Scotland 8: Day 11

03.12.20 | Brodick, Scotland | 10:05

I’m sitting in the CalMac ferry terminal and am the only one here at the moment. I woke up this morning at 06:30, gathered the rest of my stuff, and left the Airbnb. A friend from the states has been tracking my travels and let me know that there were delays and cancelations in the ferry service today due to expected high winds. I should get an update in two hours, letting me know if there will be any service today.

Being stuck on the Isle of Arran wouldn’t be the end of the world- this is a great place, after all. Yes, I’m keeping up to date on the whole Covid-19 situation, wondering what my next move should be. Part of me wants to run back home to the states, but when I step back and think: according to the current numbers, I have less of a chance of catching a virus here in Scotland than I do in my own country, especially in my line of work.

12:21

It appears that I’ll be in Brodick, at least one more night. As I said earlier, it’s not the end of the world. I should be upset since I have a place reserved at my next location… but such is life, I guess. It’s not like it’ll go unused, though. Dicky and Drew are staying with me, after all.

I found accommodation at The Belvedere, which is an old home/ hotel. It is 100 years old this year! It’s a good location, too, just up the hill from the main street through town, but quick access to town. I can still walk down to Crofters’ for a fourth night, if I so choose.

When I arrived, the nicest man came to the door, and he told me he just received my booking request and apologized that the place was a mess. To be honest, the old home looks incredible. All I saw was a few dog toys in the living room area. I told him not to worry because I’m a dog person. He said I was the only one here, so he upgraded me to the more excellent room, for no extra cost. He is also giving me a discount because I told him I’d be leaving for breakfast in the morning.

22:29

For the fourth time in four days, I Had dinner at ‘Crofters’’. I was hoping for more live music, but unfortunately that wasn’t planned for tonight. I ordered a chicken dish, and I pretty much think that’s the best thing that I’ve had there so far.

Let’s hope I make it back to the mainland tomorrow!

Scotland 8: Day 10

03.11.20 | Brodick, Scotland | 21:36

When I first woke up, there is rain hitting the skylight above me. The sound may have been what woke me this morning. At any rate, I had gotten a good night’s sleep, so I rolled out of bed and headed downstairs.

I did a load of laundry, and by the time I had all of the wet clothes hanging to dry, it had gone from raining to partly cloudy. I figured this is my last full day on the isle of Arran, and I should take advantage of the fact. I got ready and headed out to go for a walk.

I found myself hiking up the Glen Rosa Circuit. It was a pleasant walk. The first half was very easy, as it went from a paved road to a dirt road to a well-kept trail. It was the second half after I crossed to the other side of the stream that was a little bit more difficult.

Still, I made my way back on what I could find of the trail. Much of the trail was covered in mud and puddles from the morning’s rain. I got some great pictures along the journey!

I just got back from ‘Crofters’’ where I had a great dinner. This was my third dinner visit in as many nights, but tonight was even better because there was live music!

Cullen Skink

Scotland 8: Day 8

03.09.20 | Brodick, Scotland | 21:29

Leaving Edinburgh
Leaving Glasgow

I arrived on the isle of Arran yesterday in the early afternoon. This storm was the first heavy rain that I’ve experienced in Scotland this year. I knew it was inevitable since I choose to travel here this time of the year. I could come in the summertime, but early spring has become my thing.

Even though it was only about a mile walk to my Airbnb, I opted to wait it out for a bit in the CalMac terminal lobby. The cottage was supposed to be ready from 15:00, and it was still a bit too early. I waited until 14:30 to leave.

Walking one mile in the pouring rain felt like walking about five miles. There were taxi cabs available, but I didn’t want to bother them with a one-mile trip. As an occasional Lyft driver at home, I know that we secretly hope for the rides that will give the more significant fares. 

The Rowanbank Cottage is a nice little setup: Across the road from a golf course, and just beyond that, I can make out the sea. It is right on the outskirts of downtown Brodick and seems like a great place to stay.

[update: Link to this place on AirBnb]

After getting settled in, I put back on my wet clothes and headed into town to find some dinner. I walked into the first place I saw that was open (and looked like they’d serve more than just alcohol), which turned out to be Crofters’ Music Bar Bistro. Not to be confused with ‘The Crofter’ that I visited in Ft William, Scotland, back in 2018. The food was delicious- I had the sea bass with crawfish and sticky toffee pudding for dessert.

My server, although sweet, was a little overzealous. She kept checking on me every two or three bites at first, asking how I was doing and if I needed anything. I appreciate that she cared, but I’ve learned that this isn’t as common in Scotland as it is in America. Usually, the server will check on you once when you’ve had a chance to taste the food and then tend to leave you alone to enjoy your meal- the server won’t even bother you with brining your bill until you request it. 

When eating out at home, it often feels like the server wants to rush you out to free up the table for the next person. They usually will drop off the bill saying something like, “No rush, but here’s this when you’re ready.” Are they afraid I’m going to sneak out without paying? When I eat, I have a hard enough time slowing down because I’m a pig. I don’t need that added pressure to rush. Just chill out!