27 April 2010

Scotland Day 4: Road Trip Day 2: Lochcarron to Oban

I forgot to mention that we had dinner in Plockton on Day 4, and Alej had the haggis. I should also mention that there were appetizer portions she was eating. It wasn't like every meal she had in Scotland was haggis. I had a taste of them all. The one in Plockton was better than the one at the Stag's Head.

The B&B we stayed at in Lochcarron was run by a really nice lady named Kirstie. She put hot water bottles in our beds. What a sweetheart. There's nothing nicer on a chilly night than a hot water bottle. I'm a total hot water bottle convert now. I'm going to buy one for myself.

Monday morning C had to do some sampling for her work. That worked out well because it was raining and we wouldn't have wanted to be outside anyway. We had lunch at an awesome little Bistro in Lochcarron. I had the best squash soup I have ever had (and they say nobody goes to Scotland for the food. "They" obviously never had squash soup at that little bistro in Lochcarron whose name I can't recall).

After lunch we went to Eilean Donan castle on Loch Druich. It had stopped raining by this point but it was wicked windy, and therefore cold. You've probably seen Eilean Donan before - it's a pretty iconic Scottish castle. It has a satisfyingly brutal history, complete with heads on pikes. It's been destroyed and rebuilt many times throughout its lifetime. More recently, in the 30s, it was fixed up and lived in by the MacRae-Gilsap family. So, while the outside is all classic castle, the inside has been recreated to its 1930s glory. That part was a bit of a let down. There was lots of beautiful furniture, and fantastic views, but I guess I wanted more of  medieval, cold, and drafty castle experience.

There were two really weird things about the castle, and I don't have pictures of then because there was no photography allowed. Kimm-my, you've been there - maybe these things stood out to you too. The first is that they've recreated the kitchen and furnished with wax human figures. It's supposed to be a busy kitchen scene, so there are people making food, doing dishes, stoking the fire, and the lady of the house is standing by making sure everything is done right. The room is full of fake food - and it was the most disgusting fake food I have ever seen. C described it as real food, that was allowed to rot slightly, then shellacked. It was the most unappetising fake food I had ever seen.

The second weird thing about the castle is that it was full of family pictures, like school photos and wedding pictures of the MacRae-Gilsap descendants. Except that wasn't explained anywhere and we had to ask someone what was up with all the photos. It was odd to see such personal items at such  busy tourist spot.

After the castle we got on the road to Oban. We stopped on the way to take pictures of highland cows. The didn't really like me and eventully ran away. However, before they ran away, they did that creepy cow thing where every cow in the field stops what it's doing and stares at you. It freaks me out when cows do that.

We stayed at another B&B that night (let me tell you, B&Bs are to Scotland as Doughnut shops are to Candains: there is more per capita than anywhere else in the world). Alej tried another haggis that night. I believe it was rated the best of the haggises (spelling?) thus far.


Kimm-my said...

I was there... but true to my vacationing fashion... i was not there during tourist season... the castle wasn't open in february... or it wasn't open the day we were there or something... the gift shop type place was open and we could walk around the outside of the castle but we couldn't go in. So sadly I didn't see the wax people and bad fake food and family pics... so until you just spoiled it for me I had imagined it as a drafty medieval castle... thanks

Ellie Fish said...

Aw, I'm sorry Kimm. I should start posting spoiler warnings on my vacation posts. If you haven't been inside the Glasgow gallery, you might want to skip the post that's coming up in a couple of days.