Tuesday, May 1, 2012 – First day in Scotland

Arlie Mountain Mansion
First day in Scotland. After getting through customs, we arrived at the car rental counter and I was surprised to be told our reservation was for 12:00 instead of 9:00. Since they didn’t have our car ready, we ended up taking a smaller car. We were supposed to get a VW Golf, but ended up with a VW Polo instead. This wasn’t a bad thing since it was cheaper and better on fuel.

Getting to Stirling
Once we got loaded up we headed out from the airport onto the M8 but went the wrong way heading west instead of east. We ended up turning on the M898, and crossing the Clyde river on the Erskine bridge. We then turned east onto the A82 Great Western road through downtown Glasgow and eventually onto the M82 for Stirling.

We got off the M82 near Stirling at one of the motorway rest areas to get some lunch. We bought a couple of brunch meals at one of the kiosks but it wasn’t very good. It was composed of lukewarm eggs, baked beans, and sausage the tasted like sandpaper.

We then headed into Stirling to visit the Castle, getting to see the recently renovated buildings there. We wanted to see how they had changed since our visit in 2007. We weren’t disappointed. The paintwork had an impressive level of detail and new to this visitor were actors in period costume. This made for a memorable visit.

Doune Castle
Once we left Stirling about 3:00 and drove to nearby Doune Castle where one of my favorite movies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed. Terry Jones did the commentary on the self guided tour players you get during a visit. It was pretty funny, including snippets of the movie soundtrack.

Off to Alyth
After our Doune visit, we headed back towards Stirling and jumped on to the A9 heading to Perth. North of Perth, we turned east on the A923 to Blairgowrie, then the A926 to Alyth. These were narrow winding roads demanding undivided attention on the part of the driver.

We arrived in Alyth at the B&B about 6:00 PM. The Arlie Mountain Mansion is a splendid Victorian mansion, clean and a friendly proprietor. After unloading our luggage we walked down to the Alyth Hotel and Restaurant, just 5 minutes away. We had an excellent meal of lamb, carrots, onions and potatoes in sharp contrast to the lunch we had near Stirling. Being tired and jet lagged it was not long before we both were asleep. So ended our first day.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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