Our friend Captain Morgan





Dear Diary

We have made good progress with our study tour of the manufacturing processes of the aboriginal world of beverages in Scotland. The Speyside was very productive. Now we visit the last castle on our journey: Dunnottar Castle. It stands almost impregnably on a rock surrounded by the sea from three sides. This exceptional and strategic location is also the reason why it starred in an adventurous chapter in Scottish history. During the Civil War in 1651, the Scottish crown jewels, the Honors of Scotland, had to be hidden from the advancing troops of Oliver Cromwell. They were taken to Dunnottar Castle.

After several months of siege, however, the defeat of the defenders became apparent and the crown jewels were secretly smuggled out of the besieged castle. There are different stories about how it worked. They were probably lowered to the beach with a rope in the dark and foggy night, from where they were carried away in a basket full of seaweed and buried under the floor of a nearby church.




At first it seems as if we would have to spend the night in a tent after all. All of the B&Bs in and around St Andrews are either fully booked or are asking for astronomical prices. But then we meet Morgan in a hotel in Crail. He doesn’t look like someone you’d want to buy a used car from and exudes the scent of a man who’s not averse to the occasional glass too many. But he has an empty house – and after hearing that we are “Germans” he offers to rent it to us for one night.

Initial doubts quickly dissipate as we move into our three-story, fully-equipped oceanfront home. Apparently the house doesn’t have hot water, but we never wash anyway.

When we bring Morgan the key back when we leave and meet two police officers who are also waiting for him, we are still glad that we paid in cash.




At the end of our trip we visit St. Andrews. The coastal city is considered the cradle of golf and is also famous for its university. The University of St Andrews has a history dating back 600 years, making it the oldest university in Scotland. It is also one of the most prestigious universities in the whole of the UK. Her alumni include Prince William and Emperor Palpatine.

From the top of St. Rules Tower on the site of the crumbling cathedral, our gaze sweeps across the country one last time… and we know we’ll linger on this trip for years to come over a glass of whisky.



Epilog

We’re taking Chris to the airport. Uwe and I have one more night in Scotland and are thinking about what to do with it. We decide to look for a place that is not too far from Edinburgh Airport so that we can catch our plane early in the morning.

We’re taking Chris to the airport. Uwe and I have one more night in Scotland and are thinking about what to do with it. We decide to look for a place that is not too far from Edinburgh Airport so that we can catch our plane early in the morning.

We tell that we come from Germany and have traveled to Scotland. He is taken with us and invites us to come to a pub with him and visit his friends. No sooner said than done, we’ll come with you.

In the pub we meet his friends and watch them play billiards. Uwe and I strike up a conversation with a guy at the bar, who invites us straight to a glass of whiskey. As soon as Chris is no longer there, we suddenly get to know so many Scots, Uwe and I wonder.

Suddenly a strange thought occurs to me. “Uwe, did we actually pay in the restaurant earlier?” Uwe looks back at me just as stupidly. “Oh no, I don’t think so.”

We apologize to our new friends and promise to be back asap. In the restaurant, the chairs are being placed on the tables when we walk through the door, apologetically on our lips. “We didn’t expect to see you anymore,” laughs one young woman. Apparently our bounced mine didn’t upset anyone here. They are easy to love, the Scots. The whiskey, the sunny weather, the people with their big hearts and lovely accents: I already miss Scotland.


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