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Best Of Scotland, hey, it’s next week!

I’ve been waiting about six months for this trip. Got one carry on bag plus one personal item. It’s all been packed and repacked. And again. Still have time to repack. Got my books, maps, and audio. Footbeds with metatarsal support. Rain gear. Dreading the six hour flight from JFK but, heck, can’t be much worse than driving to Seattle.

I’ll be in country two days early and then twenty other good folks will be joining me in Edinburgh on Monday, April 8, 2019. See you there.

Posted by
7643 posts

Have a wonderful time!! I suspect it will be a lot greener than your neck of Idaho this time of year unless you guys are greening up quicker than the Panhandle.

The 6 hour flight to EDI is not bad. Next trip try one of the non-stops from SLC. They are starting with one to EDI this summer. I hope it is well-used so it is a profitable route. The ones to London, Paris and Amsterdam are generally completely full and you don’t have to faff around with changing on the East Coast!

Looking forward to a Trip Report when you get back!

Posted by
2945 posts

Have a great trip. It really is quite exciting when that long awaited date finally draws close on the calendar. I know you will enjoy this adventure.

Posted by
304 posts

Oh, you will have a wonderful time! I did that tour a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Good for you to get there two days early, you will be so glad you did.

Posted by
54 posts

Have a great time in Sco'land! We were there in 2012, Had a few gorgeous sunny days followed by rain make sure you have you raingear! Just in case!

Nancy

Posted by
685 posts

One last thought- your shoes- waterproof? I used a waterproof spray on all my shoes before I went to Scotland last time, and it worked really well. I LOVE this pre-trip excitement! You seem SO prepared. Safe travels!

Posted by
23 posts

Waterproof spray? What brand did you use? Can it be used on running-style shoes? I’m off to Scotland tour in about 3 weeks. Have fun, Bogiesan!

Posted by
5645 posts

Six hour flight? Lucky you. I have a 12 hour flight next week, always worth it.

Posted by
58 posts

Have a wonderful time! Sounds like you are well-prepared! This was my favorite of all the Rick Steves tours I have taken - enjoy!

Posted by
768 posts

Have fun... we were there last April and weather was great. It is an awesome tour. We had James who was fab! Not enough words to describe how knowledgeable, passionate etc of a tour guide! This was one of my favs besides holland and Belgium. Taking my 6 & 7 next month

Posted by
5405 posts

Have a wonderful tour ! I love Scotland so much, I hope you will enjoy it!

Posted by
741 posts

Also interested in what brand of waterproofing spray. We’re on the same tour as TerriL and are considering this.

Posted by
768 posts

I used scotch guard on my shoes. I even used it in my jeans when I went snow skiing for the first time when I was a poor college student!

It works

Posted by
441 posts

Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone. The weather forecast in Scotland for the next two weeks looks exactly like Boise, Idaho: 32-40 lows, 50-60 highs, scattered showers.

I use waterproof sox with a wide range of footwear. I discovered SealSkinz and ShowersPass sox while touring Idaho and Oregon on my bicycle.

Posted by
32 posts

Have a great trip, bogiesan! We are on the Scotland tour the week following yours. I am making my final cuts on what to pack and am curious if people strongly recommend rain pants? (Yes, I have quick dry pants to wear every day. The rain pants would be for a possible deluge.)

Posted by
7643 posts

Jess, if you’ve already got them and they are the fairly lightweight kind, I’d throw them in. The day the tour went to Mull and Iona last June was the only time ~ever~ on an RS tour I’ve wanted rain pants. Luckily the hotel in Oban had good towel heaters so everything dried out well. BTW, our guide had hers in her day pack.

Bogiesan, I love that the temps are about the same! Scotland is way more humid though!

Posted by
7643 posts

I had Julia from the RS office.

Posted by
182 posts

Have a great trip and I looking forward to hearing all about it when you get back to Boise.

Posted by
441 posts

Fabulous weather. I’m getting a tan. Great group, no grumps. Terrific guide: Anne. Everything has been running like a finely tuned machine.

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23 posts

Bogiesan, so happy to hear! My flight to Edinburgh is less than two weeks away, and my tour has Ann as our Guide also. Must seriously get down to packing....

Posted by
768 posts

Bogiesan - glad all is good on your trip. I am jealous, my Facebook page came up yesterday that we were leaving for Shannon ireland this time last year for our 8 day ireland tour, then hopping over to the Scotland tour. Do a trip report when you get back.

I have a month til London and France tour,

Have fun!!

Posted by
741 posts

Bogiesan: Glad to hear you like Anne. We’ll be with her in a couple of weeks. Just wondering, how long was your stop at St. Andrews? I’ve heard anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours.

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441 posts

Stout, St. Andrews was about 3 hours but the layover time was determined by our arrival since we had an appt at the next destination. So it might have been less. Lesson learned at St Andrews.: don’t fritter away the time over a long and chatty lunch. BTW, it’s pronounced sanTANdrooz.

Posted by
441 posts

Oban. Ferries/bus to Mull and Iona today. Decidedly colder on the coast so layering up today and taking rain pants, shell, gloves, waterproof sox, umbrella.

Radiator in Wallpark hotel stopped working about 0200 so room is quite chilly. WiFi went offline so No internet, only my phone.

Posted by
7643 posts

don’t fritter away the time over a long and chatty lunch.

Oh yes! Sometimes it’s much better to pop into a grocery store for a ready made sandwich or salad so you have time to tour! We got a quick and good lunch last June at Bibi’s Cafe. It’s on the left after you turn onto the main street from the road where the bus parks.

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83 posts

Wow, thanks for the mini updates bogiesan! We had already decided on the supermarket lunch---gotta get pics on the bridge and see the cathedral! Any golf souvenir shops you would recommend? We've been checking out the webcams for Oban, Edinburgh and St. Andrews all week....

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741 posts

Bogiesan: Did you need the rain pants? I’m on the fence about taking mine, which weigh almost 14 ounces. I’m already packing heavier than I’d like.

And thanks so much for posting here mid-tour!

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441 posts

Bit of an issue yesterday with the ferries.Unusually high NE winds and deep swells prevented us from getting to Iona. Major bummer. Then we got stranded on Mull for a few hours while Anne used her experience, creativity, and contacts to get us back to Oban.

Did not use the rain pants but I would have been glad to have them on Iona. Remarkably fierce and cold wind. Did not need the Blunt umbrella even in the worst rain so I can’t recommend bringing one. But rain pants? If you like such, Get the lightest.

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441 posts

So it’s all over. Superb dinner last night, breaky, and now sitting in the lobby with Anne as folks depart. I’ll be walking a few blocks to another hotel for two nights and then off to the airport. I’ll post some quick notes in the trip report folder but please don’t expect much detail.