Sunday, May 16, 2010
I went to Balmoral and all I got were these biscuits
I wanted to see Balmoral, the holiday cottage of the royal family, which is about an hour and half north of Fettercairn. Friday night I sat down and put together a train and bus schedule for the following morning. I worked out what trains and what buses I needed to catch and at what times. Everything was figured out perfectly. I woke up bright and early Saturday morning to catch the 8:00 train. This train was going to get me in to the city of Aberdeen with enough time to spare to catch the bus to Balmoral. I got to the train station and the train had been canceled. WHAT!?! I was really pissed off for a minute but calmed down and tried to figure out an alternative plan. I walked into town and saw a bus sign saying that there was a bus going into Aberdeen at 8:30. I decided to catch the bus with hopes that it would get into Abderdeen in time for me to catch the Balmoral bus. Nope, I missed it by ten minutes! I aimlessly walked through the bus terminal trying to figure out what the hell to do now. There was another bus to Balmoral but I would only have 30 minutes there before I had to catch the last bus to Aberdeen. I laughed at this idea. It would be a waste to pay 15 pounds for a bus journey and only have 30 minutes to explore. I scoffed at this idea and walked around some more aimlessly trying to decide what to do. While I was being aimless, the Balmoral bus arrived at the station and people started boarding. I couldn't accept defeat so I dug the 15 pounds out of my pocket and boarded the bus.
It was a two hour ride to Balmoral through the highlands, which was stunningly beautiful. I unfortunately didn't get any photos due to the shaky bus and dirty windows. I got off at Balmoral and saw that I only had 3o minutes to see Balmoral. I high-tailed it up to the grounds with the hopes of snapping some pictures. I got to the gate and saw that there was a 8 pound charge to even enter the grounds. What the hell? I entered the queue and glanced at my watch again. There was no way I was going to get in and have time to see anything. I cussed under my breath and figured I didn't have the time or the money to see Balmoral. I went to the gift shop to use the loo, get something to drink, and splurge on ice-cream. I talked to the friendly gift shop worker who convinced me to buy some authentic Scottish biscuits.
I caught the bus back and enjoyed the two hour scenic drive back to Aberdeen holding my bag of biscuits and bottle of coca-cola. This was all I could show of Balmoral...oh and the one picture I took of the River Dee. Once returning to Aberdeen, I caught my scheduled train back to Fettercairn.
At first I was really perturbed about how things worked out. I spent a lot of money and time on buses. Today, thinking about all that happened yesterday, I am glad I did it. It was nice to see more of the Scottish countryside. Sure I didn't get to see Balmoral but I definitely had an adventure.