Scotland is as varied as any country. Stereotypes make no sense. Yes, there are kilt makers and castles and golf courses, but even in one day’s walk I encountered rural, suburban, and the heart of Glasgow. Sheep, high-tech wind mills, shopping malls (which are great for messing up my sense of direction), transitional neighborhoods, the Ballet, and the central train station (which is right outside my hotel window). Nope, that wasn’t a sentence. I’m on vacation.
The Scots are far more energy conscious. My hotel room key fits into a slot that turns on the electricity for the room. Last night’s B&B turned the heat on from 7PM-9PM. Windmills aren’t just in farms. Water is heated only when you ask for it, after a pause. The inconveniences are minor. I’d like to see the total savings if the same thing was applied within modern American lodging.
I’ve been here a week and in addition to stereotypes failing, my initial impressions are already proven to be incorrect. Right after blogging about searching for the balance between preserving the past and preparing for the future, I found myself in a B&B (Langside in Fenwick) that masterfully renovated a 1700’s house into the best and most affordable lodging so far. It can be done, and they have done it with style. Anyone need a role model?
What I appreciate most are the people who ask the questions. What to keep? What to repair? What to replace? One answer does not always apply.
Last night I was in a historic building. Tonight I am in a high-tech, green, expensive hotel (Jury’s Inn). This may be historic some day too. Then, some will look back and be glad they made the change, and managed to make the place last.
For now though, some tradition. There must be a Guinness around here somewhere.