Saturday, July 7, 2007

First Day in Scotland

At the Sheffield Interchange

We barely slept last night. We secured an early departure to Scotland, and didn't want to miss the train. We didn't even bother unpacking, though some of us re-packed a lighter load, for our 1-week trip to Scotland. Our train would leave just before 9 am. This would be our first train ride in the UK aboard the National Rail.

Transit at York

We had a brief 20-minute stop over at York, followed by another 10 minute transit at Edinburgh before ending our journey at Dundee 6 hours later. Edinburgh looked really nice. We could see the castle from inside the train station... very majestic. We decided to visit here in the days to come.

The train ride was pleasant, kind of like the KTM Komuter in Malaysia. Weather was nice, though there were spots of rain that looked pretty depressing. Overall though, it was nice.

When we arrived at Dundee at about 3 pm, we were surprised to learn that the car rental companies were closed. They close at 12 pm on Saturdays. I was very disappointed. So much for all that planning. We ended up taking 2 taxis to our accommodations near Blairgowrie. The cottage we rented was pretty remote, and I wondered how we'd ever find it without a taxi (fitted with GPS). Even the taxi driver heavily relied on the directions I printed from Google Maps.

Neids Cottage

Surrounding Hills

Despite not getting a car, and having to pay extra for the 2 cabs we had to take, we tried to keep our spirits up. We were definitely tired (and hungry) from the journey. And after hearing about our predicament, our landlord graciously offered to drive us to the local Tesco for some supplies. Tesco, by the way, was a good 10 miles away. How nice of her to accommodate us. While Mak Long and Uteh followed our landlord to get groceries, I explored the nearby area with the kids.

The Neids Cottage, as it is called, is splendid. The house itself is large, with 4 bedrooms and 2 bath, a large living area with a fireplace, and a very cosy attic. It's surrounded by greenery, and a stream. And since we won't be getting a car till Monday, I was looking forward to a relaxing weekend in the country. We ended our long journey relaxing in our new abode.

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