AB Tour Diary; Catch up Days 15-16 November 2014

AB Tour Diary; Catch up Days 15-16 November 2014

Our Williment Sports Travel Supporters tour group lined up in front of the imposing figure of King Robert the Bruce at Stirling Castle.

16 November 2014

Saturday 15 November 2014

New Zealand v Scotland at Murrayfield. Match day for the All Blacks. And for us following them in the tour groups.

Actually considering all things; the day went very efficiently for us all. Our two parties travelled from the Apex International Hotel to the famous Murrayfield Ground by coach and found our way to our seats; West Stand Upper Gate 24. As easy as pie. 

The mood of the crowd of 66,000 was excellent, as it always is in my experience in Scotland. And the game, while tough and a bit of a disappointment to our people, was at least win for the All Blacks. So we trudged back to our coach in lively humour. It had been a good day. Any day when the All Blacks win is good - but this time the 24-16 margin was too close for many - and there was much discussion about play and players - deep into the night in the warm pubs of the Grassmarket. (See my match comments elsewhere on this site)

Sunday November 16 2014

Surprisingly, there were no visible hangovers in our tour group today. Today was to be a day of coach touring so I guess no one wanted to overdo the post-match activities too much. Or was it respect for the fact that our first stop was to be at a Scotch whiskey distillery!

Which meant we were a cheerful bunch as we headed out. The first stop was at Glengoyne distillery where at about 10.45am (!!) a complimentary glass of the 'good stuff' was offered around. All 36 in our group took gentle sips as we enjoyed a tour of how a tradition Scotch distillery works. Another 'wee dram' was offered to us as we approached the gift shop - which I am sure helped souvenir sales no end.

Next up we motored to the lakeside of Loch Lomond where we cruised for an hour. To be sure It was a lovely experience but I must admit here to changing my position from the upper deck where it was so cold and dreich (Scottish for 'bleak') it had become impossible to enjoy. (I noted, as I scurried below, that the hardy Scots also on board did not move an inch. No doubt such a lowering in the temperatures did not affect them one bit.)

Our last stop in our bus travel day was across the countryside to Stirling where a grand castle overlooks the city and from its upper decks you can see way across to the famous William Wallace monument.

The whole day was a great relaxant after the rigours of Heathrow on Friday and the strains of watching Scotland nearly beat the All Blacks at Murrayfield in the past two days.

In fact it is more touring and sightseeing for us in the days ahead as we begin a slow drop down to Cardiff to see New Zealand try to finish its rugby year in style against waiting - and perhaps desperate for a win - Wales!

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  • 28 December 2014 (9 years ago)


    What a great trip and for me Stirling Castle the top castle with so much history-cheers Malcolm Bruce Stewart from the town of the oldest rugby club in NZ Nelson. Great photo to treasure.