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Scotland, or Tattties, Haggis, and Neeps

UNITED KINGDOM | Monday, 6 July 2009 | Views [583] | Comments [4]

Dinner at Loch Lomond

Dinner at Loch Lomond

We left Edinburgh airport, following the on-time, seamless arrival of the Ashland Jensens, in a foggy drizzle…but why not?  It’s Scotland!  And headed straight for the place where our superior knowledge of all things Catholic, Magdalene, Knights Templar, sacerdotal, patriarchal, sacred and profane served us well.  We entered the hallowed ground of Rosalyn Chapel, the site of the final scenes in “TheDaVinci Code”.  It was an extraordinary place even w/o the novel: ancient, intricate, tortured, beautiful, mysterious, amazing.  And we were informed by the docent in a slightly irritated tone that Dan Brown has never visited Rosalyn Chapel…although their annual visitor numbers rose from 40K to over 175K after the novel’s publication.  And then off to our next stop, the ruins of the Jedburgh Abbey, with the master wheelman, Vinnie, motoring adroitly down the narrow byways on the wrong (left) side of the road.  Jedburgh Abbey, so poignantly demonstrating the rise and fall of spirituality, power, corruption, state supported religion, Henry the Eighth’s anti clerical (Catholic) destruction, common man’s backbreaking labor and the architectural prowess was a marvel.  And then on to the infamous Scottish-English Borderlands...where its history highlights the fact that terrorism and constant intergenerational violence are not a modern invention.  The Scots honed such human interaction to a fine art as they waged war with continuous and unrelenting fervor against the all too willing English invaders.   The much glorified “reivers” were vilified by both sides as mere bandits and cut-throats masquerading as “freedom fighters”.  How many times have we seen this disingenuous façade in modern times?  Enter Mary, Queen of Scots.   After a life of subterfuge and political turmoil, she was held under house arrest in Scotland for over 18 years by Elizabeth the First and then executed by beheading (it took two strokes of  the executioner’s ax…talk about fail!).  The betrayals, the intrigue, the three husbands, the claims and counter claims, the religion, the subsequent death and collateral mayhem…one doesn’t quite get how the Scottish and English have morphed into such a docile and courteous culture given such a history of unbridled butchery!  Perhaps at some point they said, “Enough already”. Our first B and B was a lovely converted stone barn appointed with every refinement, finish work and convenience even down to the steam heated towel rack.  Introduced to the uniformly served Scottish/English breakfast: lightly baked tomato slices, sautéed mushrooms, one egg fried, Canadian bacon, small sausages, coffee or tea, toast with marmalade.  One has never seen so many rock fences.   Makes New England look like child’s play.  There must be thousands of miles of well-built, ancient rock fences in Scotland. Leaning against Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, England on a very warm, late afternoon…the sheep are bleating, across the fence, the kids (two per ewe) get about 15 frantic seconds on the milk faucet and then an impatient mommy walks away.  Sheep are everywhere in stunning numbers and varieties…white, black speckled, cute, ugly, curly-horned, stubby horned, shorn and shaggy.  How much wool and lamb chops can the world consume?   The third day we hiked for seven miles along Hadrian’s Wall, built circa 120 A.D. by the Romans to keep the wild Scots tribes at bay…running almost 80 miles along the Scottish/English border, its durability and engineering is a testimony to the power and grandeur of the Roman Empire.  Some of our menu items have included: wild boar and duckling pie, blood pudding, haggis, ubiquitous lamb something, ploughman’s lunch, and Yorkshire pudding.

          Quiz #1  Answer the question.

                   While enjoying her dinner in a small pub

                   Carol near broke a tooth and there be the rub

                        She broke her tooth not

                        On two pieces of shot

                   Pray tell, what was it she had for her grub?

On our fourth day we launched up the road the entire breadth of the country to the west coast and Culzean Castle which is definitely not a “ruin” but an incredibly well-preserved manor castle with all of the furniture, portraits, weaponry, kitchens, etc preserved as if the noble family had just walked out.  And then up the road, with Vinnie masterfully worming us through the Glasgow rush hour in the rain to the banks of Loch Lomond, where we will spend two days.

 

Comments

1

We apologize for the long delay inbetween posts...Nellie didn't get us....we have been searching for Killed Jesus statues...

  Anita the Annihilator Jul 6, 2009 3:59 AM

2

Anita! This new post is so verbose! You must have recieved the "gift of the gab" from the Scottish (ok, i know that's Irish but...whatev!)Good to see a new post!

  Beth Jul 6, 2009 6:15 AM

3

OK, OK, you win, Nellie!

I see that guessing the blog authorship is not so difficult after all. Good to see you guys up and running.

I'd guess that a bone from one of those cute little duckies made its way into Carol's pie...

  Bernie Jul 6, 2009 10:15 AM

4

Was Carol sampling the local grouse, perhaps?

And who's Nellie??

  Philip Jul 6, 2009 11:45 AM

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