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Published: September 29th 2011
It's been a blur of activity since I arrived here last Thursday morning. The trip was delayed slightly in Philedelphia but arrived more or less on time at 6:45AM. Then it took me until after 1PM to figure out and use the train and the bus to get to my hotel. Luckily the airline put my main bag on the wrong flight (actually I don't think that flight existed - they changed the flight number on my ticket for some reason). So I didn't have to carry it around, and they delivered to my hotel the next day.
On Thursday afternoon I had a bus tour of downtown London, interspersed with cat naps (had about 2-3 hours sleep on the plane). About 6PM I headed to a train station further east (Eltham) where I was to meet my cousin. But I failed to confirm that, and she was waiting at home. I forgot her phone number and email address, so ended up emailing my brother. He forwarded my message to her and gave me her phone number. It was about 8PM or alter when she got there from just out of London, but we ahd a great supper and visit, after which she took me back to the train station, and it was after 11 when I finally got back to the hotel on Guilford St. (jsut around the corner from the Charles Dickens Museum (he used to live there).
Friday morning I was downtown by 7AM and had to find a different bus to get to my departure point for the tour of Salisbury, Stonehenge and Bath. It was a great tour, if a bit rushed. We didn't get back to the station in London until 8PM. It was too late to take in a play, so after a bite to eat (I thought of fish and chips but the lineup at the restaurant was too long, so settled for another "pastie" with pork and apple filling) I returned to my quarters.
Saturday moarning was a bit more leisurely but I took in the museum and then headed for the train station to pick up my ticket to Aberdeen. Had to use the tube to get to the train, but still had an hour to wait when I arrived there. The train ride was fast but it still took 7 1/2 hours. I had a pleasant elderly companion (female) a good part of the way, and a woman across the aisle invited me to take pics of a city we went through from her side. They had uinternet and even a place to plug in on the train, but the rocking motion didn't help my coordination on that tiny notbook keyboard I have with me. I did nap a couple of times and enjoyed the scenery as well.
At the train station I found a taxi driver wh knew where the Scout campground was (8 miles out of the city it turns out). It cost me £20 but was worth it, and two younbg guys were there waiting for me. There were no other campers, so I had lots of space, and also the washroom and shower room all to myself. It is a well kept palce called Templer's Park. Monday evening a group of Scouts were there for a bit doing archery, and last night I met a group of Cubs and Scouts jsut arriving for some compass work and shelter building. I got to kfnow the Cubs a bit, and as it was raining msot of the day one elader felt sorry for me and invited me to stay at her house alst night. So I packed up, and had a pleasant visit with her and her 9 year old son, and a good sleep.
Sunday I caught the tail end of the church service at St. Nicholas, the oldest church in the city ( I ahd tow qait for the young guys to wake up and give me a ride into town. Spent £12 on a breakfast at a enarby hotel while waiting! The rest of the day I explored the downtown area but not much was open except lots of retail stores after 11AM. I managed to contact one of my cousins here and they had me to their hosue and took me for supper - another great time.
Monday was really quiet in town as it was a holiday, but some places were open and I walked a lot. Went to the Family History Society eysterday and spent time there, picking up my rental car later afgtternoon. I left it out at Peterculter this morning and took the bus into town. I'm back to get it and ehad for Fyvie shortly. Mty compuater time is up!
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