20th March: Morning diary
07:45 | ROSYTH 4ºC, blue sky, sunny, light breeze.
I am very hungry. I am still tired and not feeling particularly good, especially given my only food yesterday – apart from ham rolls in the car on the way up – was a very unpleasant and very cold ‘steak’ pie about which everything was wrong.
I have had a shower, cleaned my teeth and packed my ‘day’ bag for the next two nights. I have managed to charge my watch and my iPad and my phone is currently plugged in. I am hoping that the breakfast will be filling but after that we face the daunting task of repacking the car. I suspect it will be well after 10am when we get away.
I am in the dining room and it is very pleasant and well laid out. Our host is clearly very well organised. I have attempted to update my website with today’s blog post but it was very difficult without wifi. Even tethered to my iPhone – which has 5G here – it was not easy. I certainly could not upload any photos to the website, so there is no ‘featured image’ with today’s post – yet.
The breakfast was good and very welcome after last night. I felt well set up for the day ahead, which would include photographing the bridges from the north and the south sides of the Forth, before driving on to Buckie on the Moray coast.
Car packed – and I mean packed in every sense of the word – we finally said goodbye to our hosts and set out on our first full day in Scotland. I can highly recommend the B&B for the rooms, the food and the hospitality.
It is 10:46 and I have parked the car in North Queensferry; a quick stroll should reveal a few good spots to take photos. The Forth bridges are, of course, not only impressive but very well known and hugely over-photographed (if that is a thing?).
Arrived and parked up at South Queensferry, a very pleasant town. This was definitely a good place to take photos. We found some great spots within the limited time we had before the long drive.
The Orocco Pier cafe
We even found time for coffee in a very pleasant cafe – The Orocco Pier. I can highly recommend this cafe; everything about it was right, from the coffee to the service, decor and eclectic background music. We did not eat – the breakfast was still working – but the food we saw looked very good. We sat close to a huge picture window with amazing views of the Forth and the bridges. In fact, the window is so big almost everyone in the cafe benefited from the same view.
Road trip 2: Queensferry to Buckie
Leaving Queensferry on our drive to Buckie, which we had been looking forward to for some time at the planning stage. But which route to take?
My original plan many months ago was to travel up the coast via Dundee and Aberdeen. However, the three of us decided we would prefer to drive through the Cairngorms and via Aviemore.
It turned out that this was a good choice. The scenery through the Cairngorms was stunning, but unfortunately we did not have time to stop for photographs. My main priority was to search for food, having not eaten properly since Friday.
Arrived at our hotel and unpacked. I had my ‘day bag’ prepared so did not need to take everything out of the car and up to my room. I was quite shocked when I saw where I would be spending the next two nights. Hotel is not quite the word I would use; this was certainly not for the faint-hearted or those of a nervous disposition. I had honestly thought that hotels as bad as this had faded into oblivion by the end of the 20th century.
We were in search of food and, I am very pleased to say, found a restaurant that was okay. Haddock and chips was most enjoyable and well worth the asking price. My first good meal since the eve of our trip north. The restaurant – for any of you finding yourself in Buckie – is at the Marine Hotel.
I had a few beers earlier but they were all pop (keg beer) so nothing to write home about. Under normal circumstances I might have had a beer after dinner, but nothing good was to be had, and I was tired after a long day.
Total driving today: 182 miles.