Ayr & Darvel

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Now all this time that we have been traveling we have been using a BritRail pass.  We decided that steering on the wrong side of the car and driving on the wrong side of the road, plus driving a standard transmission would probably put too much strain on our friendship so we went everywhere by train. 

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The trains in Scotland run on time to the minute.  The food and beverage car is will provisioned and there is a cart that rolls down the aisle with food and drink as well... you can reserve seats with a table and have lots of room to read or write or just watch the beautiful Lochs and hills roll by.  Sheep here sleep and graze next to cows and there does not seem to be any problem and no range wars as I saw in the westerns of my childhood.

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Occasionally a child might cry on a train... This is a job for the bear!  Yes, RJ Bear was on this whole trip with us... generally keeping a low profile, but ready in the event of trouble...

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And in almost no time at all the train brought us to Ayr on the southwestern coast... a college town and a seaside resort.  

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And from Ayr, Mary began her pilgrimage to the home of her Mother in Darvel...

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And here is Darvel, a sweet little town that was once a lace making center...

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And this is Edith Street and the house where Mary's Mother was born on Edith Street

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And here is the bridge from a watercolor Mary treasures that was painted by her cousin long ago..

While Mary searched for her roots in Darvel I amused myself along the shore in Ayr, and managed to create a fairly creditable sketch of the beach.  I am not known for my ability to draw, and so my work is still childlike in it's style and perspective, but it is a very satisfying way to pass a few hours in the morning...

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When Mary returned we had a nice tea at The Richmond in the lounge and headed out to enjoy our last night in Scotland.  I wanted Cullen Skink and Haggis but had to settle for potato leek soup instead of the Cullen Skink.  It was in the Tam O'Shanter Tavern that we met Owen, who told us all about Robert Burns and explained the relief behind us... It depicts the cutty-sarks (not not the awful Scotch by that name) the witches who pulled out poor Maggie's tail in the poem.

The next day we were off to Manchester and finally home.  But we had ourselves a time... Aye!

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