Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

April 2014: a mostly rural trip in Scotland and Northern Ireland

April 2014: a mostly rural trip in Scotland and Northern Ireland

May 2nd, 2014, 02:35 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
April 2014: a mostly rural trip in Scotland and Northern Ireland

After coming home from a 5 hour time difference last Sunday night, my brain is almost wired back to normal, so it is time to gather a mish-mash of scribbled thoughts and notes in my travel journal plus all the photos and write a coherent trip report. I want to write this before the details all leave my mind. And it is such a lovely way to revisit the trip

My sister (W) and I left Boston on Aer Lingus onThursday, 17 April, and arrived Friday in Glasgow after the connection in Dublin. Thursday, 24 April, we flew on Flybe to go to Belfast. A bus took us back to Dublin to fly back home to Boston on Aer Lingus this past Sunday, 27 April.
scotlib is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 02:46 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Backstory

My trip report list includes four trips to Scotland. As fun as it is to go during April vacation, someday I want to take another longer, more leisurely visit over a summer vacation - all I need to do is win a lottery or continue to save my discretionary spending, to spend it all at a time ;-)

W's daughter is living in Canada for a few years (I've been hinting that I noticed the company also has offices in Edinburgh, lol). W got her passport to be able to visit and after returning from Toronto last year said to me "Well, let's put this passport to use" and where else to go but Scotland, where I have most of my travel experience.

I'm looking 50 in the headlights and W is just a couple years behind me.
scotlib is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 03:33 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
I did trip research, finding itinerary ideas and sharing them with W for selecting. This trip had interests reflecting our rural heritage and efforts at putting together family trees.

W is herd manager for a large dairy farm and wanted to see dairy farms. She's also very interested in Border Collies and horses. I've taken a few genealogy courses and enjoy trying out Ancestry.com resources through my State Library. For W's FIL, I've done some research on his Scottish ancestors and hoped to learn more to share from the trip.
scotlib is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 04:19 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Great start! Suspense! Will she find coos? Will you find ancestors? I can't wait!
Ackislander is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 05:14 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Selecting hotels/B&Bs was based on an important trip decision: to drive or not to drive.

I'm not overly keen on driving away from home, never mind doing it on the other side of the road, but I was willing to support W if she chose to drive. Her daughter and SIL did a drive tour of England/Scotland, as well a trip in Ireland, and encouragement from them had the decision made to try. I was firmly in navigator seat not trying the pilot's seat once.


18-19 .. Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow, 301 Argyle St
http://www.radissonblu.co.uk/hotel-glasgow
I really like the Radisson Blu hotels. I'd stayed at a couple for conferences, but now staying at several from travel choice, the experience has been extremely positive each time. The towels were huge. They must have been 6' b/c they were longer than I am tall. The bathroom soaps came from http://www.arranaromatics.com/ and smelled heavenly. I was disappointed when the soap used the first night was taken, having used it just the once or twice. I really wanted to take it home. I definitely took the 2nd little soap. The Glasgow HOHO bus stops right outside the hotel. The airport shuttle has stops not too far away, both coming into town and when leaving. It's also right next door to the Central Rail Station, lots of shopping nearby, a subway stop not too far away, and lovely friendly employees. I thought £12 steep for breakfast so we didn't try breakfast at the hotel. We stayed using points, so no cash paid.


20-21 .. Patieshill Farmhouse B&B, Carlops, Penicuik
http://www.patieshillfarm.co.uk/
W and I stayed in the Jersey room, ensuite and twin beds. We did climb the hill behind the B&B and saw the great views for ourselves. Breakfast was great. The shower in the bathroom was a bit dated and not overly large. The towel warming rack was nice to have. The WiFi wasn't very powerful and a trifle spotty for coverage. Janet was a lovely hostess: sending directions to the B&B, answering questions, and helping to arrange a visit for us with the owner of the sheep that summer outside your room. £60/night.


22 .. Laigh Tarbeg Farm B&B, Ochiltree, Cumnock, Ayrshire
http://www.laightarbeg.co.uk/
I searched through the accommodation section of http://www.visitscotland.com/ to find B&Bs on farms. Of our B&Bs this twin room was largest and had the nicest shower, too. Another towel rack (toasty warm) helped with doing laundry. WiFi was good. Breakfast was lovely. We enjoyed staying here a lot. £60/night.


