We had breakfast and said our farewells to Martin and Amanda at The Gordon Guest House in Ballater. We had a marvellous stay there and definitely recommend it should you come down this way.
So between Google saying it should take about two and a half hours to get to Edinburgh Waverley Station and everyone else saying it would likely be closer to three and a half to four hours, and our rental car scheduled to be returned by Noon and our cross country train ticket pre-purchased for a 1:13 p.m. departure, we thought we’d play it safe and leave Ballater around 8:30 a.m. We actually got on the road around 8:45 a.m. It turned out that Google was closest, only being out by about 15 minutes, and that only because of traffic and a missed turn in central Edinburgh.
First lesson learned today: always, always, always take a photo of any — and I mean ANY, no matter how small or cosmetic it seems — pre-existing damage to your rental car before you leave the garage.
Second lesson learned today: never, ever, ever trust your rental car customer service agent when he says, “oh, yes, here’s some scrapes, but don’t worry about it, it’s all good.”
Third lesson learned today: always, always, always demand to see the rental car company’s record of damages to the rental car and verify for yourself that it actually documents any and all damages, not matter how small or seemingly immaterial they may be.
I won’t elaborate further, except to say that we will be disputing our liability for a pre-existing cosmetic scrape to the front right bumper.
A brief pit stop at — of all places — Burger King for lunch, followed by a one-hour train ride to Glasgow (during which I contacted our insurance company), and a 20-minute taxi ride brought us to our B&B for the night at Muirholm B&B in Paisley.
Fourth lesson for the day: when you need to get a ride from downtown Glasgow to Paisley, never, ever flag a street cab for the ride. They will fleece you. Phone a cab to pick you up.
We had supper at a place called The Red Onion. I picked this place a while ago for a couple reasons: at the time I thought we were going to have time to go to the Kelvingrove Museum before supper and The Red Onion was within walking distance; and the chef who opened the restaurant used to be one of Bryan Adams’s personal chefs. That’s all I needed.
Now we’re back at the B&B getting ready for bed. A cab has already been booked for our airport transfer tomorrow morning at not quite zero dark thirty this time, although still earlier than I’d like.
So I guess this is it! Our Scotland 2018 trip is over. It’s in the bag. There’s nothing left to report. We again had a spectacular time on this trip, and yes, there will be one more to come.
Adelle and Dan
P.S. Muirholm B&B is really nice, by the way. I think we’ll probably try to stay here when we come back in 2020.