Friday, September 30, 2016

Edinburgh to Inverness

To visit our latest blog about our trip to Scotland September 27–October 12, 2017 follow the link.

Our wifi was terrible in Edinburgh so I was unable to post anything.
We have excellent wifi here in the Lynver Guest House in Inverness but blogger isn't playing nice with my iPad. 
On our first day in Edinburgh we walked from our hotel to the Royal Mile. On the way we discovered an interesting old cemetery and a steep trail that went up the backside of Edinburgh Castle. 
Unfortunately when we arrived at the top of the steep trail we discovered it was blocked off because that part of the castle was being repaired. We turned around and went off on another branch of the trail further down the hill. This one popped us out at the start of the Royal Mile. 

We decided to walk down the Royal Mile and head for the Palace of Holyroodhouse. On the way we stopped in a few shops without buying anything and decided to visit the Scottish Parliament. Wow! What a place! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

On the way to Edinburgh

Got out of the house by 7:30. Traffic was light until we got to Los Angeles where a couple of accidents and a car abandoned in the middle of the number 3 lane took care of that for the rest of the drive.
Oh well, we made it to LAX where we boarded our Air France flight to CDG in Paris.
We love Air France! Everyone is so wonderful and the food is delicious, especially when you realize they have to reheat it.  We had the Chicken with Catalonian sauce, rice with mixed grains, that included a starter of marinated scallop and pheasant terrine a yummy chocolate dessert. Served with plenty of French red wine. Yum!

Chris watched a couple of movies, one very bad and very long and the other was Deadpool which we've seen before and really enjoyed. 
Now we're sitting at gate K36 waiting for our flight to Edinburgh which should be here in about an hour.

We're here! Edinburgh airport was great, we got through customs pretty quickly!
Took a taxi to Channings Hotel in Edinburgh, got checked in and just finished dinner in the pub downstairs. 
I had fish and chips with smashed peas and a glass of Sangiovese and Chris had a Vegan Indian curry with a Bellhaven Best Scottish beer.
We are now all cozied up in our room and I'm enjoying a Japanese Scotch whisky. I'm sure we'll be sleeping very soon.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Trip to Scotland

After a year of planning, our trip to Scotland is less than a month away. I've made a packing list hoping to bring enough but not too much. I don't love being weighed down with luggage. If my list proves to be optimal I will post it here.

Places to stay in Edinburgh and the Highlands booked and confirmed and our rental car confirmed. Once again we used and Maggie to book our trip since she did such a great job for us when we went to Ireland.

Oops, there were a couple of wrinkles in all of this meticulous planning.

I sent an email to The Sheiling in Ullapool inquiring about ferries. I received an email back from the innkeepers telling me they had decided to go on a trip to the south so the Sheiling had transferred our reservation to another guest house. What??? I'm certainly happy I contacted them. They had apparently outbooked us to the guesthouse next door without making certain our travel agent knew about it. Oh and in case you were wondering; the ferries run year-round.

All is well we are booked into a very nice place in Ullapool, the Eilean Donan.

The next wrinkle was our booking at Ben Tianavaig in Portree on the Isle of Skye. This one really disappointed me since I'd been chatting a bit with them on their Facebook page and was looking forward to staying there.
They sent a notification to our travel agent that they had decided to no longer take 3rd party bookings. This is fine but did they have to cancel all the 3rd party bookings already confirmed?

Once again Maggie found us a nice place, Viewfield House on Skye within a 10 minute walk to the center of Portree.

Looking through Rick Steves Scotland I found a very nice and highly recommended restaurant on Skye. It's called Three Chimneys, they only have 16 tables and book up far in advance. We've booked a reservation and are looking forward to an amazing meal. The restaurant is about 26 miles from where we will be staying in Portree.

I've added Verizon's TravelPass to my phone so we'll have international coverage while using our domestic plan in Scotland. Yippee! It costs $10 a day if you use it. If we don't need data or only use wireless we won't have to pay for that day. This should be much better than 2014 in Ireland when we were buying data 25MB at a time and kept running out. Plus it stays on your phone and only activates when you're in another country.