Tweed, haggis and bicycles

We went to Scotland.

The lowlands and Edinburgh was our destination. A few days in April filled with tweed, bicycles, haggis and drinks. You always hear about rainy Scotland and the cold weather. But for us this time, it was like any sun vacation around the Mediterranean sea. Sunny, warm and very nice weather.

The days was focused on tweed safari, visiting Harris Tweed shops, Walker Slater, woollen mill outlets. Observing ladies and gentlemen using tweed as everyday cloths. We were amazed by how natural so many used different tweed clothings, jackets, suits, coats, skirts, scarf’s, hats and caps. They where not going by the rules of the modern fashion icons. The tweed people used their own mind, to create a look that represents the person wearing the clothes. Instead of being a follower of fashion, where the clothes shows who you pretend to be.

Just sitting outside in the sunshine at an pub located at Grass market, looking at the display of all people waling by was real treat. Almost as an cat walk. Sadly the weather forecast told us that it would be rainy and cold upon arrival. So, I decided not to use my own Harris Tweed jacket. That was a bad mistake for my part. Since the spring had arrived in sunny Edinburgh. The birds was singing and trees was blooming. A tweed jacket had been the right choice! Instead I had my winter jacket, that made me look like a polar explorer.

Edinburgh is a town build upon hills. Streets, stairs, up and down. Having a tea in Princess street gardens, a glass of locally brewed ale at Tollbooth tavern on Canongate or trying a small Whiskey at an pub on Cowgate. A nice town with lots of atmosphere and things to see, parks to visit and steep streets to walk. Of course, there were bicycles to. The regular ones but there were some interesting ones standing here and there to. You had to look around a little to see them.
Among others there was a display outside a coffee shop. It was a rusty British roadster, all original with rear coil springs with a front loop leather seat. Typical rod brakes and a delivery carrier mounted in the front. It was a real beauty!
Then we had the modern rat bicycle with fat tires, a Sögreni style chain guard and turned down handlebars. Many of the special and classical bicycles we noticed, were used as commercial eye cathchers. The best example we saw was the rusty worn old racer that had commercials for a repair centre where then learn you how to repair things (sadly not bicycles, more furnitures), all over the bicycle.

What about the food I hear you ask? Of course, Haggis! The traditional Scottish dish. In short, it was available everywhere, from the traditional serving, to the modern style. You could have an traditional Haggis with “neeps and tatties” or you could have it as breakfast along the sausages, beans, tomatoes and eggs. Or why not try it as a hamburger? There were all ways of serving haggis. We found one place that served the haggis burger with the option of sausages on top. That was a bit to much for us. So we settled only with “bangers and mash”, fish and chips or one of all pies that was on the menu.
But the Scotch egg is a real treat! So strange, yet so perfect. It is an hard boiled egg placed inside a layer of sausage meat, then coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. Absolutely delicious!

In short, it was a good visit. It was 4 years since my last visit to the United Kingdom, but my first visit in Scotland.
Will I return? Tweed, haggis and bicycles? Of course!

But the next time I will use my tweed jacket.