23 .. Holiday Inn Express, Glasgow Airport
http://www.expressglasgowairport.co.uk/
We returned our first car on Wednesday evening and flew out first thing Thursday morning, so I booked the HIE. I had stayed here in '10 and knew how close it is to the terminal building. I've enjoyed several HIE hotels and like them almost as much as the Radisson Blu hotels, i.e., each stay has been very satisfactory. The hotel has an early Continental breakfast 4-6 a.m. and a hot buffet starting at 6 a.m. This stay was organized for $70 plus points.


24-25 .. Garron View Bed & Breakfast, 14 Clough Road, Cushendall, Northern Ireland
http://www.garronview.co.uk/
I searched and searched for a farm B&B in NI. Somehow I found Garron View. The ensuite room and bathroom were the smallest of our B&B stays (we had room #4). The WiFi was good and breakfast terrific. We appreciated Josephine's organizing a trip for us to visit her husband's cousin's dairy farm. £50/night.


26 .. Premier Inn, Belfast Titanic Quarter, 2A Queens Road, Belfast
http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/B...itanic-quarter
As the itinerary developed, we needed a one-night stay on the Saturday, the last trip night. By the time this was decided it seemed many possible hotels had no availability for this night. We could have stayed for £29 if I had just made up my mind and booked when it was available, but the book button was clicked for £39 plus prebooked breakfasts of £8.25 each. I loved the bath tub in the bathroom instead of the shower stalls used the previous 8 nights. The twin bed was not much: a full size for W and practically a day bed for me, but it wasn't too bad a sleep for all it looked silly as a bed. Breakfast was satisfactory. WiFi worked, but you only get a half hour of free time, so you limit yourself to a few short e-mails.
scotlib is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 05:33 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Lots of sheeps and lots of coos, Ackislander Some helpful info re: ancestors, yes, too. Thanks for coming on the memory ride.
scotlib is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 08:12 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Packing

W was willing to do carry on only. There are pros and cons, of course. Lugging the packs around the airport is a con, but going directly out to the bus area in Boston and catch the first bus when to miss one means waiting another hour between stops is the deciding pro. Basically we packed pj's and two days clothes, but to make checklists we actually had 2 pages of items to check and double check.

I have taken carry-on only on all my trip reports. Seventh trip report, seventh bag, lol. This time I used a MEC Shuttle II Travelpack. It's not for sale from MEC anymore, but you can find descriptions online, ex., http://www.backpacker.com/gear/details/backpacks/2248. W used a duffel from Cabela's. Technically the size was a bit larger, but it just didn't seem to show its size. She sometimes wished for an easier way to carry the duffel (I could use the hideaway backpack straps on the Shuttle II).

I found the Shuttle II to be a nice convertible pack. I wished the more structured back portion were deeper and I found a flaw with my packing along the way. I put clothes in the back and non-clothes stuff in the front, making that section stick up and non-flexible when it came time to try and squish the bag into the overhead bin on the Flybe jet. Next time I would take some of that stuff and put it in the back and small clothes items (the squish-ables) in a packing cube in the front.
scotlib is offline  
May 2nd, 2014, 08:43 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Travel gadgets

Best one: TomTom for UK and Ireland iPhone app .. Samantha (we never changed the default voice) led us on 7 near flawless days of almost 600 miles. Just a couple times she said to take a turn and we saw a gated grass path (we stayed where we were There was one very skinny road in Scotland that we suspected was actually a driveway to a farm b/c after following it to the farm we turned and followed the roadway to another "real" road. All the way, we were very grateful for not meeting anyone coming the other direction!

Very handy: plastic sporks for eating items purchased at Tesco

Meh: Belkin swivel USB charger, http://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-BST300/ .. theoretically a good choice, but we used it only a couple times over 10 days, so not valuable for the weight and space taken in my bag

Business cards: we each brought some to hand out to people met along the way and did hand them out (rather than write down contact info, you can whip out a card and hand it over)
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 06:01 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
In the beginning ..

I have rewards cards for British Airways and Capital One. I'm enrolled in rewards programs for Radisson (now Club Carlson, http://www.clubcarlson.com/) and Holiday Inn Express (http://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/rewardsclub/home). I gathered info from miles and points to see if anything would help the bottom line for the trip budget.

