giant gramophone horns, in copper. Rained on again. Stopped also at Aberlour, and passed by many other famous names. Drank water directly from the River Spey – yum!

whisky-water

Dinner – Thai restaurant in Elgin – best fishcakes we’ve ever tasted, the rest average but by no means bad – waitress delightful, we slipped her a very large tip because her bosses looked evil. Didn’t leave a general meal tip, which could have been a terrible mistake.

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2 comments

  1. But what of the deep fried Mars bar? Aren’t the Scots proud of that too? Does that too come served with chips?


    • I get the impression you’d see more of that in Dundee, or maybe parts of Glasgow. I hear reports of those places that differ from our experience…
      But of course it comes with chips, unless you go off-menu and order it without.



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