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Scotland--14 Fabulous Days!!--Trip Report

Scotland--14 Fabulous Days!!--Trip Report

Old Aug 28th, 2004, 11:02 PM
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Scotland--14 Fabulous Days!!--Trip Report

First off...thanks to everyone on here who provided tips that helped make my travelling a bit better.

This was my first solo trip to Scotland and I couldn't have asked for a better one! I was in Scotland from Aug 10-23.

DAY 1: Despite numerous flight delays at O'Hare and Manchester, I did get to Edinburgh on time. I hopped on the express bus to the City Centre and that couldn't have been easier. I stayed at Castle Rock Hostel just off the Royal Mile. It took me a while to weed my way through the festival crowds, but I finally made it.
Checked in, then wandered around the Royal Mile for a while. The mass of street performers was amazing! Took it easy the rest of the day and then went to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo that night. The show was incredible!!

DAY 2: Walked through Princes Gardens and headed to the National Gallery of Scotland. Entry was free and I spent many hours in there enjoying the displays. Next was the Museum of Scotland and the Royal Museum. Both were excellent and free also. Again wandered the Royal Mile and watched numerous street performances.

DAY 3: In the morning, did a free walking tour with MacBackpackers. It was a fun and informative 2 hour tour. Had lunch with people I met on the tour and then checked out Holyrood Palace. The palace was amazing and has a free audio tour with admission. Finished up at St. Giles Cathedral. Again free entry and spectacular beauty!

DAY 4: Slept late and went shopping for souvenirs. Later went to Camera Obscura. It was fun and you get a fantastic view of the city. That night, went to a Blues concert in Princes Gardens. Did an Auld Reekie haunted tour and it wasn't worth the money.

DAY 5: Toured Edinburgh Castle right when it opened. Spent apx. 4 hours there. The National War Museum there is very interesting! Watched the 1 o'clock gun fire and then headed out to enjoy more of the festival along the Royal Mile.

DAY 6: 9am--Began 7 Day Grand Tour of Scotland with MacBackpackers. Stopped in Stirling at the William Wallace monument. Drove through the Trossachs and ended in Oban.

DAY 7: Went over Atlantic Bridge to Isle of Seil. Then headed to Kilmartin Glen to see ancient standing stones and cairns. Checked out Carnassarie Castle ruins. Stopped at McCaig's Tower in Oban.

DAY 8: Left Oban. Saw Castle Stalker and stopped at Glen Coe. Had luch along river banks at Glen Nevis and then stopped at Glen Finnan Viaduct. It is better known as the train bridge from Harry Potter movies. Proceeded to Malaig and took ferry to Isle of Skye.

DAY 9: Attempted to climb Old Man of Storr, but pouring down rain made it too difficult. Stopped at Kilt Rock and Duntulm castle. Visited the Faerie Glen...Beautiful!!!

DAY 10: Went back to mainland over Skye Bridge and toured Eilean Donan Castle. Drove through lands of Kintail and on to Ft. Augustus. Continued on and took a quick swim in the cold Loch Ness water. Ended in Inverness for Scottish dancing at a local pub.

DAY 11: Walked around Culloden Battlefield, aka, Drumossie Moor. Lunch at Ruthven Barracks ruins and hiked around Bruar Falls. Stopped at Scotland's smallest distillery, Edradour, for a free tour and wee dram of whisky. Ended at Pitlochry.

DAY 12: Checked out ruins at Dunkeld and drove to St. Andrew's. Spent most of the day there walking around the cathedral ruins and playing on the beach. Headed back to Edinburgh over Firth to see the Forth Rail Bridge. Tour group met later for drinks and City of the Dead tour. I recommend that haunted tour over any others.

DAY 13: Relaxed in Princes Gardens with people I met on tour and enjoyed the gorgeous sunny day! Finished up souvenir shopping.

DAY 14: Very early flight back to the States.

It was a fantastic vacation and I can hardly believe I've been back less than a week. I can't wait to travel again!!
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 12:11 AM
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Sounds like a great journey. God, I've got to get back there -- I love it there too!
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 05:21 AM
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Glad you enjoyed your trip. It does sound great. Would you give a review of the arrangements and service provided by MacBackpackers, please?
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 08:13 AM
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Great trip report-sounds like you had an excellent time! Thanks for posting.
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 09:57 PM
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cmcfong---
you can check out MacBackpackers at their website, www.macbackpackers.com.

I found MacBackpackers to be very organized and our tour guide was fun and knowledgable. The price for the 7 day tour was 145 GBP not including accommodations. Accommodations are guaranteed at their hostels though, for around 15 GBP per night.
Our typical day began at 9:30 am and ended between 5:30-7pm. We always were having so much fun though, that we hardly looked at the time.
They have a variety of tour options and were always pleasant to deal with. I would absolutely recommend taking a tour with them for a nice overview of the country. If you want any more information or details, don't hesitate to ask!
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