That time the queen just missed us

Good bye, Norway; hello, Scotland!

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Noelle chose a great B&B (Ravenous Beastie!) in Queensferry, an 11th century town on the shore of the Firth of Forth that celebrates the procession of the Burry Man each year. Per Wikipedia,

“A local man is covered from head-to-toe in sticky burrs which adhere to undergarments covering his entire body, leaving only the shoes, hands and two eye holes exposed … His ability to bend his arms or sit down is very restricted during the long day and his progress is a slow walk with frequent pauses. Two attendants … assist him throughout the ordeal, helping him … and fortifying him with whisky sipped through a straw, whilst enthusiastic children go from door-to-door collecting money on his behalf. The key landmarks on the tour are the Provost’s office and each pub in the village.”

Don’t try to tell me that’s not fantastic.

So we show up at this adorable town and get situated at our cute B&B and immediately step over to the pub.

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We walk up to the bar to order our first pints, and an English woman at a table nearby calls over to Noelle and hands her a glass of whiskey. “Try this.” Her friend then does the same to me. We receive the glasses, take a sip, and then start to hand them back. Both women refuse, tell us they’ve already had too much, and thus begins a lovely friendship. We talked with them, their husbands, and then the bride and groom who were to be married the next day, for which they were all in town. “How long have you been in town,” we were asked at one point. “Ten minutes?” we laughed back.

***

And this is why the British Isles rock. There are countries where no one will speak to you (I’m looking at you, Paris and Norway). And then there are countries where people freely engage (a wink and pat on the bum at Ireland and Scotland). And while Norway was beautiful, Scotland is the balls. Because from the cabby to the people in the pub to the B&B proprietor, no one really feels like a stranger after a couple minutes. I think we were actually invited to crash the wedding by our new friends at one point.

But at another point, one of the husbands said, “I need to ask you both something.” We straightened up, took a deep breath, and said, “Go ahead; let’s get it over with.” Trump does not have fans, well, in a lot of places. But the Scots particularly dislike him. We knew that’s where he was going. “I have never met anyone who favors him,” the husband said as we talked. Well, this wasn’t his lucky day either.

And so we hung with the natives for an hour or so before heading out to find food. In this tiny town, the local chippy was the way to go. By the way, this place serves ice cream, fish and chips, meat pies, and Indian appetizers. MAGICAL.

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While we’re at it, let’s talk about the bridge in the background there. And these two, one in front of the other, below.

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Queensferry is big on its bridges. Three to be exact. The red one shown above is a 19th century train bridge. Another is for regular traffic. And the third is to open this week to replace the second. (Or work in conjunction with? No idea.) In fact, our cabby told us the queen is coming for the grand opening of the bridge. So she just missed us. Damn shame. I think we would have gotten on great.

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