Murphy’s Law- part three

My Scotland Adventure: day 4

Edinburgh Castle, taken from Prince's street

Edinburgh Castle, taken from below in the shopping district

After finishing up our 3rd day by shopping for new clothes and a small replacement suitcase to take on our upcoming tour of Skye, we slept wonderfully! Because, you know, that tends to happen when you’re in a hotel bed instead of an airport cot or airplane seat.

FYI: the best way to combat jet lag is to not sleep for the first 48 hours.

it works!

Day 4 dawned bright and early. We were able to awaken and get ready with ease; not hard to do when you have one pair of jeans and three t-shirts to choose from, along with no styling products or makeup to fuss with.

so, the complete opposite of this.

While eating breakfast, Husband gave me an odd look as I slathered marmalade on my scone. “Why are you putting jelly on your biscuit”, he asked, “did they forget the gravy?”

Biscuits=Cookies, Scones=Biscuits. get with the program!

As we set off to find our tour company, we snapped a quick pic of the cafe where J.K. Rowling supposedly first wrote Harry Potter. Our 10 year old daughter would never have forgiven us if we had forgotten!

the Elephant House cafe

We checked into our tour company and went outside to wait with the group until it was time to load onto the small touring bus. Husband picked this time to suddenly need the rest room (didn’t we leave the kids at home?). So he wandered off in search of a Cafe, with warnings from me similar but not limited to “if you’re not back in time I will leave you, I am not missing this tour!” Of course the guide appeared soon after, ushering everyone down a side-street to the waiting bus, while I ground my teeth into dust waiting for Husband to come back.

“oh where oh where has my little dog gone, oh where oh where can he be?”

Luckily we did not miss the tour but we did get stuck in the very back of the bus. Finally we are on our way, out of the city and over the Firth of Forth. Our guide told us informative things about the city and upcoming countryside, as he played a bit of music to start our day.

lowland countryside

“so Sally can wait, she knows it’s too late as we’re walking on by…”

Our first stop was the small village of Dunkeld. We were afforded a little time to look at the old cathedral, grab a snack, and use the toilets before heading off on our way again. This was my first experience paying to use the public facilities. I found it odd at first but I quickly got used to it, as I did seeing the little half sinks in the Cafe’s and Pubs with the brand name Armitage Shanks.

Oh, the irony.

these shanks are anything but little

Two hours after leaving Edinburgh behind, our bus crashed. Yep, you read that right. We rear-ended the car in front of us, pushing it into the car in front of it. Evidently car #1 was slowing down as an ambulance passed, causing car #2 to stop short, and our driver didn’t react quick enough. A fellow passenger who was sitting in the back row of seats with my husband and I was banged up some because she didn’t have her seat-belt on, but the damage was minor.

Buckle Up!

The next two hours were spent by the side of the road as the accident was cleared and a vehicle came to collect us. I was unusually quiet throughout the ordeal which worried my husband a little. I answered his concern by revealing my fear, “I think we might be cursed”. Now, I generally don’t believe in bad luck but things were adding up at an alarming rate! Something was trying to sabotage my dream vacation. Or maybe I just had magic on the brain because: Matthew Clairmont.

reading book at side of road

me, reading about vampires and witches

A stand-in bus drove us to the nearby village of Pitlochry, where we had time to wander and eat lunch while we waited for our replacement bus and driver. Our original driver was shaken up but still took good care of us, remaining his personable self while continuing to wait with us.

Pitlochry

I had a cheese toasty with crisps for lunch, in case you were wondering.

For wait we did. There was another accident on the same road (the A9, which I’m told is notorious for accidents) delaying our incoming bus in stopped traffic. Three hours later, our intermediate driver showed up with the replacement bus (with the row of back seats covered in plastic because someone left the sun-roof open in the rain. just a fun little fact) We bid driver #1 farewell as he caught a train back to Edinburgh, and now driver #2 was tasked with getting us to Loch Ness to meet up with driver #3, who would be our guide for the rest of the tour.

“walk, sing, do anything! try spinning round like tops, just be right there by an empty chair when the music stops!”

Driver #2 gave some interesting commentary on our drive but he made me car sick, so I shut my eyes for awhile. I don’t blame him because he needed to get us from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time to make up for the 5 hours that were lost. Luckily I opened my eyes at just the right moment to see a filming location from one of my favorite television shows, Monarch of the Glen.

Monarch of the Glen gatehouse

After taking a peek at Loch Ness and being judged for not believing in the monster, we had time for a quick dinner before meeting up with our new driver. This is when I decided to try Scotland’s favourite soft drink, Irn Bru. Sadly, I cannot recommend it. unless you enjoy drinking bubble-gum.

