Sunday, 30 October 2011

Scotland Day 9 - Travel back home

Today I got up at 6.15am, then we had breakfast at 7.30am. I had Scottish breakfast Sausage, Bacon, Tomato, Mushrooms, Fried Bread, Scottish Potato bread, Baked Beans, and some toast, along with a cup o' tea. Mauser had the same, except without any mushrooms or fried bread.

After breakfast we left the hotel and went into Inverness. Mauser had to get some petrol in Inverness as the car rental company charge you extra if the car isn't returned with a full tank.

We found the bus station, which is near the train station car park where we had to leave the car. Since we had about 20-30 minutes before our bus was due, I went off for a very quick walk to see if I could find any souvenir shops. We hadn't bought any souvenirs other than a Cairngorms pencil and Edinburgh Castle notepad for laddie, so wanted to get some 'proper' souvenirs.

Unfortunately I could only find one souvenir shop nearby, and that was closed (actually nearly all the shops were closed - it was before 9am and on a Sunday).

We got the bus to Edinburgh at 9.10am, which arrived in Edinburgh at 12.40. Partway through the journey we thought the bus was going to be very late as the clock in the bus showed 12.40 when it was still quite a way from Edinburgh. But actually it was just that the clock in the bus hadn't been put back an hour.

In Edinburgh we struggled for a bit to find a way to the station, as it is located underneath a bridge. We stopped to the south of the bridge, and Mauser saw some stairs that we could use to get down to the station. Before going down to the station, Mauser waited with the bags, and I went off to try and buy some souvenirs.

Unfortunately I only had £10, and I couldn't remember the PIN for my credit card. I had meant to check the PIN before we left for Scotland, but the credit card company's website was down for maintenance >:[

The shop sold a range of teas: Scottish Breakfast Tea; Thistle Tea; Heather Tea; Whisky Tea; and maybe some others I can't remember. They had a packet of Whisky Coffee in the window, but I couldn't see this for sale in the shop. Ideally I would have liked to get a nice quality scarf, Whisky coffee, a collection of the teas, some Walkers Shortbread, and a Nessie plush. But since I only had £10 I had to get a £5 scarf, £5 whisky tea (I thought this seemed more Scottish than the other tea varieties), and I also got some cheaper non-walkers shortbread with a spare £1.10 I had.

I went back to Mauser, and we made our way down the steps to the station, which was quite difficult with my heavy suitcase. Then we went through the station (and down more steps) to find the train we wanted and the platform it was leaving from.

We caught a train heading to Reading that stopped in Sheffield, but a large number of seats were reserved. We managed to find two seats that were free until York. Then when the train got to York we had to vacate our seats and stand out in the area by the doors. There were some other passengers there as well who must not have reserved seats, and then an old drunk woman came in and started babbling on about how a man had said she kicked him when she hadn't.

We got off at Sheffield as planned, then had to go up and down more steps with the heavy suitcase to find the correct platform for the train to Leicester. We caught the train to Leicester, and didn't have any problems with seats being reserved on that train. Then we changed at Leicester for Harborough. Putting the big suitcase in the luggage compartment and then retrieving it when you get off is quite a do, so we just stood in the doorway area with our bags since it was only one stop.

It was about 7.00pm by the time we arrived back at Harborough station. McRad picked us up from the station, and gave us a lift home. Pulling the heavy suitcase with no handle all the way home would have been very annoying otherwise.

We had some tea and I unpacked the case, then went to bed about 9.30pm.

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