Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Scotland Day 4: Did Someone Say "Kinder Eggs?"

  The bed in this hotel has a very firm mattress.  This means a bad night’s sleep for me.  However, I got to see one of the residential ginger cats and even took a few pictures.
  This is said cat.  Archie was sweet and Jim got to pet him.  He really wanted to get into the breakfast area, but since that wasn’t an option he went to the back to do some filing.
  We headed out and were going to stop by a grocery store before heading out for the day.  The car’s GPS/Sat-Nav decided we were there.  The only building with an open or closed sign said it was closed.  The grocery’s website said they should be opened.  A quick internet search told us that we were nowhere near the grocery.  It was a cute town with a pathway to another castle.   There was something I did see that was really funny.  There was a small car, a tiny bit longer than a Smart Car that had some conflicting stickers in the back window.  One said “I’m not leaking oil, I'm sweating power” and another said “0-60 Eventually.”  That is a very confusing message.

  Since I’m me, I had to get some Kinder Eggs.  I got one Barbie and one Justice League.  I didn’t know which I wanted more.    They were also only 83P each which is more expensive than the £1 for a three pack we saw in Germany, but it sure beats the $3.49 I find at home.
  It is also true when they tell you that Fanta tastes differently in Europe than in the States.  It tastes more like real oranges in Europe and more like orange syrup.  I've also seen a bunch of people out and about with a bottle of that Volvic juiced and decided to give it a try.  I have not opened it yet, but I will report back when I do.

  Winding country roads are fun to be on (unless you easily get car sick) and lend themselves for some good views, but are not good for pictures.  Especially when you have never been in the area and don’t know when to ready the camera.  I got to see at least two, and go no pictures of, “hairy coo”, they are just so fluffy and are really cute.
  Average speed cameras are also very interesting.  They get two pictures of your plates and time how long it takes you to get from one to the other.  They are also a fairly new thing.

  We spotted a whiskey distillery and decided to make a stop.  Tomatin is the softer side of the highlands.  Bill tried a few and the boys bought some items.  I have a feeling that the one Bill got sounded expensive to him, but was so good that he couldn’t resist.  He had me try one and I did not like it.  There was one I was tempted to try, but they didn’t have it open for tasting and they only had two more for sale.   We also got a fly by from a Gripen.  The fighter jet was low enough that we could identify it by sight.  It was a bit disconcerting and another time that a ready camera would have been nice.
  The one lane roads are interesting.  There is one wide-ish lane for both directions.  Since two cars can’t fit down one wide-ish lane, and the sides usually have fences, trees, raised banks, or some combination of them, there are pull off areas.  So that means that if you are driving on the side with the passing places and you see a car coming from the other way, you have to pull over and let them pass because they have the right-of-way.   There was also a road near Inverness with one wide-ish lane and a bike lane on either side.  The general consensus seems to be that everyone drives in half the road and the bike lane unless there is a parked car or bike in it, then you scoot over.   The Longman roundabout had a few fun things going for it.  It had lights, so you can get more traffic into it without too much back-up.  It was also spiraled.  Bill says he has seen videos of them but the rest of us have never heard of them.

  Lunch was a quick stop at the Oakwood Restaurant before heading over to Loch Ness.  We stopped in at the first pull off.  Nessy didn’t show up, but there were a lot of people there and everyone knows that she is shy.

  Poor Urquhart castle.  Before time and Mother Nature even had a chance at it, the local villagers started looting for building materials.  The lead that was used for roofing was found all over the village later.  It had also been built up over time, so the layout was a bit wonky and with all the looting the historians have been having problems guessing what buildings and rooms were used for what.  They were able to make some good guesses on a few of them.
  We did a quick stop at the Loch Ness tourist trap and got some presents for people at home.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get the change purse or the wallet.  I got both and a little Nessy for myself.  We also got some stuff for a few more people.

  When getting dinner in Aberlour I saw a yarn shop.  3 Bags Wool's website said they weren’t opened at all on Wednesdays, but the gate was open.  I wanted to take a peek at what they had, but we were also all hungry for dinner.  I was curious to see if they had a website or not.  I found it but even though it looked like it had a little shopping basket, it wouldn’t show me any of the yarn.  It was probably a mobile browser problem.  Once we were out from dinner the gate was closed.  There may or may not be time for us to go tomorrow, we shall see what we do.
  The boys are excited about all the scotch adventures they have planned for tomorrow.  They are discussing which distilleries have tours and which they would want to tour and taste versus just going for a taste.  They want to find some expressions that they can’t get in the states.   There are now two ginger cats and we are all distracted.  They are brothers.  Time to do some knitting by the fire and finish my merlot.
  While some of us were sitting there another group came into the sitting room.  One of them noticed that I was knitting and pointed it out to another.  Margaret is a knitter too.  She mostly does hats.  They were going on the guided tour of the mill at 10:30am the next day.  I told them that I might see them there, but I also wasn’t sure since we had our scotch/castle/yarn route planned out and I wasn’t sure when we would make it there.  I wonder if I will see them there or not.

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