The First Leg

The first leg of my Scottish break commences at midday when the Strachmobile heads north-west for a one-night stop in Dumfries, Scotland.

My destination a market town laying fifteen miles within Scots territory as the crow flies. That being said, as I’m travelling by car not on the back of a giant corvus, it’ll be a twenty five mile drive by road once I’ve forsaken English soil.

My overnight destination, nicknamed Queen of the South, famed as the locale where legendary 18th century poet Robert Burns spent the final years of his life. It was amongst the towns ramparts where Rabbie wrote his much vaunted sonnet ‘Dè an uair a bhios Sainsbury a dùnadh air Dimàirt’, which translates from Scots to English as ‘What time does Sainsbury’s open on a Tuesday?’

As I commence this paragraph I now myself reside within those very Dumfries town boundaries. My journey (which included two pit stops) taking me over five hours. A time greatly elongated by being caught in heavily gridlocked traffic on the A66 in North Yorkshire.

This transport latency seeing me transitioning so slowly that during a period of an hour I only succeeded in covering three miles of the journey. An irksome sixty minutes which was slightly tempered by the accompanying aesthetic views to my left of the Dales. This segment of my sojourn a metaphorical kerb crawl where my escort was played by an untamed geological Adonis.

Yours truly arrived in Dumfries at 4pm feeling tired, hungry and realising I’d forgotten my swimming shorts for bathing in the hot tub, which form part of the facilities at my ultimate Loch Lomond destination. This loch side lodge, the main accommodation during my vacation, where I’m scheduled to arrive at a similar time on Saturday afternoon.

The fatigue on landing at the Queen of the South raising pangs of relief I’d chosen (on Thursday) to break up breakup my sojourn Loch Lomond bound. GJ Strachan emitting a satisfied glow that he’d not got another two hours drive that. evening on top of the concentration sapping five he’d just endured.

On Friday evening I dined at a bistro called Crumb, a twenty minute walk from my Holiday Inn lodging. Here I dined on chicken breast stuffed with haggis, mash, cabbage and carrots in a cheese jus, washed down with a glass of pinot Grigio vino. A flavoursome Caledonian take on the English chicken breast, mash, cabbage and carrots in a cheese jus, washed down with a glass of pinot Grigio vino.

Tis Saturday morning as I bring this initial journal of my trip to Scotland to a conclusion. My full Scottish breakfast is booked for 9.45am; approximately one hour hence from me penning this, as I lay in my comfortable slumber pit with laptop perched on top of my quilt….. For the uninitiated a full Scottish breakfast is almost identical to a full English breakfast, only without the overwhelming feelings of self-importance.

As I can’t access my Loch Lomond lodge until 4pm, I’ll not be leaving Dumfries until early afternoon. Affording yours truly a few hours post-bracaist to explore further the area Rob Burns chose to see out his final days, prior to me firing up the Strachmobile for part two of my Scottish trek.

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