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O Fim duma Viagem


UNITED KINGDOM | Wednesday, 27 August 2014 | Views [537]

The train to Inverness was crowded. Extremely crowded. My sister and I spent most of the ride standing. There might have been other seats farther down in the train, but when we looked through the window to the next car, there were people standing there as well. So we stayed standing, trying to balance our means of entertaining ourselves with not falling halfway down the aisle every time the train accelerated.

Nearish the end of the trip, I realized that I was carrying a medium-sized suitcase without anything breakable in it. I could sit down on it. A little bit later, a person sitting in one of the fold-out seats near the door got up. My sister and I moved over there. She took the seat, and I sat down on my suitcase, glad to be slightly farther out of the way. Shortly after that, two people sitting together left the train, and my sister and I moved over to take their vacated seats.

The view from the windows was pretty. It was raining, but all else being equal I'd rather it be raining when we're in a train than when we're out on the street. Besides, you can't have a rainbow without rain.

Rainbow from the train window 

We got into Inverness around a bit before 6:00 on a Sunday night. Our first priority was to check into our hotel, then to get dinner, then to explore what of the town was open.

Since my father had been the one to book the B&B we were staying at, my sister thought it might be under his name. So she said that, and the proprietor disappeared into his office. He came back a little with a sheet of paper saying he didn't have a reservation for him, but he did have one for an Elizabeth. My sister; “Oh yeah. That's me.” The proprietor never questioned her.

We paid for the room, dropped off our stuff, and went off to find food. We succeeded with a Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant. My sister had grilled chicken, and I had a selection of vegetarian appetizers. While we were waiting, they brought out bread, cheese, and an eggplant dip, which we devoured eagerly. It turned out that the bread was the same bread that I was expected to eat my hummus with, and by the poitn food arrived, there were only two pieces left. I regret nothing.

All but one of the appetizers were really good. My first impression was that it was extremely flavorful, which probably tells me a bit about the food I'd been eating. The hummus was particularly good, mainly because I've had enough hummus that I was able to make mental comparisons in my head. The food was on the pricier end, but given lunch had been cheap, it balanced out.

Nourished, we could go out and explore the town. There was a castle that we'd noticed as we were walking to our B&B, so that was the first thing we headed towards. On the way there, we found a couple of touristy stores that were still open, so we went in to look at them. They sold much the same merchandise that the stores in Edinburgh had, only with cuter highland cows. Done with that, we headed back to the castle.

Castle peeking out from store fronts 

We were surprised and delighted by a flight of stairs that brought us right along the side of the castle. We were even more surprised after descending the stairs from the other side to find another flight that brought us straight to front of the castle. We walked around the castle, which is all we'd have been able to do even on a weekday, since the castle was being used as a courthouse.

The views from the hill that the castle was on were beautiful.

 View from Inverness Hill


View from Castle Hill

After we were done viewing the castle, we went for a self-directed tour of the town. This brought us past several bridges, an old cathedral, and a World War I memorial. We were not rained on, though my sister thought that would add satisfaction to the hot chocolate we were planning to have at the B&B when we got back. She also thought a long walk, like the one we were taking, was enough, so we didn't need to jump into the river just so we'd be sufficiently cold and miserable when we returned to the B&B.

We went back and drank our hot chocolate with the satisfaction of people who had explored the town. Not quite as good as the satisfaction of hot chocolate when you're cold and have just changed into dry clothes, but better than the repercussions of jumping into a river with a phone in your pocket and cashmere sweater on.

The next morning, we went to breakfast, and the B& B proprietor asked us a series of questions about what we wanted. We answered every single question the same, with the exception of eggs and mushrooms. She asked for her eggs scrambled and didn't want mushrooms, and I wanted my egg fried with mushrooms. Other than that, we both wanted the same food (tea, not coffee, wheat toast, vegetarian meal, etc.) 

After breakfast, we checked out and headed to a charity shop. I may have underestimated the amount of clothing needed for 4 days of travel. Especially trousers. The other articles of clothing could be washed and dried overnight, but not the single pair of trousers I had, that were also falling apart near the button. (Who needs a button when you have two button holes?) So to a charity shop we went to find me a new pair of jeans.

 After that, we still had some time, so we stopped into a Mark and Spenser's grocery store to buy some provisions, like scones. We'd taken a jam from the B&B, so all we really needed was a knife. And tea cakes and crisps. Nice British food that could fortify us for the rest of our journey to the deep north.

Tags: castle, clothing, food, train

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