August 1, 2011

Up-late Update

I'm quite exhausted from having my first meal of haggis (yay!) at a Polish bar tonight. I am delighted (and amazed) to say it was delicious. It might've helped that is was sort of ground up like hamburger, then molded into a layer over mashed turnips and potatoes, forming this beautiful little cylinder of multicolored country food over a delicious brown brandy sauce with grilled onion. Pretty much identical to this:

I do not own the rights to this photo.
It really was quite good -- I'd even go so far to say it was delicious. This bar also had over 100 kinds of vodka, carefully recommended to us by a brilliant waitress. I tried some stuff that tasted just like peppermint candy. It was like the candy cane version of limoncello. Cheers to Miss Julia Sears for a good rec from last year's trip [The Whiskey and Haggis Shop, for those interested.]

Yesterday we visited Duane Castle as a group. We also toured Loch Lomond and saw the Highlands. I didn't find these nearly as interesting as the castle, but I've never been one for guided tours myself -- I want to explore on my own schedule!!


The castle itself has been featured in several movies and books. Most notably...

"Your mother was a HAMSTER...!"
By total accident we bypassed the ticket counter and let ourselves into the courtyard (you can see a pretty cool floor plan of this place here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Doune_Castle_plan.png) From the courtyard you can continue upstairs into the kitchen, and from there I was off like a rocket ducking in and out of everywhere possible. It was only after I'd explored the entire thing that I realized we'd essentially stolen our way in. Woops!

Taken after the fact.

If any one ever goes, know that it's worth paying for -- it's a fairly cheap ticket, I think -- because you can go almost everywhere and they haven't destroyed its authenticity with silly museums, hoaky recordings, and reproduced furniture. You get to imagine how everything might've been arranged and what the purpose of each room was. I like that.



I think this was part of the kitchen.


We're ready for our haggis!

"I ha' done na-thin' of enny sin!"




The lavatories were a great find. You sneak around this little corner, and there's this square-shaped hole/chute on a nice little throne. You flip up the board and you just release straight into the courtyard. If you were standing in the wrong place in the wrong time...well, you know.



 I crept around a lookout corner -- one of those inexplicable nooks that just has a little notch of a window for shooting arrows through or something -- and found this little guy. I think we scared each other.



The road to...
the roof!!!
Somewhere around here I started thinking this whole free tour thing was too good to be true. I started snapping pictures like crazy, just in case they came to cart me off not-dead-yet or burn me at the stake for witchcraft-ing my way past the toll counter.


That little hut looks like how I imagined Hagrid's.

A me-sized nook. I just loved these.

DUANE CASTLE!!

 Something else interesting I found today, at the William Wallace memorial:

is that a leech or a really boss-looking slug?? It was doing this sort of creepy breathing thing while it sat there on the trail. I gave it a slight poke and it exposed its underbelly to me and it had one of those long leechy-looking suckers on it, and no antennae... Any guesses? I kind of just want to believe it's a leech cause it's so gross and exciting.

More tomorrow! Elephant House for breakfast! ;)

1 comment:

  1. I went all giddy over the haggis pic. All needs must know of this wondrous gift the polish and Scottish have melded to form.

    ReplyDelete