Scotland Diaries - Part III / England Diaries VI

lochnesscastle.jpgWe're old. That was my thought on waking up the next day. There was one walking loop to Loch Ness from our hotel that we hadn't explored the day before, so we told ourselves we'd get up early before breakfast and walk it. That's what we do. We don't like to leave things incomplete. We're probably never going to be in this hotel again, so it was essential we hit every path available to us, just to say we'd done it.

At least, that would  have been the case in our youth. As it stands, we woke up, looked at each other, discussed that it was cold out and it probably wouldn't be a smart idea to walk around out there with that breeze in our ears (wouldn't want to get sick) and so decided to just sleep in.  It's what I wanted to do and yet... we're old.

But it really was the right choice because I'd had a mild sore throat for the past 2 days and this morning added a light nausea to that.  We piled our stuff in the rental car and drove the A82 through the Highlands to Glasgow.  

highlands.jpgI know I said at the beginning of these logs I would limit the use of words like "stunning" and "breathtaking," but really, that's all I know to say. Huge, rugged hills with bright yellow flowers everywhere, long-haired cows grazing at heights that seemed way to high for a cow, mountain ranges that went on and on. No billboards, no homes, no litter. Just miles and miles of hills and sky. 

Unfortunately, I was only awake for half of it. My stomach was churning as we drove the narrow windy roads and I curled up in the passenger seat and slept.

We passed a bicyclist, laden with supplies, going the opposite direction. To what, I don't know. We'd been driving 50 minutes and passed only a few small homes. We had been commenting on how the road was so narrow and winding it was like death at every turn, and that's in a car. I can't fathom what biking that must have been like.  No thanks.

We returned our rental car in Glasgow and took a taxi to the airport where we caught the train to Carlisle in the Lake District in England.

This was our first day of being ready to go home. In my case, probably brought about by not feeling well. But if someone had offered to cancel the rest of our trip and put me on a plane home, I would have taken them up on it.  It was raining at the station as we pulled out, and I did perk up enough to notice how romantic it looked, with water dripping down the train windows as we pulled away from the station.

In Carlisle we went to Enterprise Car Rental and gave them everything but a urine sample before they handed over the keys. We drove to Keswick and stayed in what was probably my favorite hotel - the Highfield. It was big, worn and elegant--just what an English hotel should look like. We stayed in East Turret room which had a view of the lake.

We got up early the next morning and toured Keswick before any of the shops open.  This is my favorite time to shop. We got a feel for the town and saw the stores, but didn't have to fight the crowds and weren't interested in buying anything.

We took the ferry across the Lake and climbed Cats Bell. More about the wind, rain and hail that greeted us there tomorrow.