The Adventures of BJ and Tony Morris
Scotland, The Southwest
We wanted to go to
We made preparations
(which included picking up a couple of travel guides from the library and reserving a car)
and packed our bags. A lot of extra thought
went into packing our bags due to the new security restrictions. I replaced my roll-on deodorant with a solid/stick
type and removed my toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and hair gel from my toiletry kit. Tony took all of the liquids out of his shaving kit
except his contact lens solutions.
At the first security
checkpoint, they tested Tony's contact solutions, but that was the only item that was
scrutinized. When we got to the gate, there
was a line of
We got great seats on
the plane and enjoyed a glass of champagne as we settled in.
One of the advantages to a late flight is that it is easier to get to sleep. In fact, I fell asleep almost before we left the
ground and had to be waked up for the meal. Our
flight attendant looked like my friend Gary Spencer and was just about as enthusiastic as
I would expect
After landing, we wandered around the airport to find an ATM. We each got £200 for the trip. The Thrifty courtesy car picked us up outside the terminal and took us to the Quality Inn where the Thrifty office was. The Thrifty agent processed our paperwork and walked us out to our cute little Hyundai Getz.
She gave us the
We made a brief stop at a General Store/Post Office to get Tony a Diet Coke.
We planned to make
Galashiels our first stop, but as we drove through, we decided it was a little too big and
elected to continue on to Selkirk. In Selkirk,
we found a parking lot just outside the
We made a quick tour
Then we asked the lady at Tourist Information about where we could get a bowl of soup for lunch. She recommended the Jaggy Thistle Coffee House. Lunch was cream of asparagus soup and a roast beef, sweet onion and horseradish wrap.
After lunch, we
stopped into a pharmacy to pick up the toiletries we had not been able to bring with us. On our way back to the car, we noticed Sir Walter
Scotts Courtroom, also
Back in the car, I
looked in our guidebook for information on the upcoming cities on our route. Frommers describes
Scottish penny-pinching ways, we opted to skip the £3
As we were leaving, we saw two wedding parties arriving.
Our first overnight stop of the trip would be in Dumphries.
The Tourist Information place was closed, so we just wandered around looking for a B&B. There was a neat walking street, but all of the shops were closed.
I noticed a bustling pub (The Cavens Arms) and stopped in to ask if they could recommend a B&B or small hotel.
They were very helpful
and gave us some business cards for several places. The
three places they recommended, Ferintosh (www.ferintosh.net),
Hazeldean (www.hazeldeanhouse.com) and
After we settled in, we went down the street to the Waverly Hotel for a glass of wine. The weather was so nice, we sat outside, but as soon as the sun slipped behind the building it got really cold.
We decided to check out the restaurant at the Best Western, but it seemed a bit pricey. While we were there, we saw a newspaper with a picture of the man from the pub who had helped us find a B&B. His pub was listed as the best pub in town for 2006. We decided to go back there for dinner. It was an excellent choice and worth the wait. We shared an order of Lamb Curry and a Beef Goulash. (BJ really wanted to try haggis, a local specialty. It was on every menu; our hostess at Birkhill Hotel had ordered some from the butcher, to be delivered along with her other meat needs; and the father-mother-daughter famly unit we sat next to ordered and ate some. But fortunately, BJ never got the nerve to try it. After we got back, I googled haggis recipe and sent her a copy of the results. Dont even think of googling it yourself unless youve got a very strong stomach TM)
Saturday morning we
had a lovely Scottish breakfast of scrambled eggs, fried eggs, bacon, sausage, tomato,
whole wheat toast and cereal. We refused the
hashbrowns and potato scones since they are not
It was another beautiful day. We stopped in New Abbey to see Sweetheart Abbey where the Lady of Galloway, Devorgilla is buried along with her husbands heart which she had embalmed and carried with her from 1269 until 1290 when she died. We could see everything we wanted to see without paying admission.
We also opted to skip the expensive corn mill museum tour.
Driving through Kirkbean, we saw the John Paul Jones museum (and didnt go in. It wasnt free. - TM), and then on to Southerness.
Along the way, we
passed a golf course advertising golf with an oval ball.
http://www.solwaygolf.co.uk/golf_cross.asp At Southerness, we saw one of
Driving along the coast we stopped for gas in Dalbeattie. Here we took a gander at Dundrennan Abbey just outside of Kirkudbright and then followed the signs to the wildlife park. We didnt go in (again, not free TM), but noted that it would be a good distraction if we were traveling with children.
We saw our own bit of wildlife (for free - TM) on the side of the road. These rabbits were HUGE!
Newton Stewart was a lovely little town on a river. We stopped to buy some cheese at the grocery store which we then ate for lunch along with a glass of wine at the Glencairn Hotel. Afterward, we walked along the river back to our car.
We chose Stranraer as our evenings destination and hurried to get there before the Tourist Information Office closed. The lady behind the desk said that all of the hotels and B&Bs were full because of a lawn bowling tournament and a wedding. Trusting that our luck was better than that, we decided to see for ourselves and we wandered around town. We noticed that this town (like almost every other town in Scotland) had a High Street.
One hotel had a twin
room with a shared bath and another B&B had a single room, but the rest of them were
full. The lady at the Harbour Lights Guest
was so nice, she insisted that we come inside while she called around to find us a room. She was unsuccessful as well, so we finally decided
to drive on towards
We drove back into town and had dinner at The Waterline. I had the Chicken Tikka Masala and Tony had the Vegetable Nut Roast. The Vegetable Nut Roast is something Id like to try to make. It had roasted peanuts, cous cous, onions, celery, cheddar cheese, carrots and hazelnuts and was drizzled with a white wine sauce.
While we were there,
we met four ladies from
Tonight, weak from our
second day in the
We have occasionally slept on a hammock-like mattress where we both rolled to the middle, but this was our first time to have the opposite. This mattress was elevated in the middle and provided no support at the edges, so we both had to hold on to keep from rolling off the sides. It is too bad too because aside from the bed, the place was just perfect. The bed is a deal-breaker though.
The traditional Scottish Breakfast (bacon, tomato, mushrooms, beans, eggs and toast) was served in a beautifully appointed dining room on interesting square china. We watched the rain drizzle outside as we ate. This was our first rainy day.
We continued our drive, stopping in Lanark at the Lanark Loch. We were going to have a picnic of wine and cheese, but even though the rain had stopped, it was still a bit too chilly for sitting outside.
We drove into town where we had our first (and only - TM) beer, a Tennants Lager at the Port Vaults and Vennel pub.
We decided to spend
our last night in Boness so we would be close to the
The girl at the Tourist
Information desk thought we might have trouble finding a place to stay. She was right.
We kept driving further and further away from the airport until we finally found
the Antonine Hotel in
As we wandered around Falkirk looking for a place for dinner, we noticed yet another High Street sign.
There were several bars and restaurants, but very few of them were serving food on a Sunday night, so we finally settled on the Manor House Chinese restaurant across the street. We couldnt really give it a resounding recommendation, but it was hot and filling.
The bed at the Antonine was VERY comfortable and we were ready for a good nights sleep after the previous night.
The Scottish breakfast was served buffet style but was no less enjoyable that our other breakfasts.
When we got back to
the airport, we discovered that the
After one last full body search, we took our Business Class seats, and headed home; The DaVinci Code was the movie of choice.
Until next time