Friday 30th September
We left Dunfermline this morning to a thick band of heavy rain. What had we done to deserve this? It gradually got worse and very windy too. We wondered what we could do today instead of riding around in the wasting gas. We looked at the map and found an indoor shopping center in Glenrothes which seem quite nice on the map till you got in there. The shops were very nice with a Boots, Poundland and other reasonable nice places – oh and a Greggs as well.
Greggs was a relatively new chain to the UK in recent years. The seem to be very ubiquitous in that you will find them in the most unlikely places, But they are very welcome nonetheless. They are a Bakers/Coffee Shop/ Small Cafe type of thing and very popular. They sell our favorite pastries, sausage rolls and some really nice custard tarts and suchlike. As they are nearly everywhere in the UK we found ourselves in one on more occasions that we admit to.
We found a parking space which was free for 2 hours and ran quickly into the shopping center under the onrush of heavy rain. Once in there, the stores were clean and tidy and looked attractive and nice. However, this is Scotland and some of its people do not always portray a lot of intelligence outwardly, mainly because there isn’t any. I am not wishing to dwell on any particular thing at all but I did notice quite a few downs syndrome people in lots of places. In Greggs cafe we noticed quite a few customers that were not quite at home even though the lights were on. This is not a complaint or racist comment, it is just that we noticed a lot more of this style of inhabitant north of the border. And with me being a little more observant than Betty, I saw things that she didn’t. We were seeing more of this than we saw in England. We left Glenrothes after about an hour or so and headed up to Stirling to see its castle. As usual we drove right through the city center to find the Castle. The city centre was full of cobble stones retained from way back in the day. It was pouring with rain when we were entering the car park. There were people everywhere milling around soaking wet, and this parking attendant rabbiting on about $12 for the castle and $4 for the other. What other? Heavens opened even more so we drove in, did U-ie and got the hell out of there. We decide we could walk around the city center, so we set off to find another place to park the car. No such luck, the rain was coming in buckets so we decided to head off up to Perth – the last city before Inverness.
We knew there was a HIE in Perth so we were not too worried about the time. We pulled off, found it on the iPad and booked a couple of night – reasonably priced too. So all was well with the world. Naturally when we got to Perth we drove right in there heading for the city center. The outside of Perth were a little dingy to say the test, but the further in we went the worse it became. The City Council had definitely not kept up pace with the decline of this city – especially the inner city. We were on the Main Street and there were boards and bars across the window and doors of derelict business that had long gone. Paint was not found in many places. I doubt we saw two or three places actually open. This was dismal for a city with such a fine history in its past. We turned into the next street, and the next, and it was all the same. It looked derelict with no hope of revitalization. Oh dear. What a good advert for Scotland. So we headed out of the city using the sat-nav to find the hotel. It took us a mile and a half out of town to a lovely little area complete with a pub alongside. It was like a breath of fresh when compared with the city.
Checked into hotel for 2 nights as we figured we would go to Inverness tomorrow and easy get back for evening meal. The room was very nice, clean and tidy and we were happy with it. We unpacked, relaxed and wandered down to the pub next door around 5pm. Not too busy and we ordered a nice dinner for ourselves and the usual pint of lager and Zin Spritz for the management. The meal was very nice and we actually finished it all. Wandered back to the hotel for an hour or so, then down to the hotel’s bar for a couple more. All very nice.
This has been part 11 of a series of posts highlighting the trip of a British ex-pat in the US when he returns to the UK for a vacation. He shares the experiences with us here on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the next few weeks. I hope you will enjoy reading them as much as I have, and seeing the areas he (and his lovely wife) visit, through my friend David’s eyes. ~ Sherry
David invites you to visit his eBay store while you’re in the neighborhood!