Saturday, 25 October 2008 Miserable day, heavy rain and high winds, worst day of the trip. Make the long drive from
Craigellachie to Edinburgh with one rest stop in Pitlochry. The Forth Road Bridge is closed to high-sided vehicles, and I'm not sure the
little Matiz won't be blown right off. Tough driving. Manage to find the guesthouse at the northern edge of New Town, clean out the
car, and drive it to Waverly Station, where I bid it adieu. It wasn't the most comfortable thing I've ever driven, but it sure was
economical--so much so that I overestimated how much petrol it would need to get to Edinburgh. I was supposed to bring it in empty,
but the tank is well over a quarter full.
I need dinner, but don't feel like fussing. Grab a burger at the faux-American Filling Station. The menu also features fajitas, "a tasty dish from south of the border." Who knew fajitas were English?
I'm in the Bow Bar [Undiscovered Scotland] at 6:15, and Nick arrives an hour later. Another American tourist named Rob sits at our table, and Mark, who works at Cadenhead's Whisky Shop at the lower end of the Royal Mile, makes four. We're anticipating the arrival of our Danish whisky forum buddy, Jan, but aren't sure he's going to make it. He and his crew are coming from a tour of distilleries in Islay, and their early ferry has been canceled because of the weather. They catch the later one, though, and burst into the Bow around 9:00. It's great to meet him at last! And he comes bearing gifts, some fine samples: Lagavulin Friends of Classic Malts 12yo; Glen Grant 34yo; G&M Linkwood '69; and a generous 10cl of a G&M Port Ellen 1979. Holy Moley! You'd think it was my birthday or something.
The Bow calls last orders at a very civilized hour, even on weekends. The sensible among us go off to bed; Jan and I end up in the Standing Order, a Wetherspoon's conversion of a grand old bank building. It might be recalled that Ron and Kenny and I had a thoroughly unnecessary pint there two years ago; it might, but not by me. Jan and I top the thoroughly unnecessary pint with an even more unnecessary dram before saying our farewells and weaving off to bed.