Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Welcome to Scotland!
It's a favourite haunt of the tourist and is only a half hour or so from Glasgow. The contrast a half hour drive makes in the scenery is amazing, and is well worth the drive.
Anyway, it was pissing down with rain most of the time, which didn't dampen our spirits. We had a walk around the wee village and a stroll on the pier. A group of young lads were jumping into the loch and swimming around, very brave considering it wasn't warm and it was raining. When I heard the lads talking it became clear why they didn't care about the rain or the lack of sunshine, they were from Glasgow or thereabouts!
On the way back to the car, (parking charges 80p per hour), we went into a gift shop. Full of the usual tourist/Scottish nonsense you would expect. I had a good look around, noticing the small gift packs of mint creams and ginger chocolates with a label on the front proudly proclaiming 'a gift from Scotland' with no hint of irony about the 'made in Preston, Lancashire' printed on the back of the pack. At £3.50 for a 100g pack, it is a shocking rip off. You can get a pack for a pound in my local Poundland.
My curiosity awakened, I had a good look at the rest of the goods on offer. A pack of petticoat shortbread in plain packaging, £2. In the supermarket it will cost you about 60p for the same. Don't even get me started on the fancier packs of shortbread!
The rip off prices and the foosty (damp) smell in the shop were bad enough, but everywhere I looked signs barked out -
No photography, Thieves will be prosecuted, CCTV in operation, Damages must be paid for,
No mobile phones, Control your children.
A friendly Scottish welcome indeed!
Needless to say, we didn't buy anything. Not that I would buy any of that kind of tat anyway.