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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

from scotland!

We're having a grand time. Yesterday we went to Dingwall, and I found a good deal of information that will be helpful to the book. I think it's shaping up nicely. Bettsy wasn't as lucky in finding family--there were none still living in Dingwall with the surnames she was looking for, but we did find some in the cemetery and she has information about how to get research done there in the local records. There's a great book about Dingwall we both want, but it's published in 1974 and out of print, long ago, and not in the used book store in Dingwall or in Inverness.

Today I got up early and walked to the Moray Firth, took some pictures, and went to a bus stop where I got a bus back to downtown and was at the hotel in time for my 8:00 a.m. breakfast reservation. Unfortunately, Bettsy had overslept. I woke her, and she got down before I finished eating. We went to the tourist center and got tickets for the Loch Ness tour. We took a boat ride and toured Urquart (sp?) castle. It was a fun morning. We went to the Inverness bookstore when we got back, then she went to nap and I found the public library, but they're chincy on time, so I won't chat for long. I'll see if they'll let me blog since the other people at the tourist center didn't.

Tomorrow we intend to go on an all day tour of the Orkney islands which should be fun. We are running out of time to see everything but having a great time.

last night we went to an evening Rotary meeting, and it was fun and we met neat people. The people here are terrific.

I couldn't get to blogger from the first computer I used. The information I had typed then is:

We had a great trip over. The flight actually left Abilene early, and all
the others were on time, with no problems. Bettsy was worried about
finding a place to smoke at the Raleigh airport, then realized we were in
the heart of tobacco country and that it was no problem at all. When we
got to Gatwick, she found the smoking section, but it was too smoky even
for a smoker. She took three puffs maybe and left. We got to Inverness a
little before noon local time and took a taxi to the hotel. The rooms are
small but delightful, and the view is absolutely fabulous. The shower is
as small as the bathtub in Venice but all on one level and square. I put a
washrag (the one I brought, a gift from some of you before Mike and I
first came to Europe in August of 2002) and there were about three inches
on each side of it. The door to the shower scrapes me front and back to
get in and out--I couldn't be more than an inch larger and get in! Still,
the bed is great, and even if the storage in the room holds about as much
as my almost too heavy to come suitcase, it's a great room.

We explored the town when we got in, coming downtown to get something to
eat. The fellow who told us how to find high street suggested one set of
stairs and we knowingly took another, because it went toward Inverness
castle. We easily found High Street from there, though. We started to eat
at McDonalds but saw a bakery and decided to see if they had sandwiches.
They did. I had a sausage wrapped in a pastry shell and Bettsy had a
"traditional" something, a long wrapped sandwich she said had corn and
other stuff in it. Then we went shopping. I bought two books and she
bought some scarves and other souveniers and gifts. We came to the tourist
information center where we got tickets to the Culloden battlefield which
is a trip that will leave in about an hour from here, the tourist
information center. She got to feeling sick from the lunch, and I told her
I would walk her back to the hotel since she wasn't sure she could find
it, then I would come back before they closed at 4 and use the internet.
All was well and good except we got somewhat lost getting to the hotel
then I got a whole heap of lost getting back downtown. When I did, it was
too late to start the internet thing, so I ate a snack and went to the
River Ness bridge. I started wandering down the other side, going toward
another bridge not too distant. Before I got there, I saw a map of walking
trails. I was on one of them, the River Ness Island trail, and I decided
it was about three miles back from there to the hotel, so I'd take it. I
did, and it was absolutely beautiful. By the time I got back, I was
dragging. Speaking of dragging, our rooms are on the second floor, and
Mike was right about my having to lug the heavy bag around. But it was
tougher dragging me up them after all the walking in getting lost a few
times plus the purposeful walking. My pedometer said I'd walked 5.9 miles
after getting to Inverness. That's after I put in a new battery in Abilene
but forgot to recalibrate it. I calibrated it here based on what I
remembered as the setting, 24 inches per step. However, that was either
the setting I used during the Budapest to Amsterdam trip which was too
short or the right one when I figured it afterwards. I think it probably
is the shorter reading, but I'll have to calculate it all out based on the
number of steps recorded when I get home. I did walk a bunch of steps
yesterday, and my feet and legs are sore, but I'm having a great time. We
got to town easily this morning, and I know for a fact how to find my way
back to the hotel now.

I'll see if I can get blogger to working. Until next time...

Oh, I forgot to say... They really don't speak Texan here! It's almost
impossible to understand what people are telling you, even when they're
giving you directions!

I'm about out of time, have to be off in two minutes, so I'll quit now and get this online.

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