I would've posted more photos by now, but I'm in the process of buying better photo editing software. Just not happy at all with what I've got to work with now. In the meantime, since I have been saying so many wonderful things about Scotland, I bet you're wondering if there was anything I didn't like. Well, a few minor things.
1. I'm sorry but Scots have no concept of what salad dressing is. Forget ranch, forget Caesar, forget Parmesan peppercorn. You will be lucky to get oil and vinegar or mayonnaise. I already knew they had a salad dressing deficiency, but one night at dinner in a hotel they served a great salad and nothing to put on it except salt. Hmm...
Me: Do you have salad dressing, salad cream, mayonnaise...anything to put on the salad?
Waitresses: [Blank look. Blink, blink.] Oh, just a moment.
A short time later, a bowl of mayonnaise showed up on the condiments table.
2. There is no such thing as iced tea in Scotland. (Excuse me, I'm Southern. I can't help it.) On the rare occasions when you do find iced tea, it comes out of a bottle.
3. Ice in drinks is rare in Scotland. If you have it, cherish it.
4. Sink faucets in restrooms everywhere, hotel rooms, restaurants, tourist attractions... The hot and cold water come out of two separate and very wide apart faucets, so warm water is only available for like ten seconds at most. Anytime I wanted to wash my face (which is morning and night) I had to get into the shower. My friend thought I was insane. Maybe I am. heehee
5. Though it has nothing to do with Scotland, since I'm on the subject of irritating things, I have to say how much I loathe airplane seats in coach. They are torture devices. My tailbone was sore for days.
6. I hate pheasant pate. (Yes, I tried it. Ugh.)
Things I didn't hate but found interesting:
1. Chicken salad is called chicken mayonnaise. (And it's very good.)
2. The only hamburger I ate while there tasted like a veggie burger. (Maybe it was.)
3. I LOVE shortbread cookies.
4. Their pot lids are so freaking heavy I couldn't pick one up. We were having breakfast in this hotel on Skye, and sitting with our guide. The scrambled eggs were in a pot on the buffet. And I kid you not, I could not lift the lid to dip some. Trust me, I'm not a weakling, but the only muscles one could use to lift it were the muscles of one hand and forearm because it was under a hood. It must have weighed 15 or 20 lbs. Solid iron. Anyway when I admitted my embarrassing shortcoming to my friend and our guide, they both raised brows and snickered. My friend will never let me live it down. But she didn't try lifting it!
5. Scottish bacon is like ham, and very good.
6. Scottish sausage links are as huge as salami (almost.) No, I didn't try one. They looked too much like... well... I can't say that here.
7. Each and every shower we encountered was a mystery and a puzzle. What fun figuring out how each one worked. Not! My friend alternately scalded or froze her feet. Once I got in there, I walked out of the bathroom carrying the knob from the tub faucet. Then we discovered it was unnecessary decoration.
8. The restroom is not called the restroom in Scotland. Nor is it called a bathroom. It's a toilet, pure and simple. Each toilet (commode) is also freakishly different from the one before but the flush lever is on the right side. One stainless steal one didn't even have a seat, nor was it supposed to.
9. I found the currency surprisingly easy to learn. You have your pound, which is roughly equal to slightly over 2 US dollars. This comes in a one pound coin, which is about the size of a quarter but thicker and pale goldish in color. There's also the 2 pound coin, which is slightly larger and has both bronze and silver on it. They don't use the word cents. It's pence. The coins are: one penny (very similar at first glance to our penny), two pence (larger and copper also), 5 pence (very similar in size and color to our dime), 10 pence (very similar in size and color to our quarter), 20 pence (a wee bit smaller than our quarter, and thinner, but with 7 sides. See, I almost said hexagonal.) Is there a 50 pence coin? I can't remember. Anyway, a hundred pence equals a pound. And the queen's head in profile is on almost every coin and every note except those issued in Scotland. As for notes, you have your five pound note (or bill? not sure the correct term here.) Then there's 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 50 pounds, and probably more but I don't have intimate experience with those large bills. So you see, it's very easy to figure out how to use the money of the UK.
10. A hamburger bun is called a bap.
11. Scots hate midges (tiny little gnats that bite) so much they write songs about them and refuse to wear kilts in their presence. Yes, we did encounter some midges in Ullapool. But from what I could tell, the midges are not nearly as bad as the gnats and mosquitoes of NC. For one thing, they're slower and a little bigger than your normal gnat, so you can feel them on your skin and swat them away before they bite. But maybe we weren't visiting during the swarm season.
12. While we're on the subject of insects... omigosh... I found a tick stuck on my leg, also in Ullapool. It was so tiny it was the size of a pen dot, or a pin head, take your pick. Never saw one that small before. I'm lucky I saw it at all. After getting it off I needed to know if it transmitted any deadly disease like Rocky Mountain spotted fever or lime disease so I tried to call our guide. Couldn't get him so I called the front desk. The man working there said "Oh, it will probably fall off during the night." Huh?? As if I'm going to wait for it to engorge itself and fall off?? No that's not what I said to him. But when I informed him I had already removed it, he said, "nothing to worry about then." I didn't come down with anything. Huge sigh. This should technically go up with the "things I disliked" section but my friend likes to tell it with the pot lid story.
If I think of any other must-have knowledge I'll let you know.