Flights first. I started reading about BA rewards flights and rewards flights in general. Somewhere in my reading I learned it would be better to use the BA miles on airline partner Aer Lingus. (I have flown EI (their code) a number of times now and really like the 2-4-2 coach seating on the Airbus 330.) If a ticket's total purchase is $1000, on BA the fare could be $300 and fees/taxes $700, and you pay for fees/taxes. But on EI, it could be $700 fare (covered by the rewards miles) and taxes/fees $300 (much easier on the pocket book).

Somewhere I also read about http://www.expertflyer.com/. I used the free 5-day period to use the pro version and found flights that could work for our trip and using the miles I had available. I called the BA center, learned as I knew that I hadn't quite enough miles to do BOS to Scotland for two people, but with suggestions from the agent and (not-quite-leading) questions from me to open conversation lines, I ended up where I'd hoped we go: BOS to DUB (business class!) and DUB to BOS (coach, but it's a nice coach on the Airbus). Where we would go after DUB was for later planning and ticket purchasing. And the total cost from the pocket for these two tickets: $246.80.

At the time, my Cap One rewards was the 3-tier style: whether $1 or $150, it was the same cost in miles, so I tended to not want to "waste" the miles. With a redeem of some miles I started receiving info about the new Venture card and I finally got enrolled in that program instead. Now, a $10 ticket is 1000 miles, not 15000. (The actual cost to these programs, I know, is more. Merchants accepting rewards cards have costs that have to come out of somebody's bottom line, but it feels like receiving something to me.)
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 06:02 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Oh, and W needed a credit card for the car rental, so she applied and is now in the Venture card program, too.
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 06:36 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Hotels ..

I had enough points for Club Carlson hotels to stay a couple free nights or use the points plus cash to pay a lower nightly rate and extend the use of the points. When I started looking in the spring, points plus cash for the Radisson Blu on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, started about £60, but the longer we delayed trip decisions the £ climbed to about £100 plus points and I mostly gave up the idea of staying there for that cost out of the pocket.

Delaying where to go after DUB over the summer allowed time for genealogical research with Ancestry.com on W's FIL's family. He has ancestors from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Just staying in the Republic and NI could have been an option, but I do have a fixation on Scotland

I had thought we would fly into EDI, but watching the fares to do the DUB-EDI portion we missed the point when it would have cost less, but the DUB-GLA stayed lower (we watched EI fares), so the trip became 2 first nights "free" -- using all points -- at the Glasgow Radisson Blu. Club Carlson points could have been used at the Park Inn, but I couldn't bring up an option with two beds! So we went to the Radisson Blu and had a lovely stay.

Staying in Glasgow also helped with a trip goal for W. She wanted the trip to be full of new experiences for me, not just her, and my experience with Glasgow was the one time walk across the street from Queen Street Rail Station to the airport shuttle bus and the trip to the airport.

I searched for B&B options, finding the ones listed above. After learning about the NI connection, we gradually moved to an itinerary with both countries and decided when to fly from one to the other, which made the HIE at the airport a logical choice.

A lovely result of the final logistics was the relatively restful last day. A not-too-too-early start on Sunday, direct bus to DUB, and single flight to BOS (not usual 2 with connection) meant I didn't feel so punch drunk and woozy on the first day back to work. I've still had to get over the time changes (a nap a couple of days), but the trip home and first day back was much less a drain on the body.
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 08:25 AM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Thursday, 17 April

Maundy Thursday was a sunny morning. Much better, actually, than the day before when a mucky wintery start to the day had slippery commutes and delayed openings for schools.

I had arranged my schedule to scoot in time to get to Portland, ME, for a bus to BOS. W traveled from her home to Concord, NH, to catch that direct bus to BOS, and we each arrived ~4:30 p.m.

Portland's transportation bldg was full of families and student school groups headed for April vacation spots/tours. I wanted to catch a specific bus, so tried to stay near the door to be on it. In the end a second bus was scrambled to take everyone who wanted to get to Logan Airport.

The South Station bus left first with only a handful of people on it. Then the two full buses for the airport gradually filled and readied for departure. About 1/2 way to the airport I had a V-8 smack .. the bus that left first, for South Station, would have continued on to the airport. Traveling alone among the many groups, it would likely have been easier if I'd asked about going on that bus and arrived about the same time, maybe even a few minutes earlier That's what tunnel focus (get to BOS, get to BOS..) will do to you.

