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Just returned from Scotland and Paris. Any Questions??

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Just returned from Scotland and Paris. Any Questions??

Old Jul 26th, 2000, 05:04 AM
  #1  
Shane
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Just returned from Scotland and Paris. Any Questions??

Hi everyone;
I just wanted to thank everyone for their help planning my 1st trip overseas; it was awesome!! I wanted to briefly tell you what I did in case anyone might be doing something similar or have questions planning their future trip.

July 11 - took an overnight flight from Halifax, NS, to Glasgow, Scotland
July 12 - landed early in Glasgow and took train to Edinburgh - took bus tour of city (the best way to get oriented with a new city quickly). Walked Royal Mile. Stayed at Stra'ven Guest House for 2 nights (nice place, nice hosts)
July 13 - toured Edinburgh Castle (a castle pass is well worth it) - great spot. Shopped on Princes Street.
July 14 - picked up car hire from Arnold Clark (automatic); driving on the left was easy to adapt to. We went to St. Andrew's; walked the Old Course a week before British Open; toured ruined cathedral and castle. Drove to Pitlochry (lovely town!) for night.
July 15 - hike outside of town; shopped. Visited Soldier's Leap (although it's pretty area the idea of the soldier leaping across the stream was more interesting than the area itself). Drove to Inverness (visited Loch Ness and castle ruins). Stayed at a B&B north of Inverness.
July 16 - drove up through Highlands (amazing scenery), Interewe Gardens (beautiful), down to Fort William for night.
July 17 - drove to Stirling, visited Rob Roy's burial, Stirling Bridge
July 18 - visited Stirling Castle (currently being renovated;I would definitely pick Edinburgh Castle over this one if given a choice). Drove down to Ayr to drop off car hire. Stayed at local hostel on beach (place was fine but the lady who worked there was not pleasant to deal with). All the other places we stayed at were B&B's which we found when we arrived into town. Very easy; no stress finding a place.

Onto Paris;
July 19 - we had an early flight from Prestwick to Paris Beauvais with Ryanair; again, no problems. No frills flight but okay. Shuttle from Beauvais to Paris (roughly 1 hour journey). We took metro to hotel (Chaplain Rive Gauche - pleasant hosts, spoke some English; quiet location off main street, around corner from Vavin stop). Took bus tour (useful for orientation but took a long time due to traffic).
July 20 - every morning we went to bakery and bought bagettes, croissants, etc. for breakfast and went to Luxembourg Gardens (3 blocks from hotel) to eat. Lovely spot; lots of people relaxing, reading, etc. Toured Notre Dame, walked Champs Elyssee, went up Eiffel Tower.
July 21 - visited Montmartre area, le Louvre (absolutely huge!!)
July 22 - went to Versailles (very crowded and some gardens/ fountains were being renovated); relaxed at a cafe in Paris, shopped.
July 23 - flight home to Moncton, NB.

Brief itenerary..... hopefully helpful to some. If there are any questions I'll try and answer them. Thanks.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2000, 11:08 PM
  #2  
Diane
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Thanks for your report, Shane. This site is so popular that your posting can get buried really fast, and I didn't want you to think that nobody had read about your trip. I'm sure others have read it too.

We were in Paris in early June and did many of the same things you did. I enjoyed reading about it again. We also bought croissants, etc. for breakfast every morning. Our last morning my sister (first time to Paris--no French) decided she wanted to go to the boulangerie by herself to get our breakfast and bring it back to our apt. She practiced for a while before she left saying "trois croissants" with a decent accent, but on the way she decided we should have two each--and she didn't know how to say six! She was regretfully preparing to use fingers, but she discovered the proprietress knew a little English. We laughed about it all through breakfast.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2000, 05:10 AM
  #3  
Candace
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Do you speak any French if not did you have any problems getting around. We may plan to add Paris to our Scotland trip also.
 
