Today began with breakfast at 8:15 where I met two of the other guests…who are from San Francisco. They drove up from Edinburgh yesterday, through the snow that I sat back and watched, worry-free from the train. They’ve been to Scotland before and this trip is dedicated to exploring the Highlands…which they kicked off with an Outlander tour today. I decided that, as I’ve done for much of this trip, I’d just wander around and explore and wouldn’t trek too far from the B&B, since I’m still not feeling that well.
After breakfast and my usual morning routine, I set out…and was immediately greeted by a very affectionate cat upon opening the front door. After a few minutes, I finally wished it a “Good Day” and wandered down to High Street, which was filled with shops and little Saturday market stalls along with numerous political booths, since the election is next week. I then turned south and wandered along the River Ness after passing Inverness Castle, where there were rabbits out and about on the hillside. Susan had recommended walking along the river until I reached the second suspension bridge, which would take me to the Ness Islands where the locals love the walk, but I decided that the distance might be a bit ambitious considering how I was feeling. So, I sat on a bench near the war memorial and watched the river for awhile before crossing over the first suspension bridge and walking back along the other side. On the way, I stopped into a coffee shop that overlooked the river and sat and had a cup of tea before making my way back over the river to High Street.
After navigating the crowds that were lining the sidewalk, since a SNP rally-march was just kicking off, I stopped into Girvan’s for a light and very delicious lunch. I then headed across the street to Debenhams to window shop for luggage again. I haven’t bought many souvenirs so far on this trip and I still haven’t had to unzip PJ’s expander – although it’s getting close – but I know there are things I want to pick up when I get back to London. It would be a tight squeeze to get them all to fit and even if they did, I’d definitely be over the baggage weight limit. So, I figure it’d be best to pick up another suitcase in London and split things between the two, since I get two free checked bags and wrangling them on the last short leg of my journey won’t be too much of a hassle…hopefully. Too bad the suitcase that I fancied the most was the only one not on sale. Perhaps it will be when I get back to London, but somehow, I doubt it.
After Debenhams was another quick stop at Boots and then one at Marks & Spencer next door. I did not browse through the scarves this time (I noticed as I walked past that it was a very small scarf section) but headed downstairs to the food hall to pick up a salad and some fruit for dinner (although right about now, I’m wishing that I’d picked up a bit of chocolate or some Scottish tablet). I then made my way back up the hill to the B&B…and took a nap. Not a power nap, but a proper nap, which I desperately needed but may regret later tonight. I was woken up when two couples checked in, saving me the shock of my alarm. There are four rooms in my B&B…and the guests in all four are from the States. The rest of the evening has been spent trying to stay on top of my writing, organising my photos, and just relaxing, since tomorrow is another early morning. My next stop is Paisley, outside of Glasgow. I had originally planned to drive there from Inverness, but, obviously, I’ll be taking the train instead. To go from Inverness to Paisley Gilmour Street station requires a train, a train, a bus, and a train. I’ve opted instead to just do the first two trains and then a taxi.