Thursday, October 10, 2019

MENU's UK Adventure 4. From Edinburgh to Rothes in Speyside

The next part of our journey was to go North, through the Cairngorm National Park to Rothes in Speyside,
a small town in the centre of the Speyside whisky area, where we were to stay in an old Inn for four nights
First we had to collect our hire car, a Vauxhall (Opel) Crossland X, from near Waverley station in Edinburgh
We made sure this one had SatNav
We packed the car and said a fond farewell to Edinburgh, planning to come back some day soon; it's a lovely city
The road north is very, very beautiful. You travel though small villages and lots of forests
We stopped for a short break next to this old hotel to eat our sandwiches
It is on a very pretty river, calm below the bridge
Above, it was quite turbulent as it rushed over a weir
Herb Robert, a plant found all over the British Isles, especially in late summer
The SatNav, irritatingly, kept trying to take us the long way round. We wanted to drive through the Cairngorm National Park. We had to ignore the GPS which made us detour for quite a long way. But it was so worth it. High hills and mountains covered in purple heather. In the winter, this is where you can come and ski in Britain; there is a lot of snow. The posts alongside the road show the position of the road when the hills are covered in deep snow and the snow ploughs have to come out to clear the road
Our amateur botanist looking at what is growing alongside the road
and, in the grass, a rain kissed blue Harebell
The road continues through Braemar where the famous Highland games are held in September every year
We could not get a photograph of nearby Balmoral Castle, where the Queen lives for part of the year and during the games,
as it is hidden behind trees. This is the smaller Braemar castle. You can visit both
Sadly we arrived at 5pm, just as they were closing. Onward!
The dark purple patches are the heather on the hill
These ancient narrow stone bridges are quite daunting to cross as they are very steep,
so you cannot see what is on the other side until you reach the top. They are only one lane wide
The Eastbank Hotel, where were we were to stay for four nights
Our room was the two windows on the left of the first floor of the stone building, with good triple glazing
Rothes High Street, where we could park
The courtyard at the back
It was very comfortable with a huge bed. We needed it as we had both come down with a very bad flu and cough
and spent one entire day in bed, trying to recover
Space to sit with our laptops
And a comfy sofa which can become a sofa bed if you have children. We booked this on Booking.com
A large bathroom with shower  is through the door on the left
Downstairs in the bar and the restaurant, where we ate breakfast most mornings
Our first experience of a full Scottish breakfast. John started with muesli, orange juice and coffee
and then had the full cooked breakfast
This was on day two when Lynne asked just for just one egg, no black pudding, half a slice of haggis and no baked beans
It is a huge feast and we just couldn't manage it all
Glen Rothes distillery is in the town and was a previous owner of the hotel
The whisky bar in our hotel. They say they have 108 whiskies to try. Sadly, the staff was not very clued up or available, as they were busy chatting to friends in the other bar, so we only went to taste there once. Which was a great pity and a missed opportunity as this is where you can drink without driving anywhere
The owners' dog who was very unhappy with his collar which prevented him licking his wound

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