Mackie's Ice Cream, Edinburgh, Scotland
Feet dry now, we touched down just outside Edinburgh,Scotland. After an 8 min. taxi I was in Old Town Edinburgh @ my Holiday Inn Express. My room was not ready yet so I left my bags @ the front with the attendant. Edinburgh is one of the most walkable (and safest) cities in Europe. The Holiday Inn Express, from South Grays' Close, is only a few hundred (maybe less) feet uphill/downhill from the Royal Mile. I was more than eager to start exploring and absorbing the sights, sounds and history of my ancestral home (I'm Scotch-Irish). I started walking everywhere to see as much as I could and learning my way around the city. One of the best ways to explore a new city is to take a bus tour of it (hop-on-hop-off). You get a quick condensed history lesson, some of the buses have live guides and others have automated earplug guides, and it helps you become quickly familiar with the city and the attractions you want to see and it gives you a break from walking. History abounds in this amazingly ancient city, so much so that my sensory overload of it all caused me to loose track of time. As darkness began to fall on this Medieval city I realized that I had not eaten all day. Back @ the Express with legs now very sore, I really did not feel like going back out to eat. So, I found a pizza place a block away, came back got a Coke with ice (yes, ice). and relaxed. Feeling better, I went to the lobby to find something sweet (they have a great small bar with drinks, snacks and ice cream). I was expecting a U.S. brand vanilla (the only flavor they had) but what I got was an impressive introduction to Scottish ice cream. Mackie's Ice Cream is made with a blend of whole milk and whipping cream from Frieson, Jersey and Red Swedish cows, sugar and free-range eggs on a family farm in Scotland. Mackie's Traditional Luxury Dairy Ice Cream (the only flavor the Express had) was creamy, rich and white and was what I thought to be their vanilla. As it turns out it had no added flavors, not even vanilla, Wow! I tried to find a pint-size Mackie's @ Sainbury's Local, but they only had the larger size and without a freezer, Yeh. Storm Ali pounded Edinburgh with 50-60 mph winds and torrential downpours all day and it was baltic. The winds became so bad that they closed Edinburgh Castle to visitors for the day. Upon my way back from the closed castle I saw a (closed for the day) Mackie's shop. The next day with better weather I stopped by the wee shop and got 2 scoops of the Traditional. After finishing, I stepped back in the shop to stay out of the rain and to try a new flavour. The Honeycomb looked well tidy scran in the case so two scoops more it was. Mackie's heavenly Honeycomb is a blend of their Traditional ice cream with molten Honeycomb chips. Lang may yer lum reek! Enjoy this incredible city and eat well!