Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quizz no.3

How? Did King Arthur passed by here?

Quizz no.2

Why do they have postal boxes on the road in the middle of nowhere in Scotland?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

10 Good Reasons Not To Stay In A (Cheap) Hostel in Scotland

And then there are also these 10 good reasons not to stay in a hostel, bunkhouse, and such:
  1. It IS cheap so you will get the minimal set for survival and nothing more - this means NO service
  2. You get thin small bed, and if you are lucky a thin small pillow, that gives you a back ache when you wake up the next morning
  3. You get, in 80% of cases, bunk beds - if you get to sleep above then you have to find a way not to change your position or else risk falling and break your neck while sleeping
  4. You share toilets with strangers - if you are lucky enough to have a clean keeper then you are saved but then you still have to be able to find your way half sleeping in the middle of the night
  5. You share tiny 1sqm showers with strangers - sharing does not mean taking shower together - that makes dressing inside it without wetting half of what you are trying to put on literally impossible
  6. You have to share a kitchen with strangers, some of which do not realize that they are staying in a hostel or such and that there is no in-house cleaner at their service
  7. You have to tolerate noises - if you are the kind of person who is able to sleep with a vacuum cleaner on next by then you have nothing to worry about snoring neighbours
  8. You have to organize everything you possibly need in advance (soap, towel, food, ...) or else you will have to go far to get it since hostels and such - at least in Scotland- are usually far from civilization
  9. You have to share a dorm - have faith in God that you are not sharing a room with a psychopath and risk your life while sleeping
  10. You use dishes cleaned up by others - have faith in God that they have really been washed and do not contain any trace of poisonous substances

10 Good Reasons To Stay In A (Cheap) Hostel in Scotland

Here are the 10 good reasons to stay in a (cheap) hostel, bunkhouse, and such:
  1. It is CHEAP
  2. You get the most strategic positions and the nicest view - and if you are lucky even from your bedroom's window
  3. You can save money by cooking or "cooking" your own food
  4. You can save more by making your own teas and coffees
  5. You meet (mostly) nice friendly people instead of snob obnoxious ones you frequently have as hotel room-neighbours
  6. You can save even more for internet connection, it is cheaper than in internet cafés or hotels
  7. You can save even even more when cleaning your clothes
  8. You are not treated as living wallets since they know you are just penniless tourists trying to make the most of your money
  9. Everyone who is nice with you, at least at the hostel or bunkhouse and such, is sincere!
  10. There is a nice kind of solidarity-between-poors atmosphere

Quizz no. 1 bis

United Kingdom being a union of lots of bright people - Scots are among others great inventors - why do not they simply adopt mixing valve and spare people from domestic accidents? They do not even need to invent it.

Quizz no. 1

How do Brits manage to use their hot-and-cold separate taps without burning their hands?

This is the most intriguing trivia to which we still have not found an answer even after dozens of times suffering - from aow to a slight burn - during our recent one week trip to Scotland. If someone out there knows the secret, pleaseee let us know, it would spare us more damages for our next voyage to England.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The guid auld Scotland

We have just got back from our "Around West Highland in 7 days" last Sunday. It was such an incredible experience in such a wonderful land populated by, I would say, the friendliest people I have ever met in my entire existence! Make me already want going back.

Weather - basically a day of "good" weather out of two. Not bad, I suppose, we were after all in Scotland. Rains were not what we can properly call rains since it was more of wet mist so we could still go for a "walk in the rain".

Accommodation - we chose low-cost holiday. There is evidently less comfortable than the romantic relaxing stay in a first-class serviced castle but it was nevertheless a delicious voyage in a different way. Forget about hotels and B&B, we sticked to almost only youth hostels and bunkhouses, about half the price of B&B and we could even save a lot for meals as they are equipped with decent kitchens.

Above all, if you pick the right ones, you get the best position that even your hotel-money can not buy.

Food and drink - cook yourself if you do not want to spend a fortune to feed yourself nor ending up eating fish'n cheap twice a day. Local (raw) products are sold at reasonable prices. Check if tap water is drinkable, it is not always the case everywhere, and have tea and coffee ready in your backpack since this can eat up a big portion in your budget if you decide to always buy them in local tearooms and coffee shops.

Language - everyone speaks english in Scotland, the problem is whether you can understand it when spoken in a strong Scottish accent. A day or two and you will do just fine, most Scottish are friendly and patient enough to repeat their sentences two times, three times, and even more.

Paying the bill - most vendors accept credit and debit cards starting at 5£. Just ask first if they are not charging more when using cards.

Clothing - no need to wrap yourself in a polar-bear fashion. Scotland - despite its position in the North - is not that cold due to the Gulf Stream. Impermeable jacket, a sweater, a few clean shirts, two trousers and a good pair of walking shoes are needed to survive in the Highland. Ask to your hostel and bunkhouse keeper if linens and towels are available for rental at a reasonable price or else be ready to bring ones yourself.

Car - if you have a short time and you want to see most of Scottish highland, then hiring a car is necessary. Public transports, bus or train, are both expensive and most accomodation requires a good walking distance from the stops. Car rental in Scotland comes cheaper than in France.