Saturday, September 29, 2012

UK Day 3 - To Inverness!

The first part of my day was boring and consisted mostly of getting myself to the train station.  At this point, the hills of Edinburgh are a little annoying because I have to lug a suitcase up and down them in order to get to the train.  Oh well.  I would prefer to travel lighter, but this is a cross between vacation and moving home, so some additional weight is a necessary inconvenience.

On the train to Inverness I was seated in a group of four seats, two front-facing and two back-facing, with a table in the middle.  This is the sort of setup where conversation is inevitable if the languages allow.  The other three seats were filled in by a family going also to Inverness, where the mom is going to run in the marathon tomorrow.  They were very helpful to me, since they had race information packets on hand (received presumably by mail) and thus were able to get some of my questions answered.

Upon arrival in Inverness, I bid my traveling partners adieu and went in search of my hotel.  Booking a hotel in Inverness was not as easy as I had hoped.  Even though I booked it a month in advance, many of the locations were sold out by the time I had started my search.  I found a bed and breakfast that had a minimum two-night stay, and while expensive, thought it was basically my only option.  Fortunately they were flexible on that rule and let me stay for just the one night.

The Westbourne Guest House is a most accommodating place.  The proprietors have several awards for "best landlord" on the wall, and I can see why.  First, I have yet another room upgrade.  That's 3/3.  I'm currently in a room with two beds (one twin and one double) all to myself.  Secondly, the landlady (it's an older couple that owns it) apparently likes to bake and leave baked goods out for the guests.  The shortbread is great.  Third, apparently guests of age are welcome to take a nightcap of port or sherry in the evenings.  Fourth, they know they have runners in the place, so they're asking what time we all want breakfast (because it's earlier than they would usually make it).  This place is awesome.

I registered for the race (I had to go in person since I'm "overseas"), where they remarked that I was from Poland.  I corrected this, although I would have thought my accent would have given away that I'm not from Poland.  I then spent some time walking around Inverness, the local castle (now a courthouse), and browsing shops.  Photos below.

I got to meet up with my friend Quartney and her boyfriend Sagar and their friend Amy here.  We went to a Turkish restaurant for dinner, which was good but a little slow on the service.

Scottish, thus far, has not proved as challenging to navigate as I had originally feared.  Maybe the locals are just being kind to me.

I've got to sleep now in order to have some energy for the 10k race tomorrow!


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