Dave and I had champagne as an apéritif and red wine with dinner. The chicken choice was really good. A cognac and sleeping pill to end and I got a fairly decent amount of sleep. I must remember to look for an eye mask that doesn’t have plastic buckles on the edge as they dig in to my face. I woke just before breakfast, which was average. Disembarking was a pleasure and we had time to relax in the lounge before our flight. This makes a change. We had an easy flight to Cape Town and now it’s the last leg of our journey, back to Gordons Bay! Another great holiday comes to an end.
As a point of interest, Argyll means coastland of the Gaels. In 1891 the Highland Association was formed in Oban. I did not sleep well last night. This is a recurring pattern for the last night of our holiday. We were out of bed early, packed and went down for breakfast. We then took a slow walk, stopping for espressos at Dolce Vita before going to the Oban Distillery. It was founded in 1794, first brewing ale, and was instrumental in the development of Oban’s industry. We then check out and made our way to Inverawe smokery where we bought smoked salmon pâté for lunch. We did the riverside walk to a small loch where you can do some trout fishing. We headed down the road past Loch Awe which is used for hydro power. We then drove pas Loch lubhair again before going on a new route to Loch Earnhead. The soles of Dave’s shoes had broken off, so we put them in the clothing bin. Hopefully they get donated after being glued back on, and not chucked away. We drove through Comrie which is really pretty and stopped at the Famous Grouse experience. This is at the Glenturret distillery which is Scotland’s oldest distillery having been established in 1775. Our next stop was meant to be Stuart glass factory but there were no signs in Crieff where it was. We followed a narrow track down to a Pictish stone – we took a photograph of the replica as the original is in a Church. Next stop was for fuel – just £5 to get us back to Edinburgh. (1.079) at Tesco’s fuel. We parked in the old part of Perth’s city centre and I bought treats at Thornton for Dave and I and Dave bought a new razor foil at Boots. We then headed for the airport which is really well signposted. We got the car Bach at 15:05 – 5 minutes before we clocked over to the next day. So the delay picking up the car should mean a day less of charges. We checked in, went through security and tasted the Laphroaig an Cuan Mor – the big sea. Full of sea salt and peat. Will look for this at home. In the lounge I had a Spey 12 year old and Dave had a glass of Merlot. The flight was delayed due to a flock of birds on the runway. This did not affect us at all as we had plenty of time to waste in Paris. There were lots of well armed army personnel and security has been beefed up a lot since our arrival in Paris! Once through security we tried the Grey Goose toasted wheat vodka which was really good. Pre dinner treats were Ladurée macarons. Pistache and citron for Dave and fleur d’oranger and café for me. We bought tomate sechée piment a espelette from Maille and after walking through the shops had a brief sit down before getting on the plane.
Woke up far too early in my opinion, with not enough coffee. Had a lovely breakfast on the plane and after disembarking came through security to the transit lounge. There is no way to get to the Salon Icare Lounge that we can see. Had croissants and espresso – about a triple. Now waiting for our flight to Edinburgh which leaves at 10.
Arrived in Edinburgh and got through border control after a fair wait. Collected our bags – my lock had been broken off so while I reported that Dave changed our car hire booking. Caught the tram to York Place – free WiFi on the tram and an easy journey. Met Mark at the Hotel – so amazing to see him. Took a walk to the Albanach for lunch. I had Tobermory 10 year old to drink, Mark has the Auchentoshan “Three Wood” and Dave had a Springbank. I had scampi to eat which was excellent. Mark had a burger and Dave haggis. We then walked up to the castle and back and found a shop selling charms. Then found another shop selling spurdles. Stopped for coffee before heading down to Holyrood House and then a nice walk past monuments, through cemeteries, and up to see views over the city. Now back at the hotel relaxing before dinner. We had Laduree macarons for tea. A treat from Paris. Frambois for me, chocolate for Mark and salted caramel for Dave. It’s amazing to just spend time with Mark and a blessing.
Mark got dressed into the clothes he’s wearing to a Victorian wedding. He looks fantastic! After a shower and some relaxing we took a walk to the Scran and Scallie. Meaning food and children, Tom Kitchin’s gastro pub is amazing. The food was excellent and the staff fantastic. I will do a review on my blog. We had a good walk back to the Hotel and within 5 minutes of getting here exhaustion set in. I was so happy with how Mark can just chat with us about anything! I climbed into bed and discovered the soft mattress is actually the springs which have given in. Despite that, and the noise, I managed a fair night’s sleep.
What a pleasure the start of this trip was. Left Cape Town at 14:10 and got to Johannesburg at 16:00. Went to the Air France desk to get our boarding passes. Our luggage was checked through from Cape Town to Edinburgh. Border control was a breeze and we sat in the lounge relaxing until it was time to board. Now on the flight to Paris! A glass of champagne to kick off the flight and then curried fish for dinner. We had a nice meal, some wine and then tea for me with my sleeping tablet. Which did not work straight away. Had a restless sleep which for the first time was not comfortable due to my knee.