Our breakfast this morning at the B&B in Oban was delicious. It was wafer thin freshly cooked pancakes smothered with fresh raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, and dusted with powdered sugar.
From our B&B it’s a ten minute walk to the railroad station, but when I asked our hostess if she was sure we needed a taxi as she suggested, she laughed softly and said, “Yes you do. it’s pouring!”
Our train from Oban to Glasgow had only two coaches. It was old and rickety, but it was better than other train experiences we have had where there have been no seats and we were left standing. Our seats were facing a table and joining us was a man named Norman from Oban who grew up in Glasgow just after the war. He was so friendly and talked with us the entire three hour journey. He had been a merchant seaman at one time and had traveled around the world. As a child he lived in a tiny house. His primary school had showers and on certain days, everyone took a shower because they might not have had this opportunity at home.
I asked him about my maiden name MacFeiggan to find out what he knew and he agreed with the man we met the other day that the original spelling was McFiggan. “Spelling was variable, though,” he said, “When your ancestors emigrated to Canada some family members may have even spelled it with a ph or a v.” He said it was Gaelic and probably had its roots in Ireland.
Once we arrived in Glasgow, we took a bus to the airport. “Which airport are you going to?” asked the driver. We had no clue. Our tickets just said “Glasgow” so we had to hope for the best on his bus and in the end it was the right airport bus. On the way we met a young man from France who had seen puffins yesterday on one of the islands called Staffa Island near where we had stayed. He showed us a video. The puffins came right up to the camera within inches of his lens. “It was magical,” he said and he was right. It’s a place we will want to visit in the future.
Our flight on British Air to London Heathrow was one hour. If you had a more expensive ticket you got to board the plane through a jetway and were served a complimentary meal. The rest of us had to climb the steps off the tarmac and the last step was so steep onto the plane, it was a little scary. You could only buy a snack, but could not even use cash. It was quite different than what we were used to with this airline but had we taken a train, it would have taken 7 hours.
It is very hot in London so we were grateful it was a short Underground ride to our hotel, the NH Collection in South Kensington. We stayed here last year and it’s in an ideal location. Tonight we ate pizza at Zizi’s and visited the area around Westminster. The London Eye was closed but beautifully lit. We stopped in an arcade of all paces and played some games. We gave our winning tickets to a young child,
Back at the hotel we are grateful for air conditioning. Tomorrow we will visit the Tower of London and explore more of the sights.