Thursday, July 30, 2009

In Blarney Scotland!

I am still seeing plaid scarves, tartans and kilts a week after we left Edinburgh. I saw so many in those two days that my brain is aswirl with the patterns and colors of Scotland, land of the Lochness monster, malt whiskey and hagris (cow's stomach). The most amusing T-shirt in one of the tourist shops was a drunken Lochness monster, rising out of the lake in a a plaid tartan playing bagpipes. The most revolting thing was cow's stomach which is part of the traditional Scottish breakfast spread. Those who tasted it said, no, it does not taste like chicken.

By the way, you pronounce it Edinbura, something I would never have known had I not visited the place and pronounced it wrong to the locals. I was surprised at the number of foods The Scottish put malt whiskey in. The funniest one was fudge! The bookstores have whiskey tastings, like wine tastings in the United States. Yes, this is a my own generalization, but to me Scotland appears to be a country of jolly alcoholics, judging from the number of pubs on within spitting distance. Kind of like the number of Mormon churches in Orem, Utah.

In comparing the Scots to the English, which they don't like, it's quite a sensitive subject, you see, I find the Scots to be loud and lively, with a distinct sense of fun. The English are quiet and more reserved and don't like to call attention t to themselves. But the Scots seem not to mind the limelight.

Edinburgh Castle seems to be the crown jewel of the city. It also contains crown jewels worn by some of the monarchs, dating waaaay back into the nether reaches of time. It is where Mary Queen of Scots was born and crowned queen as a baby.

Three-hundred fifty pound cannon balls that must have obliterated everything in sight!

This little Scottish terrier is named Greyfriars Bobby. He is significant because in the 1850s or therabouts he was the epitome of loyalty to his master. When his master died and was buried in the local cemetery called Greyfriars, Bobby would lay on his grave every day for 14 years until he died himself. I bought the story and read it to the kids and immediately got choked up because I didn't realize such loyalty existed. As humans beings we visit graves of loved ones sporadically, maybe once a year, or maybe not, but now I want a Scottish terrier. I know, totally irrational, but I still want one.

THE cafe where J.K. Rowling wrote the first Harry Potter on napkins. It has a great view of Edinburgh Castle from the back where she wrote. Some of the students had lunch here, and reported that it is very good. It was fun to see the origins of Harry Potter.

Baa Baa White Sheep all over the hills. Talk about free range sheep! This is sheep country, and they are fat and fluffy, the happiest sheep on earth, apparently. All our sheep photos were taken from the bus window, and so they are a bit fuzzy--just like the sheep! I will have to rely on my sheep salt and pepper shakers as a ceramic reminder the real thing! Oh, and my cashmere scarf which I told Darren I would have FOR LIFE and that it was definitely worth the price. He said it would absolutely be worth the price if I didn't lose it, which is highly probable, I must admit.


Trisha said...

I'm just going to keep telling you this, but I'm getting way excited! How is your little apartment?

Suey said...

Didn't you just love the Scottish brogue? I could listen to them talk forever I think.

Catherine said...

Yes. Scottie Dogs are pretty cool. However, if I were you I'd get a West Highland White Terrior ("westie"). They're a lot like a Scottie Dog but they're white and have a better temperment :). Keep posting pics of your adventure. I'm really enjoying blog stalking you and reading all about the places you're visiting.

Macy said...

I love seeing your pictures! I feel so educated by reading your blog. :) I'm glad that you are having a great time!! We went to the Nauvoo pageant last week and listened to bagpipes for five days! It was fun to hear the "Scots" in the pageant, they have such fun accents.

The Boob Nazi said...
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Karen said...

Love seeing your pics and really wish I were there. Did you get to the Lake District yet? It really is lovely. If you get to Liverpool look up the Beatle's Museum and Naval Museum above it and go to a soccer game for Kevin. Also, Carys Irwin Bray is in Southport nearby and I am sure would love to see you.

Cathy said...

It looks wonderful! You have seen some awesome things and I am completely jealous. Good for you for buying the cashmere scarf, sounds fab.