Tag Archives: UK

Visiting in London

Visiting in London

We originally had not planned on passing through London. Yet, somehow we must have known – we packed our Oyster cards from our last visit.

While in Cancun, Mexico for a wedding last year, we ended up making some great friends who happen to be from London’s East End. We were able to visit them in London shortly after meeting them and had a great time. For this trip one of our friends, Shawn, was kind enough to host us in an open bedroom at his place. Shawn (right) and Tom (left):

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Couch Surfing Host in Edinburgh

Couch Surfing Host in Edinburgh

In Edinburgh, we stayed with Kenny for three nights. Kenny is an incredibly smart and kind person.

Kenny hosts many surfers (one of which stuck around for 11 months), which speaks to his kindness. Yet he does not clean often and smokes inside, making it hard to fully relax. Overall, we have a great memory and are happy to have taken the risk because we have met another interesting person.

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Food of the United Kingdom

Food of the United Kingdom

Overall, the food in the UK has a bit of a bad reputation. Don’t let that reputation stop you from trying some of these great dishes.

Scotland’s signature dish: haggis, neeps, and tatties. Haggis is a pudding made from the heart, lungs, and liver of a sheep. Traditionally, haggis is seasoned with onions, salt, and spices before being cooked in the sheep’s stomach. Today, it’s often prepared in a sausage casing rather than being simmered in the stomach. Neeps are mashed rutabagas and the tatties are standard mashed potatoes. Contrary to what many of you might think, it’s quite tasty. It is very similar in taste and texture to blood sausage. We had it several times while in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

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Highlands of Scotland

Highlands of Scotland

The Scottish Highlands are a land of magnificent beauty. At the feet of the rugged mountains there lie 30,000 deep, dark “lochs”, or Scottish Gaelic for lake. We were able to take a 12-hour tour through the mountains and see several lochs, including Loch Lemond and the infamous Loch Ness. If you travel to either Scotland or Iceland, you should really get out and see the landscapes so we chose to do day tours in both countries. While pricey, they are still much cheaper than renting a car and you get to learn a ton from tour guides.

Loch Lemond:

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Couch Surfing Host in Glasgow

Couch Surfing Host in Glasgow

Our hosts in Glasgow were actually in the suburb of the city called East Kilbride. Domokos and his wife recently moved to Scotland for work from their native Hungary. While their flat was modestly-sized, they were very accommodating. We were able to sleep on their couch that folded out into a bed and use their warm shower.

Due to their work schedule and the hour-long train to Central Station for us, we had to leave a bit early in the mornings. We were very glad to meet them and appreciate their friendliness and hospitality.

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