Driving on the left. Fish and Chips. And Haggis
My husband and I arrived in Edinburgh at 9:15 am on a Friday, July 22nd from Tallinn, Estonia flying on Adria air. It was a long walk from the terminal to the rental car wing of the airport. We went to the Europcar service desk and met with Gerry. Gerry offered us an upgrade from a compact car with manual transmission to a Volkswagen Golf turbo diesel with auto transmission for only an extra €70. We ended up saving that much and more on petrol over the course of our 2-week road trip adventure so kudos to Gerry from Europcar.
After loading the car with luggage and getting comfortable with the car, You know the whole steering wheel on the right side and driving on the left side of the road thing. Anyways I can’t count how many times I put on my windshield wipers when attempting to put on the signal. But we did the same on our Ireland Road Trip. 🙂
Our plan was to leave Edinburgh airport and head up to Loch (Lake) Lomond and Loch (Lake) Long for our first night stay at Rowantreebank B&B . The drive took us about 1 hour and 45 minutes and we covered about 80 miles. Our B&B was located right across the street from Loch Long. Our host named Dave was very warm and welcoming. He gave us a brief introduction to the town and offered a highly recommended suggestion for fish and chips at a place called Ben Arthur’s Bothy. I had a craving for fish and chips and my husband was dying to try the haggis.
After we took a 40-minute hike up into the hills we decided it was time to fill our bellies with our first taste of Scottish food. We walked into the pub and noticed there was seating inside and outside right next to the Loch. We asked about eating outside and the bartender told us that you order and pay for your drinks and food from the bar and they will bring the food out to us. This was a pretty common way of doing things in Scotland and we grew to enjoy the ease of paying first and waiting for our food while sipping on wine and ciders.
Being this was our first time in Scotland we had some questions for the bartender. Let’s just say his responses were great. We’re still cracking up. Here is a bit of our conversation:
Q: “So what kind of whiskey do you recommend?”
A: “I don’t drink whiskey… (pause) but everyone seems to like this one (pointing to a bottle on the shelf).” Okay that was the first bit. “Okay, I will try that one.
Q2: How is the haggis?”
A: “I don’t know. I don’t eat haggis. But people around here seem to like it.” That was the second bit. Now for the finale,
Q3: “How does tipping work here in Scotland?”
A: “We used to take tips here at the bar and everyone would share them. Then there were some problems so the owners decided that they would take any tips left. So if you leave a tip you’re pretty much throwing yer money in the garbage.” – said with the thick Scottish accent.
My husband and I smiled and placed our order for a glass of wine, a draft cider, a glass of whiskey, haggis fritters and two orders of fish and chips with mushy peas. (See the exclusive Scottish Mushy peas recipe here). We headed outside and found a picnic bench right on Loch Long. We both shared some laughs about the hilariously sarcastic bartender. After about 10 minutes or so our food arrived. This is when we realized 1 order of fish and chips would have sufficed. Check out the size of that fish. Oh yah and the haggis fritters were amazing. My husband was in heaven. Overall our fist impression of Scotland was great. Awesome views, nice people, and delicious food.
I rocked My Mackenzie kilt in Scotland
Ben Arthur’s Bothy Pub near Arrochar, Scotland
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