Wednesday, October 6, 1999

Maureen fed us the biggest, best English breakfast yet - two eggs, bacon, sausage, beans, mushrooms, toast, orange juice, coffee. After getting Spam sausage and other nasty sausages at other places, Jana was no way trying the sausage here, but it was pretty good this time. And I donít know whose bright idea it was to make baked beans a breakfast food, but they were good. English breakfasts rule! Itís the one meal they excel at.

At 8:47 a.m. we caught the ScotRail Highland line to Kyle of Lochalsh. The scenery was unbelievable. It was gorgeous. Scotland is really strikingly beautiful! The trip takes 2 1/2 hours.

A placid loch along the Highland Line

At Dingwall we met another Highland line and a bunch of blue-hairs on a package tour got on with us.

At Kyle we missed the bus to the Isle of Skye, so we walked. The views from the bridge were dramatic. It was very, very windy up there, but not terribly cold. We stumbled upon some gardens just on the other side of the bridge. It was very pretty and we were the only people there - not even a caretaker.

Looking south, from the Skye bridge

Bridge/ lighthouse from the gardens

We walked to the nearest town, Kyleaken, along the shore and collected shells along the way. The "beach" is all rocks. We saw a goat carcass; only the bones, feet, and a little fur was left. I regret not taking a photo.

We ate/drank lunch at a nice bar. Jana once again had a shrimp cocktail; they put some kind of a French dressing on it. She says they are very good. A big bunch of American blue-hairs came in from a tour bus so we left.

We caught a bus back to Kyle and shopped at Mace. We bought Mace-brand ciders and a still mead for my brother John that the cashier drooled over.

Isle of Skye from Kyle of Lochalsh

We took the train back to Inverness where we had a one-hour layover before we were to catch our couchette to London. The layover was enough time for Jana and I to return the room key to Maureen that Jana accidentally swiped this morning. Maureen was thrilled! All the food places were closed at the station, but BK and Stine managed to score us all a couple of pizzas-to-go down the street, thank goodness.

Due to a staff shortage, there was no sleeper train from Inverness. We took a bus to Edinburgh and caught the train there just before midnight. We were relieved to finally be on the train, but it turned out to be the train from the bowels of hell. The room was tiny even by couchette standards. There was a big train crash in London on Tuesday; maybe a bunch of employees quit? We were all dying of thirst, and they only supplied us with 4 oz. of water each. After our begging and bitching, they grudgingly acquired us twice that amount. It was still inadequate, but slightly better than nothing.

BK and Stine in their couchette

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