Trip Start Aug 12, 2012
Trip End Sep 26, 2012

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Monday, August 20, 2012

Having promised my wife that we would visit in 2010, we completed the visit this time. Unfortunately, I presumed that the city would be the size of Inverness, instead it is smaller than Edinburgh (about half) and third on the list to Glascow. Thus the wrong choice was the car.

First of all George (our GPS) programmed us into driving the scenic route, which took us into the Cairngorms National Park. Down back roads, off main roads, down single country roads with shaggy highland coos (cows), back not the main highway for a few miles and then back onto country lanes again. I actually think that the route was shorter,compared to the expressway on our return journey which was single lane most of the way and blocked either by large trucks, driven slowly, or farm tractors travelling even slower. We ended up on top of the peaks at the snowfields, idle ski-lifts standing stark against the green grass.

On the road was a cute little woollen goods store and tea house. The atmosphere was cosy, they had scones and jam and cream and had never heard of a flat white coffee! I’m used to it now and ask for a latte which gives me almost the same result. The teenage girls on the register gave me a soup bowl of black coffee on the first attempt and were most apologetic when I explained what a flat white was. They made me a latte. Poor darlings even though I tried to be gentle, they got very embarrassed. Anyway we got our coffee and scones, bought some souvenirs and went on our way.

Driving through the outskirts of Aberdeen, resulted in one very confused driver. We stopped and took some photos and plugged on timidly into the city. In a few minutes I was lost, driving in and out of Central Station car park and ended up at the wharf, we I gave up and parked the car in a multi-level car park. Outside we looked for a pub to get some grub. One looked interesting,it had skull and crossbones on the door and loud rock music played inside. Upon entering two large lads appeared, whereupon I explained we were looking for some food! The guys bent over backward to apologetically explain that they were a bar and didn’t serve food. They suggested the Maritime Museum (which we discovered was shut on Mondays) and a few pubs up on Union Street.

Up the hill again to find some food. There was a bar which did serve food but I had to explain how make a steak sandwich. They did pretty well with that, only they forgot to toast the bread. Never mind, wash it down. With half a pint of milk (just kidding) and we were on our way again. Explore the Union Street shops until my I've suggested it was time to go. Found someone else’s car in the car park and tried to open it, aghast at the damage that appeared on the mudguard (I don’t remember doing that!). Eventually went down a level and drove the correct car out of the car park.

Switched on George again and told him to get us the hell out of there. Unfortunately I chose the wrong city and he had been programmed to take us to Glasgow and not Inverness. After sorting that out we eventually saw some signs that indicated we were going I the right direction. City lorries and 5 farm tractors later we found ourselves back in Inverness again.
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