Tag Archives: haggis

Scotland Notes

Beinn: is the most common Gaelic word for “mountain”

Coffee americano: (black coffee with 2 shots of espresso)

Chips: French Fries

Dinnae: Don’t.  My grandmother and people in the church where I grew up said this all the time.  “A dinnae ken” which means “I don’t know”.

Haggis: Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach though now often in an artificial casing instead. According to the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique: “Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour”.

We have my grandmother’s old cookbook with recipes for haggis, lights, sweetbreads (don’t ask), blood pudding… I never could have made it in the olden days!

We also saw haggis pizza, haggis flavored chips, frozen haggis…  We tried none of that.

I was going to put a picture but I couldn’t stomach it (NO pun intended!)

Loch en Eilein:  Simply – loch means lake.  Eilein means island.  So, there’s an island in the lake 🙂

Place suffixes:


-ness:  a promontory or headland.  Loch Ness is a lake with a promontory

-shire: Roughly “county of”  Inverness-shire; Perthshire

-strath: a wide river valley, a stretch of relatively flat, fertile land bounded by hills.  Strathspey is the River Spey and the valley around it.


Interesting place names:

  • Crook of Devon:  The name derives from the sudden angle (crook) which the River Devon makes near the village. A village within the parish of Fossoway in Perthshire. It is located about 6 miles southwest of Kinross on the A977 road. Until relatively recently the official name of the village was Fossoway (as evidenced on the war memorial etc.) but this has been usurped by the widely used nickname “crook of devon”.
  • Drumnadrochit: It derives from the Scottish Gaelic ‘druim na drochaid’ meaning the ‘Ridge of the Bridge’.
  • Firth of Forth: (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe) is the estuary or firth of Scotland’s River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north and Lothian to the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times.
  • Inverfarigaig: (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Farragaig) is a hamlet at the mouth of the River Farigaig, on the south-east shore of Loch Ness in Inverness-shire, Scottish Highlands and is in the Scottish council area of Highland.
  • Kingdom of Fife: (Scottish Gaelic: Fìobha) is a council area and historic county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire. By custom it is widely held to have been one of the major Pictish kingdoms, known as Fib, and is still commonly known as the Kingdom of Fife within Scotland.
  • Killiecrankie.  I have no idea how it got this name.  It sounds sort of like you want to kill the crank but that can’t be right.
    Killiecrankie (Gaelic: Coille Chreithnich) is a village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland on the River Garry.
  • Loch Faskally: (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Faschoille is a man-made reservoir in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) northwest of Pitlochry.

Playlist of all my Scotland videos plus others of interest:



Scotland: Loch an Eilein



August 11, 2015. For whatever reason, I didn’t make many notes today.

We decided to go back to the Rothiemurchus Forest and go to either Loch an Eilein or Loch Murlich and walk around.  At the first day introduction, we heard that there was a pottery at Loch an Eilein where we could sit on high stools and look out at the various animals in the forest.

First, though, we stopped at the The Druie Cafe Restaurant located at the Visitor Centre for lunch.  The Druie takes its name from the sparkling burn that flows behind the restaurant carrying mountain water from the Cairngorms down to the River Spey.  Most of their food was either grown or killed in the forest, so there was lots of venison on the menu as well as Highland beef and rainbow trout.

We sat between a very interesting couple from Australia and a woman who was staying at Grantown-on-Spey (Baile Ùr nan Granndach)  until the festivals in Edinburgh were over the crowds had gone home.   She said she really liked the Edinburgh Tattoo, though 🙂

There was also a small gift shop and a store that sold local veggies and meats from the forest.

Rothiemurchus is incredibly passionate about its own home-grown produce, from its succulent Highland beef and velvety wild venison to fresh rainbow trout and sweet heather honey. We also work with a range of artisan producers including chocolatiers, cheese makers and vineyards to ensure that our deli is stocked to the rafters with decadent chocolates, seasonal wines by Corney & Barrow, home-made fudge, home baking, chutneys and preserves (made exclusively for Rothiemurchus), haggis, black pudding and bacon and a wide variety of artisan cheeses.

We left the cafe/shop and headed out for the pottery at Loch an Eilein.  We never found that but we did find the car park for the Loch, itself so we went there instead.

Lots of people, bikes, dogs, enjoying the beautiful day, There were ducks swimming on the loch, little old buildings, old castle – what more could we want?



Loch an Eilein is a small irregular shaped, freshwater loch in the Rothiemurchus Forest about 3.1 mi south of Aviemore, Scotland.

In the late 18th and early 19th century, the loch was used mainly for two things. On the banks of the loch there is a limestone kiln where the lime stone was collected from a rockface looking over the loch. Also loggers used the connecting river to float logs down to the wood-treating factories downstream. Rob Roy and other cattle rustlers used the loch, and one side of the loch is called ‘Robbers Way’. There are only three remaining houses on the loch side (Pictures in the slideshow, below), which are now used by forestry officers.

In the middle of the Loch, on what may be a natural island, are the ruins of a small 15th century castle.  At this time the castle was connected to the shore by a causeway. The causeway was lost when the water level in the loch was raised in the 18th century.

On the way back to our place, we stopped at Tesco (of course!).

Sometime in the late afternoon, Tom got a call from his client that he needed something NOW.  His computer had only 1 hour left of battery (we still had no adaptor) and mine had 6 hours, so mine was commandeered again.  I was worried because I always have a bit of work to do on Thursdays and Sundays.  I had set up a lot of stuff to autopost before we came but some things had to be done later.

Tom worked most of that night and a lot of the next morning.  I grumped and grumbled…

All pictures from today:




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