I did have some ear buds with me to use with the on-bus movie/music system, but they were in my bag, not my purse, so I just snoozed as well as texted back/forth with W until arriving at BOS. (I never did remember to switch the ear buds to the purse - didn't really miss them, but would have at least used them on the trip if I had.)

After finding one another, W and I used the business class line to check in and get boarding tickets for both BOS-DUB and DUB-GLA. Our first selfies were with the decorated cows you pass by in Terminal E going to the security area. After green lights from security we found the EI lounge and hung out until the boarding call. More selfies and Facebook status updates using the WiFi. As an experience it looked smaller than the BA lounge down the hall, but in relation to being upstairs as I have done on past trips, it was calm and comfortable. Food offered included sandwiches, snacks, soft drinks, and various alcohol beverages.

Boarding through the direct line and turning left in the plane made a short trip to our seats (sorry for elaboration on this, but it was a once in a long while-if not lifetime-to experience this). Your coats are hung and free champagne is offered. Many more selfies and getting comfortable.

I wondered if the meal foods were much different to the food in coach. What was definitely different were the napkins and real silverware/dinnerware, no plastic.

I was very disappointed to find the online trivia game did not have the aviation category. I loved that one on past EI flights, usually doing very well for points.

W slept a bit better than I. The beds are listed as lie flat, though the flat isn't quite what I associate with flat. You definitely do get much more stretch out room than coach, http://www.aerlingus.com/inflight-ex...haul-business/
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 08:32 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Oh, for purses/day bags, we both carried LL Bean.

W had a dark grey http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/70674...tion-guide-bag

I still have my mini-size, black messenger bag, which is no longer for sale but pictured here, http://midnightdsignsfashion.blogspo...enger-bag.html
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 09:42 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Friday, 18 April

The morning dawned nice and bright. We landed and walked through T2 for connecting flights to do immigration and the terminal security check. Our gate number for the DUB-GLA flight on Aer Arran had us going straight after security and not up the escalator. Our walk through the quiet halls found us in T1, which I knew from my first EI flights.

These were two tickets, which meant a missed connection would have been a hassle and extra fare costs, but the long haul landed on time and we had no trouble with the connection.

We landed at GLA and easily found the airport shuttle (£8.50, open return) with a drop off just a couple streets away from the Radisson Blu. We sat behind the driver so W could start to take in the difference of driving on the other side of the road.

Check in was very easy. We had to figure out the elevator. You push the floor desired, but then a display indicates which doors to enter. There's nothing to push inside, so you have to watch this before entering any of the elevators. Once we had that down, the process was painless.

Just before leaving I'd received some messages from British Airways about using miles for experiences. I purchased two one-day HOHO vouchers for 4100 miles. After checking in, we discovered the Radisson Blu has vouchers for discounts on the HOHO bus. I didn't look to see what the discount % was, but price-wise, it would have been better. Cash-wise we saved, as we skipped paying cash by going with miles for payment.

If we had gone to the room and right out we would have been soon picked up. We eventually went out and caught the next bus. Later, hindsight being what it is, we would have tried for the earlier bus, taken a complete circuit of the tour to see/hear, and then disembarked where we did at the Riverside Museum, http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museum...s/default.aspx

W and I aren't much into art museums, but transport museums are fun. After looking at trains, trucks, cars, bikes, horse-drawn wagons, we went out back and toured the Glenlee, http://www.thetallship.com/ (free to tour, like the museum).

We walked from the museum to dinner at The Sparkle Horse pub, http://thesparklehorse.com/ I used the Google maps 'search nearby' feature and used terms like cows, sheep, farm, dogs, horses, dairy, etc. It didn't matter what address I was looking at, I'd put in all the search terms. The Sparkle Horse was one of the delightful discoveries. I liked their web site and listed it as our likely eating spot for Friday. Dinner was £25 for the two of us. I enjoyed the steak and ale pie, W liked the stuffed loin (I did tell her about black pudding) and we shared a mac/cheese (yum!), http://thesparklehorse.com/menus/la-carte-menu/

To get back to the hotel we used Kelvinhall Subway Station to St. Enoch station. I had seen a travel site that mentioned a trip on the Glasgow subway as a not to miss experience. I agree! It was the wildest, fun, £1.60 on the trip! Here's a YouTube showing St. Enoch to other locations, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEg9mBWl1us The cars are not overly large and to watch the motions of the car in front and feel the same under your own seat is amazing. 24 minutes around the whole circular system, I read. Yes, it doesn't take long when 0-60 must be just a couple of seconds! Loved it, loved it!

