Friday, May 12, 2006

a train trip

OK, this has gotta be quick. I'm on one of those half-hour internet access dealies. And the thought of my time running out makes me tetchy and apprehensive. What if my time goes out while I'm writing this blog? These are the fears I deal with. That, and the lochness monster.

I'm in Inverness, Scotland. It's cold and a bit blustery outside. I'm writing this from a student hostel that seems to have been dreamed up by the same people who run the Starry Night concert venue in downtown Provo. Lots of zany colored walls and crazy posters and disco balls. Stone Temple Pilots on the radio. I feel like I'm 22 again, and at a really awkward BYU underground party. But there's an amazing view outside our window of Inverness castle. It's lit up, as is the Ness River, and it's beautiful enough to look past the mis-matchy furniture and the collage of poloroids on the wall of crazy drunk college students.

Four of us took a train up to Scotland from London today, and it was unbelievably beautiful. Mind you, the train ride was 6 1/2 hours long, so I had plenty of time to gaze out the window. But it was worth it. Fields of every color of green, and wooly sheep, and little hamlets and churches and castles, our little train rumbling through patchy countryside thunderstorms. When the sun went down - fairly late, we're far north now - we broke out Uno and Phase Ten and played Mormon cards until we finally pulled in to Inverness. We only made it to Phase 6, but I was winning.

The rest of the group arrived ahead of us. They took the plane. Probably smart. Planes are so efficient. But the train tells stories. It takes a while to get the whole story, but it's worth hearing. Because seeing Scotland from above feels a little like a short-change, and Scotland isn't something you want to hurry through.