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.


Post a Comment

<< Home