Leave the driving to someone else please! This is a Scottish highway to the highlands, there are only two – one up the west side of Scotland and another two lane, narrow, windy road on the eastern side of Scotland. Our van driver took every opportunity to point out how bad (and slow) foreign driver’s are – that would be me.
Monday, July 27, 2015
It’s Monday and our stay at the Glenbervie Guest House in Oban is over, we’re off to the island of Skye —– and we’re both dreading the day ahead! What’s wrong with this picture you ask? Neither of us has yet expressed the dread we feel about getting back into the wicked little car, until we get lost in Oban with the GPS refusing to find that damn satellite its always searching for. Another day of white knuckle driving (that’s me) and Gail reminding me to stay left on the left – (say what?). We’re driving on the left hand side of the road but I keep moving to the right of the narrow lane to avoid hitting on coming mirrors – meanwhile hitting the curb on Gail’s side of the car. On top of it all – when we get to Maillaig we’ll have to get the car on and off a ferry! Finally it was Gail who said what we were both thinking. Is this really how we wanted to spend our time in Scotland? Neither is enjoying the beautiful scenery we came to Scotland to see. With a sigh of relief we reverse direction, find our way out of town and head back to Edinburgh to return Lucifer, the cute sapphire blue Mercedes that we’ve come to hate.
After a little guessing – the GPS is still looking for the satellite -we’re in the right direction retracing our steps to the Budget lot at Edinburgh airport. Still carefully watching the road, and not seeing the scenery, I’m less stressed just knowing I have to get us there in one piece – but then I’m free. Gail’s support through all this was invaluable – thank you Gail! Closer to Edinburgh the GPS finally finds the satellite and leads us back safely by about 12:30. Getting out of the little monster and handing over the keys was such a relief! Short walk to the airport and a stop to rearrange our plans with the lovely women at the Visit Scotland office. We leave the airport with hotel reservation replacements, a day tour to St Andrews and a two day tour to Inverness and the Highlands reserved! Hotel’s were difficult but with some phone calls we’re back in business with all the nights filled. Bus to our new hotel, a walk on the Royal Mile to relax us, and a great dinner at a pub called No 1 a short walk from The MacDonald Holyrood Hotel where we’ll spend one night. Encouraged to try the Belvenie Caribbean blend whisky recommended by a client, I’m beginning to relax. Smooth stuff, it warms your whole body and takes away any anxiety – I highly recommend it.
This day wasn’t a complete bust though – we learned that driving in the UK is fine when you’re in your 40’s or early 50’s (we both did it), but in our 60’s we’ll let a bonnie man with a Scots accent do the driving! I learned how nice it is to have someone to share difficult circumstances and decisions while traveling. I’ve been traveling solo so often lately it was nice not to have to make all the decisions, better still to have a sensible person to make some of them for me!