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Castles, Glens, and Black Pudding

By Rachel Farrington

On our first night in Scotland we arrived to a campsite in an isolated area of the west coast where a burly Scotsman greeted Jonah with a rough "Guid eenin! Hou's it gaun lad?". He knew exactly what to say when he didnt understand--"Mi dispiace, non parlo italiano". We all had a good kick out of it after I explained it to the poor guy.

We enjoyed one day at beautiful Culzean Castle on the edge of a sea cliff and then one more day driving through famous Glen Coe. The people of Scotland have been our favorite of any people so far; they are incredibly warm, funny, and quirky.

That night we spent at a bizarre hotel in Oban which had animal heads, strange art, plants, and objects from around the world covering every square inch of the Herman Munster-looking manor. That morning we had a full Scottish breakfast including black pudding. We told the waitress how much we liked it but she refused to tell us its ingredients--we found out later it is dried and congealed pigs blood.

We enjoyed the scenery of the highlands but it was pretty familiar in the fall when it really looked a lot like a small version of the Rockies. Im sure it's much different in the summer when everything is green, but as it was we decided to cut Scotland short and head back down to the Lakes of England. We spent 3 more days there climbing fells and sitting by high tarns. Mark and I feel such a connection to this place!


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