Dusk was now upon us, which unexpectedly gave us a nice lit-up view of Eilean Donan Castle… while we got attacked by midges. I had to pull the hood of my jacket tight around my face, covering my nose and mouth as I tried to take in the ambiance of the location. Thank goodness for pictures!

“Adventure is no more than discomfort and annoyance recollected in the safety of reminiscence” ~ Gary Jennings

Eilean Donan Castle with bridge

Then we found ourselves winding through a beautiful Highland Glen (valley), green mountains looming up on all sides, as our guide told us tales of mischievous Fairies. Her accented voice, the soft background music of bagpipes, and the rocking of the bus lulled us into a relaxed state. Twilight in the Highlands is so serene, so magical. The curse (if there ever was one) had finally been broken.

Highland glen at dusk

Next time: I’ll wrap up my saga by sharing some thoughts (and photos) from our tour on the Isle of Skye, a steam train ride, and our last day back in Edinburgh.

steps where Margaret gets rescued by Higgins

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39 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law- part three

  1. Oh my, what a trip. Unforgettable in many ways, I’d say. I think from now on you can go on trips in the secure knowledge that *nothing* will ever go wrong again. Because you have had your share on just one holiday…
    Looking forward to the Skye part of your travel journal now – place I’ve been invited to see and not managed to go yet.
    PS: Love your castle pic of Eilean Donan!

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  2. I can’t comment on this, I’m too shocked…. You don’t believe in Nessie? that’s sad, poor monster.— what about selkies, kelpies…? 😛
    PD: Beatiful pics XD

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    • I believe in the possibility of Nessie. there might have been a prehistoric animal in that loch at one time but I don’t think there’s one there now. Selkies: I understand where that legend came from after seeing the native seals, their eyes are eerie. Kelpies: I’m not that familiar with, other than that massive sculpture in Falkirk. it’s cool but a waste of money, IMO.

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  3. Cill says:

    Cursed you were indeed! Did you say bad things about brownies? (The small critters, not the dessert). Did you mention the Scottish play by name?

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  4. I’m amazed that you seem to remain quite positive considering all your bad luck. The bus accident and waiting around so long had to be miserable. I’m glad you weren’t hurt. When you’re on a schedule it’s tough to lose so much time.

    Also, I can’t believe your luggage hadn’t shown up by now. Did they tell you when it might catch up with you?

    By the way I watched Monarch of the Glen and liked it too. Cool that you saw one of their filming sites. I’m not a believer in the Loch Ness monster either. No one here seems to care though 😉

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    • the whole luggage thing annoyed my husband to no end. our ticket agent assured us that the luggage was switched when our flight was, but it wasn’t. the app that let us track our luggage showed that it was in London, yet the airline itself didn’t know this. my husband had to tell them where it was. we didn’t get it back until the day before we left for home 🙄

      if this was a trip to anywhere else, I would have lost my temper immediately! but I’ve wanted to go to Scotland for years and this was finally my chance, I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything ruin it for me!

      Monarch of the Glen is highly enjoyable! I haven’t watched it in a few years, I should dig out my DVDs and give it a rewatch.

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      • Cill says:

        I’ve had the same happen. I might even enjoy shopping for new clothes if I was in a place where I could fine inexpensive clothes that fit. Unfortunately Scotland would not be one of those places.

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        • I got lucky w/the pair of jeans I bought. second pair I tried on and they fit wonderfully! at that point though I was just speed-shopping, buying anything that fit. LOL! install air-conditioning and I might stay longer, just sayin 😉

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  5. I’m really sorry so many things went wrong at the beginning of your trip. Fingers crossed these things won’t happen to us. We hope to be In Edinburgh in early September! 🙂 Were those N&S steps easy to find? We head north after that and will see Eilean Donan for sure as we used to live only a few miles from there. We might even cross over to the Isle of Lewis. Can’t believe I’ve never been there when I was born and lived in Scotland until 1976!

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  6. Helen says:

    Oh my… I’ve never read such a catalogue of disasters! Hope you did enjoy yourself overall…

    Hmm, that last pic looks awfully familiar! Perhaps not surprising as I think a lot of N&S was filmed in Edinburgh?

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  7. Don’t let her fool you. My bathroom delay put us in the back seat but she was quite pleased with that. And BTW, Driver 2 picked us up at the crash (thought I don’t think he was very happy to be there). Driver 3 took us to loch ness and driver 4 took us the rest of the way. We had our share of tour guides in one day.

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    • yes, you’re right, I did enjoy being in the backseat (mind out of the gutter!) b/c it actually helped w/the car sickness: I could see the whole length of the bus in front of me from out the side window instead of what was just parallel to me, like I would if I was sitting closer to the front. I didn’t count the driver who picked us up from the crash as a numbered driver though b/c he didn’t belong to our tour company (always so literal 🙄 )

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