Old Jul 30th, 2000, 01:39 PM
  #4  
cecil clontz
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Thanks for the info. We are going to Scotland via London (easier flying in).
We are going to take the train to Inverness via York and Edinburgh. Two questions. Are jeans generally accepted for daytime wear? Are laundrymats generally available? We will be there for 12 days and will need their service. Thanks
 
Old Jul 30th, 2000, 02:17 PM
  #5  
Sheila
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Jeans- yes
Laundrettes- yes in the cities, probably in the towns, sometimes in the country.

Is there anywhere in particular you would like to know about? Both Edinburgh and Inverness are provided
 
Old Jul 30th, 2000, 05:46 PM
  #6  
Janice
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Hi Shane,

Obviously from your points of origin and landing you are a fellow Maritimer! One question for you. We are going to Scotland in August and plan to bring a small amount of cash (pounds) and rely on credit cards (VISA/MC) and debit cards for money. Are those particular cards generally accepted? Are there lots of opportunities to use point-of-sale debit? To those sensitive Scots reading this, please don't pounce on me again! I'm not imagining that you do not have credit card and ATM facilities, just wondering if they are EVERYWHERE, as they are here. Thanks!

 
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 04:16 AM
  #7  
Candace
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Atm machines are everywhere we just came back and would withdraw money every couple days there were no charges
by the local bank either just a dollar
charge by our bank. I never saw a small town that didn't have many atm's. We saved our credit card for car rentals because hey charged a 3%conversion fee and our bank didn't. It's good to call both so you verify the charges.

I wouldn't agree with the above post about jeans you rarely ever saw adult locals in jeans.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 04:47 AM
  #8  
Sheila
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Janice
ATMs in more or less all towns, but not necessarily in villages. POS is still in its infancy. It should work in large supermarkets or their branches, but small independents probably won't have the facility.

Everyone takes credit cards(though some might ask for an alternative); and notwithstanding Candace's comment most people under 40 and quite a few over) wear jeans- not to work, but in their leisure time.
 
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 05:35 AM
  #9  
Shane
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Hi Diane, Candace, and Janice;

To answer your questions, Diane: great story. We had similar situations when ordering dinner that didn't have English translations. However, the waiters/ waitresses were very friendly in helping us muddle through it.
Candace: My knowledge of the French language is minimal but we did not have any problems getting around. I found the people to be helpful and didn't run into any snobs. Just typical big city people - people in a rush but not rude.
Some places had English translations too so we managed.
Janice: Good call; I'm from Saint John, New Brunswick. The only problem I had with ATM's was with the Bank of Scotland (why? I don't know). That caused some scary moments until I found one that worked. I found B&B's preferred cash while stores and restaurants took VISA
 
Old Jul 31st, 2000, 10:16 AM
  #10  
Marioo Pancev
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Jeans are frowned upon in most places in Scotland. You need to bring a couple of pairs of those khaki shorts from The Gap, with a brown belt, white socks, dress shoes and a polo shirt. Bring a Denver Broncos (preferably season 93 onwards) warmup jacket too.

I've heard they've installed an ATM in Princes Street, Edinburgh. Never thought I'd see the day. At least it gives you one place in the city to procure cash from, Janice.

Be careful with the locals. If they get wind of you being a foreigner, you will have a cabal of those guys tugging at your sleeves all day long. Bring plenty of small change to give to them.

take care
 
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 10:06 PM
  #11  
Ida
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We'll bein Edinburgh for two nights and would like to attend a "Scottish evening" as mentioned in the Fodor book. Which is most recommended?
 
Old Aug 12th, 2000, 11:39 PM
  #12  
Sheila
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Rather than something put on for the tourists you might try for a real ceilidh (or as real as they get in Edinburgh). The Assembly Rooms on the last Friday of the month (check out the listing magazine- The List)

The West End Hotel is where Highlanders hang out in Edinburgh and if there's something on they'll know about it there.

And lastly the Caledonian Brewery Festival Hall often has ceilidhs too.
 

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