Team Bob’s Red Mill arrived safe and sound; if a bit weary, in Edinburgh yesterday morning. With a few hours rest on the flight across the pond, each of us felt the need to make the most of our first day in Scotland. We had been quite lucky to have arrived on a beautiful sunny day. Stepping out of the airport and diving into a taxi, we planned our respective days. Each of us had something we wanted to start by seeing. As the taxi wound its way into the heart of the city, our jaws dropped. Edinburgh is like stepping into a fairytale. With only a few modern buildings, the blocks are teaming with beautiful architecture that looks as if it was designed to emulate the many castles dotting the city. The city felt old and ancient, yet thriving with life. It was a dramatic contrast to see blackened statues as old as our country across from cafes boasting free wifi.
We gawked at the beauty of it all and when worn completely to the bone, each of us found ourselves craving a hot meal followed promptly by bed. Unsure where to dine, where did Team Bob’s Red Mill find ourselves? At the Grain Store, of course. A lovely establishment located in old store rooms (though the proprietor admitted grain had never been stored there) in the second level of a building over 200 years old. While there was nary a whole grain on the menu, we did enjoy a lovely meal. Near the end, as we sipped coffee our conversations lagged and our eyelids drooped. After all, we had been up for nearly 24 hours with only a few naps.
A gray sky heavy with rain clouds greeted us as we piled into our tiny car to head up to Carrbridge, where the Golden Spurtle Championship is held. The drive was lovely as we climbed into the Highlands. Sheep and Scottish Heather dotted the rolling green hills. Arriving in Carrbridge, we received a warm welcome from our hosts, Lindsay and Allison, at the Fairwinds Hotel. Scouting out the site of the competition and taking in the picturesque village, brought home how much work we have put into being here today. Everyone has been incredibly nice and welcoming to us Yanks and we’re happy to have come to join in the porridge fun!