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Friday, October 08, 2010

The Tourism Continues – Scotland Day 4-5

Sometimes you just need to succumb to the reality that you are a tourist.  Cities like Edinburgh and Inverness know why people have come and they go out of their way to provide the expected experience.  Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland.  Scotland is all about castles, kilts, whiskey, golf, clans and bagpipes.  Imagine anything associated with this and put it all in a store.  Now, put many of these stores together near the actual attractions themselves and you’ve got tourist central.

 In Inverness, you can add Loch Ness and “Nessy” the Loch Ness monster.  What the hell -- we bought whiskey, we saw the castles and before we’re done, we’ll visit a distillery or two.  We’ve eaten some really good food in Scotland.  Some of it was from other places.  For example, we had some really good Kurdish food in Edinburgh.  With all the restaurants, we ate there twice.  We’ve had some pretty good northern Indian food.  Naturally, I had to try some Scottish food.  So far, I’ve had haggis, tatties and neeps, black pudding, white pudding, lamb, lamb and more lamb.

Today, we saw the loch and the Urquhart castle, which is right on the Loch Ness.  The castle was originally started in the late 1100’s.  That’s over 900 years ago.  It gives one a bit of prospective on our history.  Back in those days, if you could put together an army, you had a chance of sacking a castle and becoming the lord of the land.  It was too tempting an option for some.  As a result, this castle stands in ruins.  I guess if the next guy can’t have it, nobody can.

Sometimes, I wish you could still get away with the old ways.  After my fill-up of diesel this morning, which cost us about $80 US, I’d like to sack an oil company and assume their assets.  I could promise my army a life of luxury.  About the only thing that isn’t more expensive around here is Scotch whiskey.  I’ll be bringing home a few bottles of that.

Tomorrow night, it’s back to London before we go to Spain.  It has been sunny and warm there every day for the last two weeks.  I guess they couldn’t keep that up forever.  They’re promising several days of rain when we get there.  Such are the risks of traveling in the fall.  On the other hand, we didn’t miss the fall colors, which are always so nice in Michigan.  They’re pretty damn nice in northern Scotland too.

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