We left the House Over By (the attached inn to Three Chimneys) after a good night’s sleep. Can’t always count on that as we can be finicky sleepers, especially when it comes to road noise. Well, when you’re …. look, are you aware that Neil Gaiman’s forthcoming new novel is called The Ocean at the End of the Lane? We slept there. So yes, very peaceful. We got up, ate a bit, and then got moving. As we (that is, Lisa) planned our itinerary a great deal of effort was spent not to have days where we spent all day driving. This one couldn’t be avoided, though, and we made for Edinburgh, almost literally as far from where we currently were while still being in Scotland. Still, what we learned about this trip is that when you drive on harrowing roads through gorgeous vistas, the combination is enough to keep you interested.
Mind you, the trip wasn’t completely devoid of signature highlights. Take, for example, the warning sign for “feral goats.” We saw that and chuckled. “Oh the Scots,” we said to each other. “Perhaps an occasional goat gets out of its pen and…” Nope. Feral goats indeed.
They really couldn’t give two shits about traffic, which you’d think would have been a poor trait from an evolutionary point of view. The signs must really do the trick. They romp, they frollic, up the hill and down without a care in the world. None of the drivers we saw (most of whom figure to be locals) seem to mind – cruising along in 1st with no impatient zooming around them, the goats were accepted as naturally as orange cones or a stop light. Meanwhile, the tourists from America giggled maniacally and drove back and forth to make sure that they got good pictures.
Before we left the island we made one last stop for, despite being in the nations of sheep, Skye has a reputation for its wool products. Lisa and I are both kind of bad at buying souvenirs (which is great from a clutter in the house standpoint) but really it’s to the point that we don’t have many reminders of our travels. Thus it was that we navigated to a perfect little shop purveying locally made yarn and clothing. Lisa bought yarn for a knitting friend of hers while I bought a scarf that turned out to be a little too itchy, alas, plus a hat that I adore and that keeps my ears warm on many a chilly dog walk. The shop we found was right on the water, next to the ruin of an old farm house. We’re tourists, by golly, so of course we took pictures!
After this last dawdle on Skye we made across the top-ish of Scotland. It was a fairly direct route (nearly getting lost starts being a problem in Ireland… you’ll see) on two lanes, but if we ever needed to pass there was plenty of visibility. We stopped for lunch at an inn surrounded by nothing. Seriously, they had a sign in their window apologizing for the fact that they’d have to charge a fairly steep rate for WiFi owing to the fact that satellite was their only option. It sat right in the transition from Highlands to Lowlands, though, so we sat in the be-windowed dining area while a young lady who probably ought to have been in school served us Shepherd’s pie (I think? something local…) and we took a breather. Then it was back on the road, pretty much straight through to Edinburgh, where we turned in the car at the airport and took a cab to a flat we were renting for a couple nights.
Once we were in the flat, we were ex-HAUSTED. So much so that we went to the grocery store across the street and scrounged some bakeable nosh and a bottle of wine before retiring to some local tv + frozen pizza. I believe, although I’m not positive, that this was the night we saw the dog win Britain’s Got Talent.
Tomorrow: We power down in Edinburgh, wet and exhausted, and sample the local cinema.