Friday, October 19, 2001

Good-bye Scotland

Good-bye Scotland

We had our last meal at the house, abbreviated as it was for me. We gathered our things and once again packed our carry-on suitcases to make our next journey. As we said good-bye to Brian, I said that I was amazed that he could reach the Burrell in twenty-five minutes. He asked if it took us longer? I responded with the fact that it is quite a hike that we had not anticipated quite as fully as it was. Ron chimed in again with what a beautiful walk it was and it was not bad at all. Again, I felt like my feelings and comments were discounted. When this happens, it makes me want to further emphasis my case, just out of anger, but I let it drop.

Being old hands at using the bus by now, we found that the bus that stops almost outside the door of the house comes every twenty minutes and this was a back saver due to the suitcases. We were able to take to within blocks of the train station where we were taking our first train to Manchester. The four and a half hours train ride was comfortable in the standard class compartment. It was uneventful other than the meadows that whizzed by filled with grazing sheep. We sat at a seat with a table, so I was able to pull out my computer and write. Well, not exactly uneventful. There were two active drunks on the train that started causing quite a ruckus. They started harassing other passengers. Since I had my back toward them and was trying to ignore the whole thing, Ron closed my computer when he saw they were coming down the aisle. At the next station, the conductor had two police officers already waiting to take them off of the train and arrest them. One got away in the crowd the other was caught and was questioned by the police. This caused a short delay leaving. When we reached Manchester, we called Michael yet again and this time we were able to reach him. He had surgery in the last two weeks and was just starting to feel better. Jean was on vacation and would not be returning for another week, herself. We decided to continue on and try again later.

We had minutes to go to the bank machine and make the next train headed to Chester. After we were on the train, we heard an announcement that the train was delayed due to another train that needed to come in for those passengers who would need to transfer onto our train. That ride lasted an hour and a half.

One more train change to make in Chester, now that we were back in England. We took our last train to Holyhead, Wales. This seemed like a reasonable place to be for a few days. There did not seem like there would be a whole lot of things there that we would feel a compulsion to run and see. This was meant to be a resting stop before more frenzied tourist activity, but we had no idea where we were going to rest our heads tonight. It seemed reasonable that there would be some accommodation kiosk at the train station to make some arrangements, since Holyhead is a seaside resort.

Eight hours from the time we left Scotland, we had traveled through Scotland, England and were now in Wales. The train station in Holyhead is a small station with only a small lobby, which was closed when we arrived. The accommodation kiosk did not exist even in daylight hours. We dragged our suitcases up the long ramp up to the street and started to look for the town. There were two women walking that looked like locals, so we asked them about B & Bs. They suggested we head to the left and we would be sure to find something. Just as we took ten steps, we say a B & B sign in lights about five minutes walk from the station. We were able to get a reasonably sized room with two beds for thirty-nine pounds a night.

Once settled in our room, the urge to wander set in and we walked the town. This is a very quaint little town with picturesque little houses. The roads wind and bend up and down little hills interspersed with little lanes that go off in other directions. Ron was hungry, so we found the Boston pub across from our guesthouse. They stopped serving food at 6:00 pm, but said we could get ‘take away’ next door and bring it back there to eat if we wanted a beer.

Ron was able to get his fish and chips dowsed in vinegar (his choice) and I requested this thin, breaded beef cutlet and a small order of chili con carne. Except for the chili, it was all wrapped in white, plain newspaper to absorb the grease that oozed out of our late night meal. We brought it back to the pub and got drinks. The filet of beef and ten fries filled me mostly because the textures were more uncomfortable than appealing. The women that run the pub were gracious and generous in letting us use there little room to eat and so was our first night in Holyhead.

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