Standing on the platform at Kelvinhall we knew which side to use by looking at the station list, finding where we were and looking for the desired end station. Exiting St. Enoch found us in a long shopping area and we browsed down and back to the hotel.
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 10:41 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Saturday, 19 April

Saturday started early with a curious knocking in the night. W went to the door but couldn't see anything. Our theory is that someone had a thumb over the peephole. Meanwhile I called the front desk who promised to view the CCTV immediately. The knocker went away (hopefully nicked) and we slept again.

We walked up to Queen Street Rail Station and purchased tickets to Edinburgh for the day, each £12.50 off peak return. We hadn't purchased breakfast at the hotel (it would have been £12 each), but we did spend a little under £12 and had breakfast for the two of us from Starbucks.

Leaving Waverley Rail Station I told W about BigRuss's quote, that all the hills in Edinburgh go UP! Yes, it was up to leave the station, up through the Old Town, all you can remember are the Ups (there must be some Downs, but just not so memorable).

One of W's coworkers wanted "funny money." It's not most economical, but with cash in hand, what we did was stop in to the No 1 Bureau de Change on the Royal Mile where Rabbies is also located. It was a bit convoluted, and good thing that it was quiet for an early Saturday stop, as the agent changed the cash from US to GBP and then exchanged that for a sample bill from each of the currencies available for purchase. With the remaining GBP from the original stash, as we shopped along the trip, W and I worked out equivalencies to include coins, both GBP and Euro coins (from shopping at DUB), so I hope her coworker has been pleased with the results.

We stopped in to the (free) National Library of Scotland to view a couple of the paper sculptures. I knew of them from following library related stories on Facebook, http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-...-fife-25051337

For the genealogy focus of the trip we attended a workshop at the Scottish Genealogy Society, http://www.scotsgenealogy.com/, at the end of Victoria Terrace. We learned about burgh records (and on the way there, W had been asking me the proper pronunciation of Edinburgh!). It was a delightful 2 hours of stories about Scotland. Not just a workshop about records, but the life behind the records. £10 for each of us to attend. We registered by e-mail and paid on arrival.

We popped into the (free) National Museum of Scotland to visit the roof top terrace, http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/nat..._scotland.aspx We didn't tour the museum, but we did stop by (the stuffed) Dolly the sheep and the hall of interactive displays (knowing W's DD had done the same).

I really wanted a cupcake from Cuckoo's Bakery (the photos are just food porn if you follow them on FB), http://www.cuckoosbakery.co.uk/, so we bussed over and back. We had to hurry to get back to the Castle Terrace farmers' market, http://www.edinburghfarmersmarket.co.uk/, to meet unclegus by 2 p.m.

W was a bit nonplussed with the idea of meeting a stranger for a meal. Rather like my DH when I attended my first GTG, "Going to eat with someone you don't know?" I attached a little tag to say Fodor's on my bag's strap and had also sent a photo from a family gathering with the requisite sibling line up, so unclegus spotted us right away. He lead us on a delightful walking/talking tour from the Castle Terrace up through the Grassmarket and Victoria Street to The World's End for a meal. It was a great GTG with local stories and travel stories. Thank you, again, unclegus!

W and I finished our day in Edinburgh with a walk down to Holyrood, discovering Dunbar Close Garden and White Horse Close along the way. We bussed back to Waverley and trained back to Central Station. We'd scouted a time that would let us return there and without too many stops. It was nice to see different scenery and arrive back a bit closer to our hotel. We purchased some snacks from the station M&S Simply Food.

Back to GLA for the car on Easter morn.
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 11:48 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Saturday, 19 April

I'm glad our room was on the Robertson St side of the hotel. The front rooms probably didn't hear much street noise from Argyle St, if the rooms had good glass, but the side was definitely quiet. It was noisy walking the very short distance from the Central Rail Station to the hotel and we preferred the quiet.

