"It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed." Art Wolf

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Onward into the Highlands

On Saturday, I took the tram back to the airport to pick up the rental car and proceed with adventure.   

Learning to drive all over again.   My mind ranged back to reflect on the level of concentration that the 16 year old uses when they first try to learn the muscle memory that experienced drivers take so for granted.   To reassure my confidence that this skill can be mastered, I also reminded myself of more recent learning curves of the last 15 years.  For example, the time I drove a 25 foot RV around the historic squares of Savannah, GA, in my early RV driving days.  The time I found myself driving down a narrow western North Carolina road and noticed that vehicles wider than 8 ft are not recommended. (My rig was 8.5 feet wide at the time.)  Then there was the driving the narrow roads of Baja and watching the huge buses bearing down on you and there. are. no. shoulders.   So yes, I was very tired at the end of that first day of driving but I still had a left front tire and rim.   FYI, I had taken note of the battered left rim as we did the walk around at the Enterprise lot.  The young man said that they counted that as normal wear and tear.   On the other hand, some where on the inside of that rim I suspect there is a series of notches that record how may tires have been replaced.  

(Oh, I also marveled that they allow us "differently trained drivers" to drive off with their cars.  I had similar thoughts years ago when the hospital allowed me to take that day old baby home without any background checks into by ability and depth of or lack of skill and knowledge.)  

So, off I drove with several OMG moments of here and there, none of them leaving any marks.  Early on, I decided rumble strips can be a friend. Better than a sharp, left hand curb.

I was heading off into the Highlands.  On the way I stopped at Linlithgow Castle, birth place of Mary Queen of Scotts.  This castle was stunning and huge.  My imagination was busy following the ladies in waiting and palace followers going to and fro.   Meanwhile the mind is incorporating the different players that called the castle home over the centuries.  History.

The walkway above the Great Hall.  Can you "see" the ladies walking past above the party below?

For my English Cocker friends.   A local chap, enjoying a family romp on the castle grounds.

Another local out for a walk.  

The view from the top of the tower.

Bye, castle.

Time to head back to find some late lunch/early dinner and retrieve the car.   Another skill from RV life that transfers easily to driving here.  The calm ability to drive past someplace you want to stop because you aren't sure you will fit, aren't sure you can make the angles, notice it too late to make a turn., etc.  You keep driving and eventually find a safe place to turn and make your way back.

The old kirk that stands next to the castle.  The inside was totally remodeled and updated but the weathering on the stone and the dates on the headstones told the story.

Each and every headstone was clearly numbered.  I know that many cemeteries have numbered plots and maps but I bet this places is a step above in its organization and record keeping.

Back on the road and heading into the Highlands. Driving through occasional rain and watching the clouds come down over the hills.

Made it to my B&B.

I walked around the small town, because my body needed to relax from the drive and the views from the nearby headlands were exquisite. 

Three islands. The largest one was used as the burial grounds by three different Scottish Clans.  The didn't often get along but agreed to share these Holy grounds. They each had separate landing places and if they came to island for a burial and found another Clan there, they would turn away and wait for another day.

The last berries of the season.....

There was a charity event going on down by the water that involved  a late evening/night time kayaking and, as part of the event, some individuals were expected to chose to swim.  I did not wait around to see who was turning "blue".

Another real, if fuzzy, (English) cocker spaniel.

Got my attention. I liked it.  

My room for the next two nights.

Oh, this is the emergency fire route map for the easyHotel in Edinburgh.  The rooms were small RV size.  The least expensive ones came without even a window. As you could tell from earlier posts, I liked my upgrade with its window.

Tomorrow, the road will call me back for more. 

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a nice, budget hotel! I have not tried this chain, but I did stay in a couple of rooms where I could sit on the bed and work at the desk. And Hub hotels are even smaller.