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South of the Grampian Mountains and a reunion in Rotterdam

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Sunday 28 March, south of the Grampian Mountains and a reunion in Rotterdam

We haven't forgotten that tonight started the daylight saving time, but still we are almost too late for breakfast. Our own fault, but we had counted on it that everybody would be a bit late.
After breakfast we wait for Paul to say goodbye and it is after noon when we leave the hotel.
Lintrathen ReservoirWe are not just driving around aimlessly but the trip we have in mind is pretty twisting. We start driving on several side roads west of the A9, then we cross the highway to the eastern side, into Perthshire and Angus. We are clearly at the end of the mountains and there is a lot of agriculture which isn't possible more to the north.
Glen Doll Glen DollAt first we see nothing but hills but when we drive into some glens to the north we are find ourselves soon in the mountains again. Here we are at Glen Doll, at the end of Glen Clova in the southeastern part of the Grampian Mountains. The weather is nice and even warm, about 15 degrees Celsius. The weather has improved quite a bit over the last few days.
Glen ProsenThe next valley, Glen Prosen, goes a bit less far into the mountains and when we drive back we see the plains before us, well, hilly plains. They remind us to the fact that tomorrow we will be back in the flat Netherlands again... No, this time we won't say anything bad about Holland, but everybody has to admit: Holland is really flat.
Neglected castle near BalintoreOn the way we see several hidden castles and entrances to estates with probable castles but we don't stop for pictures. Just when we talk about the fact that we aven't seen a castle for a long time we come across this one ner the village of Balintore. The windows are broken but we see no 'for-sale' sign. Well, it would be a bit too big for us, anyway...
Entrance Hilton, DunkeldWe have traveled quite a long way when we arrive at Dunkeld, where we have made reresvations yesterday. From here it is just over an hour to drive to the airport so we won't have to get up too early.

Although we have made less pictures than the days before, we have really enjoyed our day in an area where we haven't been before much. Our last night in Scotland, we have to celebrate the fact that we will be back, for sure!

Monday 29 March 2004, back to Holland, a reunion in Rotterdam

After breakfast (why does it take so long....) we quickly drive to Edinburgh and arrive within an hour an a half at the airport. Normally we just hand in the carkey and go to the terminal, but today the car is thoroughly checked. When we confess we have smoked in the car, despite the no-smoking sticker, the man tells us that is more to discourage smoking, not to forbid it.
On the airport we do our usual things: are there any souvenirs we still have to buy? No, then we go to our regular bar and have a coffee. Time flies and in a few hours we are backl at Schiphol, far away from the island where we love to stay.
Hotel New York, Rotterdam Hotel New York, RotterdamBut this time we don't go home immediately, no, first we take the train to Rotterdam where we have booked a room at Hotel New York. We have a huge hall as bedroom, a former room of the board of directors of the Rotterdam-America shipping line.
The hotel is not far from the central trainstation, unlike the Surinamese cabdriver tells us. It takes 45 minutes before we arrive at the hotel and she keeps on talking, about the fact that this is her first day at the job and that she has so many unfair colleagues. In the end we have to pay € 23,70 and when we walk from the hotel back to the train station the next day we are sure that we have been conned!
Hotel New York, RotterdamAt first, we don't like the room too much: it is too big, the furniture could have been bought at a recycling shop and the windows are too high for a nive view. We try to convince ourselves it is all art, but we don't succeed. The windows are also very dirty so our view is not as nice as we had been promised. So we feel a bit of a damper in the beginning. And that for more than€ 200!
But fortunately our gloominess is chased away when we hear the knock on our door and our friends Susan and Astrid stand there, the two girls we have met in Egypt. They totally agree with our comments on the room and then we just forget about it: we are here to meet some friends, not only for the room! They have brought champagne and later we enjoy a good meal downstairs. The waiters probably went mad from us, but we have a fantastic night.
Astrid and Susan visitingBack in the room we have to turn on the lights and now it looks completely different, certainly after we order a log for the fireplace. It feels as if our holiday will not end yet, not for a long time, even when we are no longer in Scotland!


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