Easter morning was bright. We turned in our room cards and received directions to the airport shuttle stop. I won't go into car rental costs until after all the trip descriptions, just to handle that separately. We were definitely car hire newbs and it's a learning experience (rental experts can inform us later

We were still figuring out how to indicate locations on the TomTom app. We set it to go to Penicuik, and indicated skip highways. Well, with starting out on the west side of Glasgow and wanting to go to the east side of the city, how does one do that without highways? You go through it, lol. We also had to learn how soon a "Turn left" meant to take the turn. With a few hiccups from navigator (me, scuffle toe), about an hour after leaving the AVIS station at the airport I looked up and saw the Radisson Blu (yes, insert giggle).

We eventually escaped Glasgow, very happy that it was a Sunday morning and not a weekday. I had grand ideas of going into Fife and driving around. Well, with an extra long trip just to get to the Patieshill B&B, we just figured that would make the day a "success." No, actually, we did have a success with the avoiding highway route. Along the way on one narrow road we passed a farm that looked very interesting. We found the B&B, then the Tesco in Penicuik for a meal, so with plenty of daylight, we returned to the farm and had a nice visit with farmers who didn't mind a couple crazy ladies from the States wanting to look at their cows and ask questions about dairy farming in Scotland.

The hill behind the B&B is about 700 feet (we downloaded an app to W's iPhone to learn the B&B was about 1,000' and the web site indicates 1700 for the hill). We were settling in for the evening and looked out to realize the hill was disappearing quickly in fog.

Critter tally for the day:
cows .. mostly Holsteins, some Angus crosses
sheep .. many properly behind fences and some being put back behind fences
farm dogs .. West Highland White terriers
grouse/pheasants .. some scurrying by, a couple road kill
a deer .. boing, up and over the fence
a rabbit .. a quick zig-zag and out of sight
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 11:49 AM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Oops, the previous was obviously supposed to indicate Sunday, 20 April.
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 12:09 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Monday, 21 April

With 800 cows, W's farm has regular contact with a large-animal vet practice. A student from the University of Edinburgh did an internship (she lives in New England, but has almost completed her vet qualification from UE), so that was our network contact for Monday's activity.

W and I drove from the B&B to Eddleston. S traveled by bus from Edinburgh and we met at the bus stop, driving from there to a local sheep farm where S had done work during lambing seasons. We had a delightful visit, hearing all about running a Scottish sheep farm and Scottish rural life in general. The farmer also has a couple dozen beef critters and does fresh turkeys for the Christmas market (said it was the best ROI for farm income versus the beef and 500 sheep the rest of the year). He had a couple Border collies, too, so seeing them pleased W.

After leaving the farm, we treated S to a meal at the Leadburn Inn Country Pub, http://www.the-leadburn.com/, which had a convenient bus stop right across the street. W and I had our first taste of roast (local) lamb with a Yorkshire pudding, very nicely done.

The day had been wonderfully bright. Returning to Patieshill, we set out to climb the hill. The previous evening's fog crossed our minds, but our hour and ~20 min walk was up and down without a hitch, just slow and easy all the way (no need for a trip and fall). We were down just about 8 p.m. A half hour later we looked out and there was the fog again, quickly hiding the hill, so we were glad to have not delayed the descent!

Critter tally:
A few cows, lots of sheep--including lambs just a half-hour old--and a couple Border Collie dogs.
scotlib is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 12:12 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,250
Really enjoying so far . . . But >> . . . and indicated skip highways . . . << OMG, you didn't?!!?

tee hee - that will teach you to trust a gadget instead of a proper map. Hint -- you never ever want to 'avoid highways' until after you have gotten away from the city and in open countryside . . .
janisj is offline  
May 3rd, 2014, 02:39 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,618
Yes, avoiding highways, plus my navigation lapses, got us into a pickle(!), but Samantha eventually also got us out.

With later days we learned about recalculating a route and maybe going south before east would have been an option. We survived, but it was not a day for taking our blood pressures, that's sure.

We did have a Philip's Navigator map book with us, but it wasn't easy to use. It grew easier to get around, the more time we were on the ground, and learning to connect both gadget and atlas with real world.
scotlib is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:03 AM.