I’m very excited to be here in Scotland for the big Homecoming festivities. The celebration signifies Robert Burn’s 250th anniversary, as well as all of the Scotland contributions to the world, such as whisky, golf, music, culture, and heritage. I arrived this morning at 7:30am (Scotland is five hours ahead so it was really 2:30 in the morning). Slept for four hours, so I wouldn’t be a zombie from the time change and jet lag and then got on foot and started to explore the vibrant city of Glasgow. The city is bustling with great shopping, restaurants, and bars, as well as great architecture and museums.
Tonight we ate at Gandolfi Cafe, a casual, yet delicious Scottish restaurant. The owner attended the renowned Glasgow School of Art and actually hand carved all of the beautiful wooden tables. I tried some foods I never thought I’d try, but like they say, when in Rome…or Scotland…I always like to try the local dishes. As an appetizer, I had the mackerel pate with oat cakes and haggis for my main course. They were both quite delicious, despite what is in haggis. Basically, it’s the sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs mixed with oatmeal, onion, and spices. Like I said, I can’t believe I ate it, but glad I did, as it’s a traditional Scottish dish.
After dinner, we enjoyed two bands at the Old Fruitmarket, which is a great venue for live music. It’s all part of Celtic Connections, Scotland’s premiere music festival, which features artists from around the globe as well as the best local Scottish talent.
Tomorrow we’re headed to Ayrshire to explore Burns National Heritage Park, Whiskey Wha Hae, and the Piping Parade to kick off the Whiskey Wha Hae event. And, I hear I have to try black pudding. I’m not going to even tell you what that’s made from.