Following a 31 year gap, we were back in Scotland! After departing from Edinburgh’s International Airport, we put the location of our hotel in the GPS system and picked the quickest route offered, avoiding the most challenging Friday mid-day traffic around the city…
Laurie took this photo from the window of our car. This is the Queensferry Crossing Bridge. This bridge carries the M90 motorway (expressway) across the Firth of Forth between Edinburgh at South Queensferry and Fife at North Queensferry.
This striking 3-tower cable-stayed bridge is 1.7 miles long. This is the third bridge across the Forth at Queensferry. It’s alongside the Forth Road Bridge completed in 1964 and the original Forth Bridge that was completed in 1890. The new bridge opened at the end of August… The official opening was on September 4…about 11 days before we arrived! The official opening was carried out by Queen Elizabeth II, 53 years after she’d opened the adjacent Forth Road Bridge.
Soon enough we were off the Motorway and on local 2-lane highways. As you will see in future posts, this is a luxurious wide roadway…something that we learned to really appreciate as we navigated the countryside…
Driving on the left wasn’t particularly challenging as I’d done it on our last trip to Scotland in 1986, then again in 1989 when we went to Australia and again in 2000 when we vacationed in New Zealand. What was challenging were the narrow roads and learning to judge my distance on the left from the curb on narrow roads with no helpful shoulders to cover my missteps. I hit a lot of curbs in the first couple of days… We were lucky I didn’t blow a tire!
After a straightforward but challenging drive from Edinburgh, we arrived at our hotel…the attractive and secluded Best Western Balgeddie House Hotel in Glenrothes Fife.
Bonnie posed for the camera in front of the hotel. The hotel has a total of only 33 rooms but they also do some business as a health and exercise center. We saw classes for swimming and exercise underway. The facility includes a fully equipped gym (new equipment arrived while we were there), a sauna and steam room and an indoor pool.
This is a view out one of the doors onto the patio…and the second is of the patio itself. The grounds here and in most of Scotland and Ireland, both for commercial and private homes, were extremely well maintained…better than the average property in the USA.
The first photo above is a view of the patio with my beer on the table and Laurie toasting our arrival at the hotel. Unfortunately, we weren’t outside very long after checking in before the sun disappeared. Since it was a bit chilly outside, we finished our libations in the bar area…
· The floors in all of the main rooms in the Balgeddie House Hotel came from the ‘B’ Deck of the HMS Homeric. The ship was turned over to the British by Germany in 1919 as part of WWI war reparations. She had previously been named the Columbus. Serving with Britain’s White Star Line, the 774 foot long Homeric could carry 2,145 passengers with a crew of 774. The ship was scrapped in 1935 and the Balgeddie House was built in 1936.
Adjusting to European style facilities was interesting… Most mattresses were harder than you would find in the USA or Canada. Heating is via modern radiators rather than forced air. If the radiators are ‘on’, you can adjust them up or down but you really can’t control the room temperature. Like most hotels and motels in the USA, there was rarely enough light provided in the rooms.
The bathrooms were the biggest challenge. Most hotels including this one, don’t provide washcloths or bars of soap for the shower. They do provide liquid soap but that’s not my preference…
We thought that counter space in this bathroom was a bit small but in retrospect, it was ‘roomy’ in comparison to some other places we stayed. My biggest problem with this bathroom was the shower/tub configuration. First of all, like in several other Bed and Breakfasts or hotels on our trip, the side of the tub is rather high making it challenging just to step into the tub for your shower. Once I got one foot in, the slippery bottom of the tub almost ended my trip. I had to call for a rubber bath mat to reduce the hazard as the ‘rough’ bottom of the tub just wasn’t rough any longer…
British and Irish (actually the entire European continent) operates on a different level when it comes to the electrical grid. Only one of our plugs/converters seemed to work despite our best efforts to procure the correct units for the trip. Fortunately, Laurie’s sister Bonnie was able to loan us one of her adapters and we were able to get by in decent fashion.
We were also startled to discover that the only electrical outlets in the bathrooms are for low voltage electric razors. If a woman wants to blow her hair dry or use a curling iron/brush, she had to do it using an outlet in the bedroom… Of course we adjusted to all of these issues and in the end, they really were just part of the travel experience…
This is a photo of the hotel grounds from Bonnie and Bill's bedroom window…a relaxing view for sure.
Our only real complaint was the failure of housekeeping to make the bed after our first night (a two day stay). Laurie had pulled it together as per her usual routine and perhaps the housekeeper thought that it was the way we wanted it. Although the trash can in the bedroom was emptied, the bathroom waste can was missed.
Both couples were on the Bed and Breakfast Plan at 122.50 British Pounds (BP) per night per couple. (Approximately $161.70 per night) We felt that it was quite reasonable with breakfast for 2 included in the rate.
The dining room at the Balgeddie House Hotel was pleasant and airy with a continental buffet with juice, scones, yogurt, cereal, etc., set up along the end of the room.
The ladies opted for a lighter breakfast while Bill and I decided to go for a more substantial start to our day…
This was Bill’s full English Breakfast with an egg, English style bacon, a sausage, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, black pudding, baked beans and a piece of fried bread… It was an excellent start to Bill’s day!
· Black pudding is a type of blood sausage commonly eaten in Great Britain, Ireland and in other parts of Europe. It is generally made from pork fat or beef suet, pork blood and a relatively high proportion of oatmeal. It is definitely an acquired taste and I only tried it twice…
I ordered 2 eggs on toast with béarnaise sauce and a sausage. Of course, I also had juice, coffee and lots of buttered toast with excellent Scottish jams. For my second day, I had the full breakfast without mushrooms or baked beans.
There is no doubt that the Balgeddie House Hotel is an above average facility. The building and grounds were well maintained and everything was very clean. The staff bent over backwards to take care of us. Special kudos to the desk staff and all the friendly assistance that they provided!
The Balgeddie House Hotel is located on Balgeddie Way, Glenrothes Fife, KY6 3QA in Scotland. Phone: +44 (0) 1592 742511. Their website can be found at http://www.balgeddiehouse.com/.
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave