After two days in Amsterdam we boarded yet another plane - this time to London Heathrow followed by one more to Edinburgh, Scotland.
There, we rented a car with the steering wheel on the right side, pulled out of the parking lot, screamed quite a bit at the oncoming traffic until we swerved back over to the left side of the road, and relaxed just in time to arrive at our bed and breakfast for the night.
All of that city driving on the wrong side of the road was stressful. We needed to relax. We hailed a cab and were shuttled over to BrewDog.
Every booth was full and the bar was lined with thirsty revelers.
We grabbed a flight.
Every beer they offered, plus a small sip of Dog B – an imperial stout that comes in at 15.1%ABV.
Dinner was the charcuterie plate since they were unfortunately out of pizza dough. No brewery tours were taken, but we all loved the atmosphere of the tasting room, and the beer was blissful and powerful. We strolled back to the B&B through the chilly rain and fell asleep to the creaking sounds of the radiator.
French press coffee for breakfast. Have you ever tried oatcakes? They’re like really thin horse treats. I don’t recommend them…
After breakfast we screamed our way down the road to visit the Edinburgh Castle.
The grand entrance full of people taking selfies.
The house on the right is an actual residence. Nothing like waking up to tourists peering in your windows!
The beautiful view looking out over the defense walls.
The front of the grand hall. We got to see the actual crown jewels and Stone of Destiny. No pictures were allowed of those, unfortunately.
Dead puppies, dead puppies, dead puppies aren’t much fun. (Pet cemetery).
After a few hours and large soy mochas, we hopped back in the car to head over to our final destination: Oban.
We passed by too many castles and fortresses to count.
The roads in Scotland are narrow and windy with no shoulders and a speed limit of 60mph. The view was beautiful when I was able to tear my eyes away from the windshield.
We pulled over for a breather and for lunch at a little standalone building on the side of the road.
The Golden Larches.
Quaint and cozy inside. It was wonderful to warm up and escape the rain that was yet again falling outside. Who would’ve thought: rain in Scotland.
Toasties! After having one in Amsterdam, I had to get another.
Tuna melt with crisps. Simple and delicious.
Beautiful restaurant, friendly owners and delicious food. That’s all you need.
We weaved through the canyons, past train bridges and dozens of lochs.
We arrived at the adorable Dalrannoch Farm bed and breakfast run by the sweet Irene and her husband Fred. Not a bad view.
We unpacked our things and drove up the road a few miles to the Creagan Inn for dinner.
Baked goat cheese salad with walnuts and balsamic drizzle. No haggis or blood pudding was consumed on this trip.
And some local brews.
My shower at the B&B was a disco party. Awesome.
We went to downtown Oban the next day.
We visited the Oban Distillery and grabbed a few bottles to take home with us as gifts. Gifts for us AND gifts for others.
For lunch we went to Ee-Usk – a seafoodery overlooking the harbor. Fyne Ales for lunchbeer – everything we tried on this trip was sessionable except for BrewDog. We were even warned by one of the waitresses that “this beer is quite strong. It’s about 5.4%”. Hehe, Europeans are so cute.
And fish ‘n chips for foods. The pouring rain and icy winds continued, but with the wonderful brews and hot air, we didn’t mind.
Eggs at the grocery store. Outside of the US and Canada, very few countries refrigerate their eggs. These were sitting in the aisle next to the bread.
We worked our way up the coast a little and arrived at the Dunollie Castle – ruins located right down the road from the town. The sun finally broke through.
The son of the current clan chief still resides at the house built on the lands back in 1745.
Inside the ruins.
The stairs leading up to the third level were blocked off for safety reasons.
One of few walls remaining.
Yet another beautiful view.
The next day, we drove farther up the coast to visit Loch Ness and Nessie.
Breathtaking. Between the drive and the views, I was out of oxygen.
A castle tower peeking through the eucalyptus trees.
We had lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant.
No sign of Nessie. Perhaps next time.
On the way back to the farm, we were met with another stunning view of yet another castle. This one is on the island in the middle of the bay, and apparently you can walk to it during low tide.
Our final dinner in Oban was spent at The Glue Pot – tough steak and onion rings accompanied by McEwan’s Export Scottish Ale and a glass of single malt Miltonduff. We drove back to Edinburgh the next morning to prepare for our flights home the following day.
One final European hurrah – Cask and Barrel Southside in downtown Edinburgh. Eight casks and eight taps.
So many beautiful beer engines!
I got a Deuchars IPA on cask. Silky smooth and cellar temperature.
Followed by a Dark Munro.
This was possibly my favorite beverage place of all. We curled up in the corner and spent the afternoon people watching while slowly savoring our beers.
And so sums up my trip to Europe! Stay tuned for some new recipes coming up next week! Prost!