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Scotland: Faeries, Nessie, & Kelpies

Fact, Fiction, Whiskey & Beer

Scotland has 38,000 lochs (lakes). Some are fresh water and are landlocked. Others run into the sea. Loch Ness is the second largest loch in the Scottish Highlands. Situated in the Great Glen, the fresh water Loch runs from Inverness in the north to Fort William in the south. Loch Ness is approximately 25 miles long and incredibly deep, 750 feet at its deepest point. The depth plus the high peat content explain why the water is so dark it is almost black. It is here in the murky, dark water where "Nessie" hides. She is the infamous creature who is also known as the Loch Ness Monster. She occasionally makes appearances both in and out of the water. Stories about her sightings usually begin with a pub and there's whiskey involved. Whether or not you believe in Nessie, Loch Ness is one of a series of interconnected bodies of water in Scotland and it, like all the Lochs I saw, is spectacular. The water, the mountains, the rolling clouds reflecting on the Loch, the mist, and the fog are ever-changing and cast a spell that make you want to stay and binge watch forever.
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Scotland has a rich history of mythical creatures such as Nessie. Maybe it's the mystical scenery, or the wild and remote land. Or it could be the beer and whiskey that lead to creative stories told late into the night. Regardless, Nessie is just one of many creatures the Scots are more than happy to explain with entertaining tales. The kelpie is an animal that tricks you into thinking it is a horse. But beware…kelpies are mean! They are shape-shifting spirits who live in the water. The kelpie often appears as a tame pony beside a river. These water horses can also appear in human form. They may materialize as a beautiful young woman who hopes to lure young men to their death. If you are fooled, you will get dragged into the water and meet your doom. Scottish stories never have happy endings. Walt Disney would have been an epic fail here.

Other popular stories tell about the faeries. To be clear: we are not talking about Tinker Bell. Scottish faeries are mean and hate humans. There are faerie traps all over the country. They are openings in the earth that, should you explore them, you will be kidnapped and held prisoner. You might well disappear for centuries like Rip Van Winkle. Faerie Glen on the Isle of Skye is an enchanted place. There is no definitive folklore linking the land to the faerie realm, but some say faeries created the dramatic landscape and still dwell within its many crevices. It doesn't take much imagination to picture faeries, or possibly hobbits, hanging out here.

The Faerie Glen is well hidden on winding back roads, but it’s well worth searching for it. Even if you don't return for a few hundred years.

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Posted by teethetrav 11:53 Archived in Scotland Tagged beer isle_of_skye whiskey loch_ness nessie kelpies faerie_glen Comments (0)

A Month in Paris in Winter

Day 18: Amsterdam: A Foodie City

A side trip to Amsterdam was packed with art, architecture, canals and other sights and activities. A side benefit, somewhat unexpected, was the delightful, delicious food we found everywhere (and no, we were not suffering from munchies).

In between visits to museums, walking, taking a boat ride around the canals, we grazed our way through the city. Our first meal was at a tiny cafe called Bistro Bi Jons where the chef, a woman, cooked as you ordered, in full view of the customers. No prepared foods, here. As she cooked, the aromas got better and better, which made me even hungrier. The liver,with onions, bacon, and bread was intense with flavor. The soup of the day was filled with sausages, vegetables, and the base was green beans. I need to steal this recipe.
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After visiting a few museums, we stopped and shared a warm waffle drizzled with Nutella. Warm carbohydrates with chocolate and hazelnuts. What else is there to say about that?

For dinner, we ate at a restaurant called Het Karbeel near Central Station, where we were taking the train back to Paris. They, like so many other places in Amsterdam serve craft beers, beer on tap, and have an extensive wine list. We started with a cheese fondue, then I had chicken thighs in a peanut sauce on a skewer. Again, I need to figure out this recipe. Not that we had any room left, but we split a dessert. Crepes wrapped around ice cream, sitting in a sauce, with a dollop of whipped cream on the side.

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I love travel. I love especially travel with fellow foodies who get as excited as I do when they read a menu. DC367A6DD4954D082A3839E64061EB5A.jpg
I will return to Amsterdam at some point for a longer stay. Please comment and tell me some of your favorite places to eat and to go.

Posted by teethetrav 01:02 Archived in Netherlands Tagged beer paris france amsterdam netherlands wine crêpes fondue waffles nutella Comments (1)

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