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Scotland in “summer” - a short travelblog


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Where to spend the real first summer vacations after the Covid hiatus - definitely not an easy question to answer. For reasons that might be disclosed later the Duvel family opted for Scotland. It was not an unanimous decision …


Nevertheless, there is sufficient food content that makes me feel comfortable to share some parts of this trip with you 🤗




Stay tuned …

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3 minutes ago, Duvel said:

Stay tuned …

I am on tenterhooks. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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With the decline of anti-Covid measures in Europe and the lift of travel restrictions, this summer looked like the perfect opportunity for a nice holiday. Little one insisted on going to Spain (which we declined because that was the only thing we’ve actually done in the last two years), I wanted to go to the Provence and my wife suggested Scotland. It took us quite a while to come to a conclusion (“happy wife, happy life”) and by mid of May we had finalized Scotland as our destination. Unfortunately, flight were rare and very expensive. Rental cars were not available (except for some options ~150 €/day, which wasn’t an option either. The destination Scotland seemed to drift away …


Duvel to the rescue: as we usually drive to Spain, why can’t we drive to Scotland ? We found a car ferry from Amsterdam (4.5h from here) to Newcastle (2h to Edinburg) and would just use our own car - problem solved ! Happiness last for a few days, when I got my wife’s distressed phone-call in the middle of a meeting “There are no reasonable hotels outside of Edinburgh available in August in Scotland” … 


It was true - everyone seemed to go to Scotland this summer. Quitting was not an option anymore, so the next weekend we drove to the closest camping store and got the finest equipment available. Finally, everyone was happy: my wife got to visit Scotland (and took several “Outlander” novels with her), little one got an adventure trip with sleeping in a tent, and I got camping cooking equipment to enjoy the trip by doing what I like best …



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2 weeks before our departure the little one brought Covid home from school. Three days later my wife caught it and exactly one week before our departure date I got sick as well …


Everyone recovered and my test showed a negative result the morning we started to drive to Amsterdam to take the ferry. I won’t lie - I was exhausted. Even driving seemed to tire me out. At the same time I was happy to be able to recover the next 2.5 weeks, which kept me going. We arrived on schedule, checked in and moved into our cabin (next to the life boats - safety first 🤗) …







For the night - instead of exploring the giant ferry - we confined ourselves to our room, enjoying some homemade pasta with meat sauce and played some games before having a very quiet and relaxing time en route to Newcastle …



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The ferry ride was smooth, as was the arrival in the UK. First night we wanted to “ease in” and had found one of the elusive hotels in Edinburgh. This was helped by the fact that a week later the Edinburg Festival Fringe would begin, so naturally everyone wanted to be there at that time, leaving a few options for us.


On the way to Edinburgh we passed Dryburgh abbey








And the nearby statue of William Wallace, looking over the countryside, searching for a decent actor to play him in biographical movies in the centuries to come …




We arrived at the hotel and my day was done. Literally. The rest of the family - after enjoying the indoor pool - walked to a nearby supermarket to organize our first “dinner” in Scotland … there was definitely room to improve 😝


Assorted snacks …




Cullen skink




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6 minutes ago, Shelby said:

This is so cool (and completely foreign) to me!  So, you drive your car onto the boat and park.  Then, you go to a room that has beds and you can cook in there--or at least heat meals up?  

That is correct. The ferry has a capacity of some 160 cars and because it is overnight travel (17.00h-9.00h) you have a cabin with bathroom. There is no kitchenette inside, but we heated the (homecooked) pasta in a heat resistant plastic bowl in the sink with very hot water …

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The next day I overslept. The other two were kind enough to let me sleep and headed out to the city center aline, leaving me a message and some more relaxation time 🤗


I joined them just around 13.00h. The city center was bustling, certainly helped by the unusually nice weather …






We looked out for a nice lunch option and found “The Last Drop” at the Grassmarket …








First pint on the island …




Oatcakes with smoked salmon







And for @Shelby: Haggis, neeps and tatties …




Little one wanted extra garlic bread 😋




After lunch we enjoyed the city center and little one was allowed to pick up a present for the holidays. He picked a Axolotl (from Jellycat - I love their toys, too)




Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to see the castle (but will do so on our way back home)



At night, nobody felt really hungry, so we made do with snacks again: couple of cheeses, bread & oatcakes (not pictured) and onion bhajis.




And - for my first time: Irn Bru, the Scottish national soda. 



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many thanks for reporting on you trip.


for a summer I traveled w my family 


England , Scotland,  both Irelands


i particularly enjoyed the demolished 


Abbies .   well kept grounds


very quiet Remains.


I was also taught how to drink 


Scotch .  


by an Earl no less 


I was 17.  


didn't really care for it.


it did help w the Cold. in 





Edited by rotuts (log)
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Leaving Edinburgh behind the following day, we headed towards Stirling Castle. A vast complex, difficult to capture in its entirety …



I think that pink chandelier was on offer at IKEA once …




Cannonball !




Castle with a view …




My crest 🤭




And my job …




Walking through the halls makes one feel like a king, so little one got his royal moment in the great hall …




After the visit we continued our trip towards the Loch Lomond National Park and stopped in the town of Callander. Little one was famished and we decided to head for a fish and chips shop. 




Haddock - fresh and delicious …




Squid - equally nice




There were also some battered shrimps that somewhat didn’t get their picture taken. Maybe because little one inhaled them …


After that we enjoyed a small hike through the surroundings.






I felt a bit tired and we decided to stay overnight. Much to my surprise I learned that the local camping grounds do not allow tents to be pitched. You either come with your caravan or mobile camping unit, or rent a “barrel”. Luckily, they had a cancellation and we snatched it up.













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When I was in Scotland in 1980, visiting castles was not on the agenda but eating, hiking and drinking were! I liked haggis the time I had an opportunity to try it, but you're coming up with foods I missed. Thank you for explaining and/or providing links to Stovies and Cullen Sink; they look like something I'd like to try. And how could one go wrong with fish and chips? 


"The Last Drop" isn't what I thought it meant, either! That's a very clever pub name.


Good on you all for your creative adaptability!

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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