Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Boxing Day +1 (a.k.a. Another Stupid Bank Holiday)

The next morning we had a traditional Scottish breakfast in our little dining room (which is similar to the Brit’s counterpart in many ways). We met a couple from Wisconson that were visiting Scotlant and were heading in the same direction as we would be; it's crazy who you meet... then we traversed the downtown of Glasgow trying to soak in what we could on the way to the bus station to catch a bus to the downtown airport to pick up the car. Whew.

After the paperwork and the playing with the credit card we eventually had it all to ourselves. It was a silver VW Polo that we quickly named Maggie… what a great little car.

Maggie was covered in frost so we played with the things inside while I attempted to get used to being on the ‘wrong’ side. Eventually we drove out and I was excited to be driving a manual again (even if I had to shift with my left hand). The driving was similar and a great feeling to be transporting under my own volition. I was so freaked out by the oncoming traffic though… so freaked out that after having the car for about 20 minutes I cut it too close to the cars parked on the side of the road and I heard a loud CRACK as I dealt a glancing blow with my passenger side mirror to a parked car’s drivers side mirror… I was mortified. But there was no damage. You don’t get any closer than that. I felt it was the fates telling me to lay off and relax… so I did and the driving was much more enjoyable.

We soon realized that Scotland is frickin’ amazingly beautiful. We kept stopping to take pictures, including at a restaurant/hotel when we needed to use the loo… finally we started to get some semblance of control with the scope of how far we had to go and just kept driving. We arrived at the bridge to the Isle of Skye before dark, and drove by (and stopped to take photos of) Eilean Donan castle; little did we know that we would get to know this spot quite well later…

We drove to the main city on Skye, Portree, parked and looked for an Inn or hostel for the night. We went to a few places and settled on a backpacker’s place that was only £11 per night and we’d have a room to ourselves because it was so slow. We went and had a good dinner and enjoyed a pint or two of Tenets of Scotland (the national brew) and I had another Scottish beer called 80pence or something… it was tasty.

We were beat from the day of travel and we went back to the hostel around 9:30 and had nothing to do, so we raided the place’s movie collection, which included Braveheart, much to the dismay of all the Scottish people around when I read that name off; we all had a good laugh at that. We settled on Batman and Monsters Inc. We chatted during most of Batman with the boy behind the counter who came to sit with us instead of working. It was quite entertaining and he talked a lot. But we hit the hay around 1230, we had the little sheet-bags instead of provided linen, and a duvet and pillow on each bed (all pink!).

This is probably one of the best pictures I have ever taken.

I just stopped and pulled off by the side of the road at this point for a minute and all three of us just stared at the view. Scotland is amazing.

1 comment:

Litzner said...

That picutre of those mountains rocks Trace! It seems like something that is a stereotypical (in a good way) photo of the Scotland countryside. Take care and tell Ms. Fitzwater hello.