Scotland Day 10 - Inverness to Edinburgh
Today was another travel day. It's back to Edinburgh so I can catch my flight home tomorrow. The train was short a car and really crowded, but it wasn't bad at all. Hell of a lot better than the Van Galder bus! Tonight I'm staying in The Scotsman, a nice hotel, for my final night. I had a delicious meal in the hotel restaurant. Some red wine, mussels for a starter, and venison for my main. It was delicious. I am off to bed soon because I need to head to the airport around 6am.
Speaking of food, it's interesting over here. I noticed right away that small shops have an extremely limited variety compared to the US. Go in to Kwik Trip and you will be presented with 40 different varieties of soda. In Scotland it's a couple varieties each of Coke and Pepsi, with a Fanta in there (I also saw Mt. Dew I think once), plus what must be their national soft drink, Irn-Bru. Most of the food also is considerably fresher, and has a shorter shelf life (hence the freshness). This is a good thing! They don't allow so much garbage to go in to their foods and it shows. I've got prepackaged sandwiches that were delicious! I know we Americans hate regulations taking aware our freedoms to die early, but it would be nice to be able to walk in to a convenience store and get food and snacks not full of high fructose corn syrup and a miriad of other unrecognizable chemicals.
A final thought on food. All this freshness and quality doesn't seem to raise the price. Look at the photos above of my dinner tonight. A starter, main, and a glass of wine cost me less than $45 US. Couple that with the fact that tipping is generally not a thing and the staff are all making a living wage and I don't understand how America does it the way we do. Plus, restaurants routinely turn you away. If they have tables booked for the evening, even if the restaurant is mostly empy when you arrive, they will happily say "No thanks, we've got enough business. Try again tomorrow!" It's really made dining a more enjoyable experience.