Ah yes, smell the whisky and hear the pipes — we have arrived in Scotland! After experiencing the wrinkle in time that is the ferry from Belgium to England, we gingerly made our way up to Edinburgh in our Belgian car built for right-hand traffic.  Strapped for time, we managed to squeeze in Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and haggis. A fabulous city, it emits a certain darkness and sophisticated grittiness that is strangely magnetic.

From Edinburgh, we and our white knuckles hit the dark, slippery roads for Braemar, third-coldest place in the UK.  Lovely town set among some seriously awesome mountains, it sits right next to Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s estate. And speaking of Her Royal Highness, we are convinced we saw milady on our way to the Royal Lochnagar distillery. As our little Renault Clio with the Belgian plates was meandering on the tiny road, three Land Rover Defenders materialized out of thin air behind us. As we turned, we looked back to see a mysterious figure in red in the back seat of the middle car, accompanied by two soldiers. Ta ta, Lizzie. We know it was you.

Royal Lochnagar whisky, incidentally, is phenomenal.