first day with the rental

Published: May 17th 2009
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Jer in our chariotJer in our chariotJer in our chariot

The GPS was so new he is taking it out of the box.
Today we began our adventure beyond Aberdeen. After breakfast and seeing the boys off to school, Alex drove us to the airport where our chariot awaited us.

Our chariot was, in fact, a compact automatic with GPS. Jer was a tad bit nervous about driving on the wrong side of the road. He learned to drive on the left side as a teenager while he was in Australia, but that was (literally for him) half a lifetime ago. Scotland also is far less populated and lacks round-abouts. Scotland is all round-abouts. We hopped into our brand new econo car (less than 400 miles on it!), plugged in our brand new GPS, entered our first destination—a castle—and were on our way! Jer negotiated the first round-about skillfully and we soon were in the countryside on twisting roads. A few wrong turns must have confused our poor GPS, but we figured she was re-situating us and that was why the landscape looked so familiar! Our optimism over our GPS soon waned when we realized, a little too late to turn around, that it was leading us back “home,” or, to us humans, the Aberdeen Airport.

We had a good laugh over
Closed CastleClosed CastleClosed Castle

It may be closed, but it looks pretty, doesn't it?
our GPS mis-adventure, reprogrammed it, and tried again to make it to the castle. We were early when we arrived, so we just walked around the perimeter and admired how pretty the castle looked in the morning light. We then climbed back into our economy ride and headed toward Dufftown. Our hunger pangs convinced us to visit Glenfiddich since this distillery, in addition to promising plenty drink, also had a full restaurant. We discovered we had a full forty-five minutes before the next tour which we thought would give us plenty of time to eat.

We were so wrong!

We should have known something was up when it took a small eternity to be waited on. If this wasn’t a clue, we should have caught on once the waitress commented over how flustered she was because the restaurant was so busy. I grew up in restaurants and can tell a lag from a rush. It was definitely a lag. We should have had plenty of time to eat our meal. Noting the time, we realized we missed the tour. Oh well, we said to each other. No big deal! This way, we wouldn’t have to feel so rushed.
Hollie at GlenfiddichHollie at GlenfiddichHollie at Glenfiddich

I'm happy because we just got there.
So…after much waiting, we got our food.

Readers may wonder why we didn’t just leave. Well, we’d already had a starter. We assumed the reason for the lag was because we were eating “hot” food. Most of the diners who came and went around us ordered cold sandwiches and soup. WE would have ordered the same if we’d known how long the hot food would take. Live and learn, right? Jer and I learned not to order a starter.

They didn’t acknowledge any error when they *finally* delivered our food. Jer found out the delay was because they lost our ticket.

This snafu killed much of our afternoon. We were just in time for another tour, but no wait! That one was full so we got to wait another fifteen minutes. The tour was pretty good. We enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot about how Scotch is made. Originally, Jer and I had hoped to visit at least two or possibly three distilleries. The late hour encouraged us to scrap such plans in favor of seeing Cawdor’s castle before it closed for the day. We made it to the castle in time; I plan to post a
Cawdor CastleCawdor CastleCawdor Castle

Supposedly the inspiring setting about the play named after the guy whose name I can't say. Bad luck.
couple of videos of our time there.

The hour was creeping into evening, which meant Jer and I needed to find a place to stay for the night. Inverness had always been our destination. We found a cheap hotel in which to stay for the night, dropped off our belongings, and drove to the center of town in search of food.

When we were in Germany, finding food was easy. While visiting Japan, the task was more difficult. It seems like an English-speaking place like Scotland would fall into the former category. It’s actually somewhere in the middle. Sure, we can read all the menu boards outside the restaurants, but the quality of the food versus the price seem, well, out of balance. Or maybe because we are familiar with the cuisine we are pickier about our choices. I’m not sure.

We pulled out our Lonely Planet book and visited one of their recommendations. Since we hadn’t yet eaten Indian, it seemed like a good choice. It turned out it was. So yay on Lonely Planet.

The sun sets ridiculously late here. We left the restaurant after 9pm and it was still light out. We were tired so we returned to our lodgings.


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