3 January 2009
In a departure from our travelling norm, we are staying at a hotel rather than a Bed & Breakfast. We made the decision when we arrived in the small village of Bridge of Allan on the outskirts of Stirling to visit the Bridge of Allan Brewery. The brewery, like most businesses in Scotland, had taken the day off. So, we went inside the adjoining hotel on a lark to inquire as to cost and availability. To our delight, the General Manager gave us a rate (that included breakfast) that was on par with, indeed a fraction less than, B&Bs in the area. So, although the building exterior is antiquated (Victorian, I believe), the interior has been gutted several times and currently is very art deco with a splash of Danish modern. What it is, is comfortable. So comfortable in fact that by the time we got up and finished breakfast (good, but not as good as what Erlend had been providing at #2 Cambridge Street) it was closing on noon. We walked to the only Post Office in town, bought the necessary postage, then spent the next half hour affixing all the stamps to the postcards and mailing them.
Waiting for the Master
(This photo was taken as I re-entered the Post Office to help affix the postage. The well-behaved, beautiful, if aging Spaniels were waiting patiently by the door)
By this time the pubs were open, and I stopped in at the bar inside the Adamo Hotel to get a pint of Lomond Gold from Bridge of Allan Brewery. Upon receiving the pint, I also received the invitation to visit the lounge in the adjoining room to watch the Hearts v Hibernian derby on Setanta Sports. This is a match to which I’d been trying to get tickets for four days. But, as the Tynecastle Stadium only holds 17,800 people and the tickets were going for upwards of 400 quid it had proven to be nearly impossible. Therefore, the invitation proved irresistible. My wife soon joined me and we made acquaintance with a charming individual, Euen, who is moving to Dubai in the next few weeks. Perhaps I’ll take his place here in Scotland. 🙂
When the game was over, a disappointing nil-nil draw, we walked over to the Bridge of Allan Brewery where we engaged Craig (the keep), Douglas (the brewmaster) and Mack (a displaced Iowan) in conversation and beer drinking – The Glencoe Wild Oat Stout is exceptional. Dinner at the Allan-Water Cafe followed by a quick pint at the Crooked Arm and then it’s time for a journal entry. So, here I am.

~KR (Written on 3 January 2009)

Barcelona v Mallerca (1 -1 at 58 minutes)

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Exposure Bias: 1/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Software: picnik.com