My friends thought I was crazy...
My friends thought I was crazy when I told them that I planned to visit Scotland in spring. They said all I would see would be rain, rain, rain... Well, the next pictures will prove the opposite. I went to Scotland via ferry from Rotterdam and was rewarded with the first breathtaking sunset over the Channel. And later after I had arrived, I started touring around Scotland for two weeks. Probably the best time I had this year. I love Scotland. It offers everything from cultural events and highlights to purest countryside and busy towns to lonely landscape. I went north and then west along the coast to the North and the Northern 'highway' west and down the East-coast to the Isle of Skye and via Pitlochry in Central Scotland back to the ferry-harbour Kingston-upon-Hull. Take a look at some of the pictures. Then you will certainly understand why I love Scotland so much. Well, and don't forget the friendly Scots(wo)men!!! Edinburgh Castle with the Whisky Heritage Center and the small shops and alleys in the city-centre.
Haggis, Tatties & Neaps
Haggis is not something eaten on a regular basis in Scotland (so I understand) but is offered in many cafes to keen travellors looking to try this 'national dish'. At formal ocassions there is great ceremony over the carving of the haggis including poem as the formal speech. If you are keen you try this dish just so you can say that you have. It is often served as Haggis, Tatties & Neaps or Haggis with potatoe & turnips (both mashed).
I have to admit that I want to visit it because of Da Vinci Code's book, such a mysterious place with a lot of secrets. Well, Dan Brown may put a lot of fiction on it, but the chapel indeed has a lot of secrets that have not been revealed yet.
Rosslyn is a small town about 40 mins from Edinburgh and actually not only famous with its chapel but also because of Dolly, the famous clone sheep, that was cloned in Rosslyn Institute.
There is a tour guide at 11am (March 2008) which gives you an interesting history of the chapel..
Grassmarket and Victoria...
Grassmarket and Victoria Street.Victoria Street, the West Bow, Candlemaker Row, Grassmarket and the West Port is essential shopping. This delightful area sometimes goes unnoticed by those who stick close to the Mile yet it is rich in the unexpected: luxurious leather luggage, Scottish silver and goldsmiths, an old-fashioned brush shop. You might not want a brush to take home but a wooden spirtle with carved thistle would fit nicely into the suitcase. There are also antique prints, stylish raincoats, polished Scottish stones, old books, objects from almost every corner of the world and even fossils off the shelf. You can discover Byzantium, too - a collective of stalls with antiques, clothes, books, rugs, prints, on the first floor and coffee in the gallery.
The Grassmarket itself and the adjoining streets have a great choice of eating places from expensive restaurants to French eateries, American diners and historic pubs. If you still crave for that elusive gift or a self-indulgence this area is bound to satisfy your need. Beside the exclusive antique shops with the beautifully polished furniture you will find Scotland's kite, juggling, yoyo and circus shop. And if that's not enough, Aztec tiles, furniture from south America, jewellery from Nepal lie cheek by jowl with postcards, pottery and traditional Scottish gifts: and even more clothes and exotic sweaters. Don't forget the West Port either for a wealth of books.
The Grassmarket was also the scene of public hangings and the site of the gallows is now marked by a plaque.
A Czech bar?
I stumbled upon the Pivo Café. A popular bar near the center of town, this nightspot was disappointing to me. It bills itself as Czech by its wide selection of Czech beer, absinthe, and bathroom signs in Czech, but it failed to carry any Becherovka and there wasn’t one Czech person in there. Not even the bartenders were remotely Czech. How disappointing! Any