Scotland: St. Andrews

We went to St. Andrews on Easter Sunday, 2014, and saw some marvelous sites!

St. Andrews Cathedral

St. Andrews Cathedral

East Sands

East Sands

St. Andrews Castle

St. Andrews Castle

Sedimentary rock with gulls nesting.

Sedimentary rock with gulls nesting.

St. Andrews Castle

St. Andrews Castle

Another building with a clock on it!

Another building with a clock on it!

Ears Pierced while you wait! At a church!

Ears Pierced while you wait! At a church!

Pretty building!

Pretty building!

Fart joke!

Fart joke!

More chimneys than you can shake a stick at!

More chimneys than you can shake a stick at!

A huge red building I forgot the name of.

A huge red building I forgot the name of!

 

Scotland: Pretty Places in Aberdeen

Some fun photos I took in Aberdeen, Scotland in April 2014.

Cool alley, Patagonian Court.

Cool alley, Patagonian Court.

Our awesome hotel, Skene House Whitehall.

Our awesome hotel, Skene House Whitehall.

Do Not Disturb sign

Do Not Disturb sign

Chimneys!

Chimneys!

Aberdeen Art Gallery has some really good art. I liked it better than the one in Edinburgh.

Aberdeen Art Gallery has some really good art. I liked it better than the one in Edinburgh.

One foggy morning

One foggy morning

Lovely litter near train tracks.

Lovely litter near train tracks.

A stunning array of waste bins.

A stunning array of waste bins. Oh and cool, spiky-topped buildings, too.

 

Scotland: Pretty Places in Edinburgh

So many cool-looking places, so little time! Here is a smattering of photos I took during my trip in April 2014.

Edinburgh Castle as seen from the garden at St. John's Cathedral

Edinburgh Castle as seen from the garden at St. John’s Cathedral

Ghillie-Dhu

Ghillie-Dhu

The Caledonian

The Caledonian

The People's Story on the Royal Mile

The People’s Story on the Royal Mile

Cowgate!

Cowgate!

The view outside our flat on Blair St

The view outside our flat on Blair St on a rainy day.

Grand Lodge

Grand Lodge

Collanade on Calton Hill

Collanade on Calton Hill

View of Edinburgh from Calton Hill

View of Edinburgh from Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Calton Hill

Rose St

Rose St

St. Giles Cathedral

St. Giles Cathedral

Scott Monument

Scott Monument

The Scotsman

The Scotsman

 

Scotland: Gluten-free

"Hey! It's really freakin' hot in here!" Sorry gluten-free bread, but you are much better toasted.

“Hey! It’s really freakin’ hot in here!”
Sorry gluten-free bread, but you are much better toasted.

A couple of years ago I went gluten-free. After feeling much better and losing some weight, too, I decided to experiment on myself, and I learned that I am not so severely effected by gluten that I must avoid all cross-contamination lest a single wheat crumb send me to the hospital. (Such people are out there, and I feel for them, and hope they can get the respect for their condition that they deserve in this climate of gluten-free pseudo-trendiness that has currently beset our culture).

I had heard that some people like myself who just have some gluten-intolerance but not a full blown case of celiac disease can safely eat the wheat products in Europe without ill effects. This apparently has something to do with the increased amount of cross-breeding and hybridization that American wheat has undergone, but European wheat has not (at least not to such a degree). So on my recent trip to Scotland I experimented on myself again, and tried wheat products at least six different times. Part of the time, I felt the effects of gluten (increased hunger, lethargy and/or foggy brain) and part of the time I did not.

In conclusion, I am resolved to continue eating gluten-free for now, but I know that small amounts will not cause a huge problem for me.

Meanwhile, I’d like to share a picture of my favorite gluten-free bread that I could only find at Tesco stores in Scotland. It’s their own brand.

smallIMG_3935TescoBread

 

Scotland: Foods and More Foods

The thing I enjoy most about traveling to a new place is trying foods I can’t get easily at home. Here are the good, the bad and the scary I encountered on my recent trip to Scotland.

My favorite snack

My favorite snack: oatcakes with Red Leicester cheese.

Sea buckthorn gelato…what mango would taste like if it were a citrus fruit.

Sea buckthorn gelato…what mango would taste like if it were a citrus fruit.

Chicken flavored potato chips?

Chicken flavored potato chips?

When my kid and I ordered "cheddar cheese and pickles" sandwiches, we were both imagining green dill pickle slices, not pink chutney or whatever that stuff was.

When my kid and I ordered “cheddar cheese and pickles” sandwiches, we were both imagining green dill pickle slices, not pink chutney or whatever that stuff was.

Cullen Skink…a smoked haddock chowder of sorts…pretty yum.

Cullen Skink…a smoked haddock chowder of sorts…pretty yum.

Steak Pie

Steak Pie

I didn't know what it was but tried it anyway. Later learned it was a giant caper.

I didn’t know what it was but tried it anyway. Later learned it was a giant caper.

Pigeon meat…not yum.

Pigeon meat…not yum.

Venison stew…yum.

Venison stew…yum.

Haggis covered with keeps & tatties (turnip and potato mash)…very good actually.

Haggis covered with neeps & tatties (turnip and potato mash)…very good actually.

In Aberdeen we went to Pizza Express, where I kept seeing "rocket" on the menu. It's just what they call "arugula," and apparently it can be used as a pizza topping.

In Aberdeen we went to Pizza Express, where I kept seeing “rocket” on the menu. It’s just what they call “arugula,” and apparently it can be used as a pizza topping.

Bangers and mash…pretty tasty, but weird texture on the bangers.

Bangers and mash…pretty tasty, but weird texture on the bangers.

Cloudy lemonade.

Cloudy lemonade.

One of the many unusual chip (I mean, "crisp") flavors.

One of the many unusual chip (I mean, “crisp”) flavors.

HP Sauce, whatever it is exactly, it makes a fried egg cracking good.

HP Sauce, whatever it is exactly, it makes a fried egg cracking good.

Mysterious Brown Sauce.

Ubiquitous Brown Sauce.

Eggs are kept unrefrigerated.

Eggs are kept unrefrigerated.

More wacky crisp flavors.

More wacky crisp flavors.