Sunday, October 20, 2013

UK 2013 - day 15: Highland games

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Scotland was mad that we were leaving the next day, so it tried to freeze me to death - this way I would have to leave.
What? No, I didn't pack gloves for my summer vacation! That would be considered over-packing!
We met another fellow guest today - a man from Bolton who was on its way to North-Eastern Scotland. He was much older than us, and told us very interesting stories of his trip to the US many many years ago - especially about switching driving sides.
After gathering more information on Google maps about Dean's family place, and getting some directions from our hostess, we checked out of our beautiful B&B and headed to the town of Tomatin. They had ONE  general store. There, the lady from the store, Tanya gave us some idea on what that area was, and who we could talk to to get information about Dean's family, but as we were leaving, someone named Mark came by and Tanya asked him if he could help us. He directed us to a church from the area, church of Scotland, which had a graveyard, and did confirm to us that there were McBeans in the area.
Sure enough, there were many McBean gravestones, and many that registered intermarriages with the McIntosh family.
It was cold and the wind wouldn't give in. The wind was cold too - nothing mild for a Brazilian skin.

After looking up those graves we headed back to Newtonmore - for the highland games. We got there just as the marching band was about to start its march through town. That was an impressive thing to see. All thosen people in their kilts playing drums and bagpipes.
The games were fun, we stayed for the whole afternoon. The rain held up. The problem was the non-stop wind and the uber cold temperatures. I was frozen - feeling like a fish out of water every time I looked around and saw people acting as if they were out in a 28°C weather and a slight breeze was blowing. ... Am I just weird?
When we decided to walk back to the car, it started to rain, so we walked in the rain from the games field all the way back to the cooperative store where we had left the car. And boy, were we happy to be back inside something warm and dry again.
We went for dinner at the Tipsy Laird again. I got fish'n'chips, but I should really have only gotten a soup. It was too much food for too early in the day. Dean was hungry, but I wasn't. But then again, look at his size and look at mine.

Finally, the cherry on the top, the icing on the cake - We drove down to Glasgow airport, through the Glen Coe route (A86 to Fort William then to Glasgow Airport). That was pretty much one of the most amazing, breath-taking, mesmerizing drives I have ever taken. I feel like nothing else in this world will impress me. It's like going on the front seat of the Bizarro Roller  Coaster, and then going on another smaller coaster ... was that a coaster?

If we get to America and blood is not being pumped in our veins, tell the doctor to pick up our hearts in Scotland.

We checked into our Travelodge hotel by the airport. They have good service but they charge you for everything! Will you want breakfast? £7.65 a person. Will you park your car? £4.00 a night.
But they did have a shuttle to the airport that ran from 4am to noon.
What did we do? We returned the car to Europcar, and walked back to the Motel. It rained again, and were we happy to get to our dry warm room. Scotland is crying, because it is sad to see us go. I know, I like you too... but there is something called a real life on the other side of the pond and unfortunately I have to get back to it.

I loved everything about Scotland - their accent, their traditions, their land, their people...  Dean mentioned how impressed he was at the pride  of the Scottish people. Well, when I think about it, what do they have not to be proud of?

This time, I've learned it from our last flight, I packed and weighed everything ahead of time. As a matter of fact, I did it at the B&B in Newtonmore, the night before.

I will miss the whole being waited-on thing. Back to real life I have to cook my own meals, do my own grocery, wash my dishes ...

Alvey Hotel - £180.00(credit)
petrol - £42.09(credit) 47.5mpg
petrol - £12.78(credit)
the tipsy laird - £20.65(credit)

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