Tuesday, April 12, 2016

An Orkney Adventure, Day One

Actually - the biggest adventure has been actually getting here. Not that it was particularly difficult.  It just took a lot, lot longer than we expected it to!

We took the 11:00 train from Chesterfield to Edinburgh, which proceded in an orderly manner. I had booked the weekend upgrade to First Class so it was comfortable as well as orderly.

We arrived at Edinburgh Waverley station on time. Then we took a taxi out to our Premier Inn hotel.  £25 it cost.  TWENTY FIVE POUNDS!!!!!  The hotel is labelled as an airport hotel, and you absolutely know what you're getting with Premier Inns, so it seemed a good bet when I booked it.  What I didn't realise was that it was out in the middle of an industrial estate and surrounded by nothing more exciting than car sales lots.  Absolutely nothing to do at all.  And not only miles from Edinburgh but also miles from the airport. The taxi (there's no shuttle bus) to the airport cost £10 on its own.  We're booked in there on our way home as well.  Not quite sure what we're going to do all afternoon, stuck out in the middle of an industrial estate with nothing to do but buy cars!

Anyway.  We made our way out to the airport and got there in plenty of time for our 2:30 flight.  Just as well, all things considered.  The queue to get through security was worse than the queues at Heathrow!!  The staff were saying that they didn't know why but that it had been amazingly busy for a couple of weeks.  They had put it down to the Easter holidays, but pretty much everyone is back from that now and things hadn't improved.

We went to YO! Sushi for lunch.  We've not been before (The Builder is not especially fond of sushi), but they do curries and katsu and other tasty Japanese lunchtime treats and it was very tasty.

Then it was time to make our way to our boarding gate.

Look!  There's our little tiny plane
We waited.  And we waited. And we waited.  Then an announcement came.  Our flight was delayed because of "technical" problems.  Delay expected to be about half an hour while they fixed it.  We waited.  And we waited some more.  Plane broken!  A new plane was flown in, while we waited and waited and waited a bit longer.  Alas, the new plane also had "technical problems".  So we waited bit longer.

Three hours after the original scheduled departure time we were eventually allowed on to the original, now repaired tiny plane and off we went.  Fortunately we did not have a connecting flight, nor were we booked on to any ferries.  We just had to get there, collect our car and find our holiday cottage.  Other people, alas, had missed their connections and their ferries.  They were not best pleased!

So we arrived at the minute aerodrome at Kirkwall, about an hour after we left Edinburgh,  collected our car and without too much difficulty found our holiday cottage, a mere three hours after we were due!  Then we had to drive back into Kirkwall for some provisions. Kirkwall is not the biggest city in the whole wide world but it does boast three supermarkets, one of which is a Tesco which is open until midnight. Then we went back to the cottage and settled in.

It's a lovely location (we can see the sea and some islands, some crofts and some windmills and lots and lots of birds) and a pretty little barn conversion.  It's all good

The view from our sleeping loft this morning

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