Thursday, 12 May
Windyhill Cottage, Dunblane, Scotland
Tonight we sleep in the cosy cottage of Windyhill in the charming historic village of Dunblane near Stirling, Scotland, where we will stay for one week. After an overnight on Jet Blue from Albuquerque to New York yesterday, we had enough time and energy to go to into Manhattan. While purchasing our subway tickets we were surprised to encounter Milena Milenkovic from San Francisco on her way to her Smith College Reunion. We hugged, took pictures, and went our separate ways.
Our Manhattan visit included spying a woodpecker in Washington Square, eating breakfast at the Gray Dog (disappointingly weak coffee), walking the entire Highline trail (marveling at all the new construction), lunching at the South Porch in Bryant Park, viewing exhibits in the Public Library and strolling up Fifth Avenue, with quick looks at Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Cathedral before grabbing the E train back to JFK. I stretched out on the floor near the Icelandair gate, only mildly concerned about what others might think (while Kent pretended not to know me). I must have dozed a bit before boarding the flight to Reykjavik.
I was disappointed to have only one hour in Iceland. I loved the small airport where we were not required to go through immigration or security before boarding the flight to Glasgow, and where people got on the plane in any order. Because Iceland was covered in fog, my most memorable sight was the faucets in the restrooms that both washed and dried one's hands. No complaints about Icelandair, and next time I will do a stopover.
Wedged into a middle seat again, with a generously sized woman on one side, and Kent on the other, I did manage to sleep a bit before our arrival in Glasgow. Kent did a great job getting us here in our rental car, a rather nerve-wracking drive mostly along motorways punctuated by signs uncannily reminding us, "Do not drive when tired."
Cottage owner Alastair McDonald welcomed us and showed us the ropes. Scottish bluebells are blooming in the garden of the historic cottage on a site that was the home of "Jessie, The Flower of Dunblane."
A brief nap, dinner down the street at the Churches House Hotel, a walk about town and on the riverside footpath, a wee dram of whisky, and we call it a day (or two).