Sunday, May 03, 2009

Scotland is NOT closed

Having a FABULOUS time in SUNNY Scotland -- I'm already sunburned, go figure. We're down in the borders and plan on heading into Northumberland a bit today to see Hadrian's Wall and drive along the coast (based on the extremely earnest suggestions of a lovely English couple we met yesterday while climing the ruined tower at Greenowe. We have to be back up in Speyside by Wednesday night, so we're taking a day or so to go south first.

Our flight was uneventful (oh, yeah, for business class seats -- slept most of the way over, after a lovely meal and champagne) and while we were delayed quite a bit in London on our way over to Edinburgh, we still got to Traquair House by seven, and had plenty of time to go in for dinner before crashingl ike big crashy things.

Traquair House is wonderful -- they're not really a hotel, it's just three rooms they let out and the housekeeper, Helen, handles all the details. Great room in the newer part of the house -- which still dates from 1745 or so -- and we had a fabulous breakfast (including haggis, which is surprisingly good, if you don't think about it too much) and "clootie dumpling" - a sort of fried fruitcake.

Yesterday we drove around the border abbeys -- Melrose, Dryburgh, Jedburgh, and Kelso, and stopped off to see Abbotsford (Sir Walter Scott's home) in time to see them clearing out the fake snow from a movie shoot! It was kind of weird -- they were vacucuming up the fake snow and moving the modern furniture out of the rooms.

It's unbelievably green here, and the sun has been out for two days. Lovely!

Today (Sunday) we went to Smailholm Tower, wandered through Floors Castle (wow!), tried to see Mellerstain House (we were about ten minutes too late) and then wandered around looking for "dots on the map" with various levels of success. We drove into a couple of farmyards, ended up on gravel and dirt paths, and made some harrowing u-turns, but we had a great time. We did bash the car a bit - scraped the pain on the wheel-wheel when a truck slid into our lane by a foot or so and Mark tried to avoid hitting it. The shrubbery and hedgerows along the side of the road have an annoying tendency to suddenly turn to a STONE WALL with only a few inches clearance! EEK!

All in all, driving on the left has been uneventful and we're zipping along like everyoe else. And the GPS with Scotland maps? Worth EVERY PENNY. Cheap at twice the price!

Off to our B&B for the night - The Lodge at Carfraemills, for dinner and, I'm sure, sleeping like rocks.

1 comment:

laurafingerson said...

Hooray, you're blogging from Scotland!! WOW, the photo looks beautiful and wow on the cool places you're going. John wants to know what kind of pasty mushroom gets sunburned in Scotland. ;) I want to know if your GPS map of Scotland includes all your little dots.