In, out, and bad beer

Trip Start Aug 22, 2009
Trip End Sep 07, 2009

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inverness Okay, here is the problem. I don’t want to talk about places I didn’t like. It’s not worth the time. So here is the bare sketch.     Our train from Thurso was a slow, wonderful tour of the Eastern Highlands. There is bog and cultivated forest that comes down to the gorgeous Firth of Moray. The heather is in full bloom, a dusky purple shall over green and brown blouse. Ah, but that land is beautiful.     Inverness is a Victorian town in a very pretty setting. It has grown too fast in the last ten years and the growth has been very badly managed. Our digs were OK and the ale was sub par. The second best thing that happened in Inverness was buying the tickets out.    Always ask questions. If the ticket machine (in fact, don’t use the ticket machine) tells you that it’ll cost 108 each to go to York, don’t believe it. Go to the ticket counter and talk to a very nice and smart person. He will tap his keyboard and quote you that very ugly price then go to another another screen and study it. Then he will quote you 69 per and you will be very happy. Oh best beloveds, always ask questions.    The best thing about our Inverness was our traveling companions on the way to York. We came to our wonderful 1st class seats to find two other travelers sharing our table, they at the window and we on the aisle. It is awkward for Americans to share close space with strangers. These gentlemen were so outgoing without being cloying that the talk just started flowing. Craig (pronounced Kreeg) and Andrew (pronounced Andrew) are hoteliers in Inverness and were going down to London for a show seeing weekend. Craig is originally from Paisley and Andrew from somewhere in the Western Highlands. but I can’t remember where. We’d been on the train about an hour and 1/2 when Craig excused himself and came back with 2 bottles of wine, talk about your breakfast of champions. One was quite a nice Cabernet/Merlot blend from South Australia, that was Craig’s. Andrew’s bottle was (heaven help me) a sparkling Zin from a friend in South Africa. It was sweet and fuzzy and I only had one glass and happily drank South Australian. Thus a long trip was made very good by Andrew’s travel stories and local history and Craig's knowledge of the food service world and wicked funny snarks at the expense of the French. Suddenly, we were in York.
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