Happy Hogmanay By Genevieve Frew

After spending Christmas with friends in Hull, Yorkshire, my fiancé and I hired a car and headed north to Scotland for New Year’s Eve, 1986. What could be more romantic than enjoying Hogmanay with highland malt and haggis???

After one night in Edinburgh we had to leave because everything was closing for the 5-day long weekend, including most hotels and the banks. On the advice of a helpful local we headed off for Aviemore, to spend New Year’s Eve at this popular ski resort.

This great advice wasn’t so great after all as we couldn’t find any accommodation for love nor money. We drove about 50km up to Inverness with no luck. So back to Aviemore again, in case we’d missed something. Driving back we heard the New Year ring in over the radio but there was nothing romantic about it as we were running out of petrol, and patience.

So we had no choice but to sleep in the hire car by the side of the A9, turning on the engine every half hour so we wouldn’t freeze to death. I dropped the keys in the long frozen grass when I went out to pee during the night and cried frozen tears of self-pity and despair as my fiancé fumbled around for them.

The long night eventually ended when splinters of sunlight pierced through the frosted windscreen and we couldn't wait to leave our roadside motel. We found a petrol station, filled up and started 1987 with packets of chips and lollies and a resolution to rethink our idea of a romantic getaway.


in Scotland, United Kingdom

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I love travel, but not so much on planes these days - I prefer to cruise and take my hotel with me to each new port. I love reading travel stories and, of course, love writing my own too. Enjoy.

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