Today I leave Scotland behind, with its snow, and head back to Shanghai, in fact by the time you read this I’ll already be there. Scotland is truly magnificent, with its wild countryside, clean waters and pure air, and the country has become acutely aware of just how valuable and precious their local food culture is, with so many more restaurants and shops stocking locally sourced produce than the last time I visited. My imaginary food suitcase would be full of Scottish salmon, smoked mackerel, Orkney cheeses, oatcakes, rich Scottish cream, a MacSween’s haggis, Edinburgh tablet (a type of fudge) and litres of pure, fresh water straight from Highland springs. (Actually, don’t tell Chinese customs but my suitcase contans almost all these things, except for the cream and the mackerel.)
Edinburgh in winter is in full gothic splendor, with the dark stone spire of the Scot monument rising up in front of the ancient castle, perched above the town on a craggy outcrop at the top of the Royal Mile with its cobbled streets and narrow closes. The short winter days, with their lovely soft light, begin well into the day, and by mid-afternoon the twilight has already begun, with soft pink shadows stretching over the snow. I’ll leave you with some photographs, and see you back in the East tomorrow.