Well. We’ve been gone from home for six days – two days of travel to reach our first destination. It was always our plan to arrive in Scotland at Isle of Arran and…do very little. Mission accomplished. Mostly.
But let me back up. I posted on FB about our travel to get here, so skip on forward if you already read that part. We started with an Uber ride to BART to SFO and two airplanes. We had a four hour bougie layover in the American lounge at JFK where we were entertained by a feuding couple with mediation from a drunk passenger and surveillance by an undercover cop. Well, I might be making that part up, but there was a very buff woman, dressed all in black, standing nearby clearly observing the altercations and she looked ready to intercede, if necessary. (Maybe American Airlines shouldn’t provide free alcohol at an open bar where you mix your own drinks whilst you have a many hours layover? Just a thought.)
Anyway, I digress…We caught the Tube at Heathrow to Euston Station where we boarded a train to Glasgow, followed by a (missed) train to Ardrossan Harbor. The entertainment in the Glasgow train station was the constant flow of teenagers dressed in a manner that told this old woman that their parents (mostly girl parents) weren’t home when they left the house. I had some curious glances (aka raised eyebrows) with a few other senior citizens who shared our bench. They were equally agog by the fashion show. Apparently the teens were all headed to a festival a la OutsideLands.
At the end of the train line, at Ardrossan Harbor, we caught our ferry to Brodick, Isle of Arran, Scotland where we finally walked the last part of our trip – a five minute walk to our hotel.
About 30 hours of travel is all. And we did it without any real feuds of our own! Success!!!
People have asked how we found this place. And I have to answer…I’m not sure. I think I was reading a Rick Steves Q & A on how to get around Scotland without a car when we were thinking of staying in Edinburgh, but wanted to visit the highlands. I came across this island and it’s described as “Scotland in Miniature” which seemed like a good fit when we only had a week. We also wanted a place where we could “do” jet lag and just relax. And if I do say so myself, I found a winner! Plus our hotel, The Douglas is lovely in all the best British/Scottish ways.
So we’ve been here four days and we’ve really succeeded at the “relax” thing. We had a day back in Ardrossan where we spent some time in a wonderful locally-owned bookshop. (The couple was actually “mixed” as he’s a Scott and she’s from Montana!)
Yesterday while Glen continued to recover from travel, I went out exploring and ended up at Brodick Castle. Oh, what a beautiful day! It’s been mixed weather with drizzle and wind and some sun – temps in the 60s since we’ve been here. This pattern is to be expected. But yesterday was a glorious, sunny day with temps in the…HIGH 60s-maybe even a low 70 for a bit! I’m proud of myself because I was thinking, nah, I’ll just go to the castle tomorrow and then I thought about the ever-changing weather here so decided to take advantage of a sure thing…Phew!
And today? Well, it won’t get out of the 50s and it’s been stormy all day. Seems like a good day to hang out in the lounge and enjoy a pot of tea, a comfy couch, a good book and a blog post (or two…or three…or maybe four???). And dinner at the bar with some whiskey and soup? Sublime!