Friday, September 19, 2008
The Best Western Palace Hotel next to the River Ness in Inverness is bus tour central, a heaving maelstrom of (mostly elderly) travellers. And me. Actually, it's not a bad hotel, with a new swimming pool and really good service. Great porridge at breakfast time, too. I wasn't paying, but it's not cheap. There were a few businessfolk taking advantage of the (at last, a hotel with intersense!)free wi-fi, but the really striking thing for me about the place was not the (rather lovely) room with giant flat screen telly or the availability of Starbucks coffee, but the extraordinary lift.
The rest of the hotel has been refurbished and modernised, but the lift is like something from a 1940's black and white movie. There's a kind of cage door that you slam shut, then two wooden doors you have to close manually, before pressing a button sends it shooting jerkily upwards or downwards. You watch the wall passing by, keeping your fingers well clear.
Alas, it's noisy, and woke me up at 6.30 this morning. And, no, I wasn't sleeping in it.