I'm going to go to Scotland, then I will come back

Friday, April 11, 2014

I have never traveled farther than Cuba, so I decided that at some point in my life I should travel over an ocean inside a flying object, and that time is now!

By now! I mean in June. I chose Scotland one night when I was wandering down a dark alley and someone threw a haggis at me. While crying in fear, I picked up the mess that was left and thought to myself "should I investigate the roots of this haggis? Do I want to know the real story behind this haggis? What kind of life story does this haggis even have? What about the body this haggis came from? What were the hopes and dreams of that particular sheep? Did that sheep one day hope to leap dramatically from its enclosure and become an internet sensation? What if this isn't really haggis I'm holding?" And at that very moment I decided I would make the journey to Scotland.

Scotland is a mystical place where everyone wears kilts (even babies), and the only place in the world where unicorns exist. It's full of cliffs and hills and rugged rocks that are ideal for photographers to tumble from, and it's full of pubs and tourist shops that are ideal for people that like pubs and tourist shops.

Once I decided I was going to Scotland, it was time to do some preliminary research on the place. Upon first glance, and utilizing my absolutely appalling geography knowledge, I had thought you could cover the entire country in (possibly) a week. Further research proved that a)I'm an idiot and b)no.

The next step was deciding which places I would pinpoint for my visit, in an effort to maximize the (almost) two weeks wisely. It was a matter of decoding several clues that Dan Brown had left all over Edinburgh, only accessible via Google Maps. In the end, after chopping off places such as the Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland (to be saved for another time, or lotto win), I have come up with the below itinerary.


MY ITINERARY FOR THE GREAT SCOTLAND TRIP OF 2014 - MISSING ALOT OF WHAT I'M ACTUALLY DOING AND FEATURING THE BARE MINIMUM OF WHAT I'M DOING. THIS SHOULD MAYBE BE CALLED A LOLTINERARY

Day 0 - leave my igloo in Canada, USA. Ride the moose to the local iceport   
             and take the ice- crushing ship to the airport, where I will then fly to
             my first destination: Glasgow, UK

Day 1 - arrive in Glasgow, UK at approximately 5:30am EST. Look around
           warily while I try and figure out how I will stay awake the entire day.
           Spend $800,000 shopping. Go to a pub where I will pass out on the
           cushioned seating and then proceed to the hotel I have booked, which
           resembles a weird space pod from 1970 but has great reviews on
           Tripadvisor.ca

Day 2 - continue wandering around Glasgow, UK. Spend another $4600
             shopping. Repeat the night before. 

Day 3 - 10:00am pickup by Timberbush Tours (timberbush-tours.co.uk), where
             they will navigate the dangerous terrains of I don't know where. Final
             destination: The Isle of Skye for two nights.

Day 5 - begin the journey to Edinburgh. Pass Scarlett Johansson driving in a
            truck wearing a strange dark-brown wig. She looks scary. Evening time
            comes and we arrive in Edinburgh.

Day 6 - wander around Edinburgh for 12 hours and hope my shoes don't fall
             apart in a dramatic scene in the middle of Princes street. Probably go to
             Edinburgh castle.

Day 7 - take the train to Dunfermline. Must investigate where Grandma grew
            up, among other things. Take train back to Edinburgh and do more
            wandering. Watch Italy world cup game in a pub because I'll be with an
            Italian.

Day 8 - take train to St Andrews, the home of golf. I don't like golf. I will visit
            the cathedral and the beach, and hopefully play on the great mini-golf
            course.

Day 9-12 - more wandering around Edinburgh. I'm not going into specifics
             because it's none of your business!! But I intend to look at castles and
             other things of that nature.

Day 13 - go home

And there is my incredibly detailed itinerary for my Scotland trip.

In all seriousness, you smell like poopy.

In all seriousness for real, researching a two week trip to an unfamiliar place all by yourself is not easy, but it is possible. I'm not GOING by myself, but I PLANNED it myself. No I am not BITTER about it, don't get me WRONG! I just wanted to CLARIFY that.

Here are some things I've learned during my e-travels through the land of Researchville:

1) Online travel forums are actually kind of useful! Ask many stupid, repetitive questions and ask them often. There are many local experts e-standing by and waiting to impart their knowledge on people like me, who don't bother researching previous forum topics before starting a new topic.

2) Don't book a hotel before investigating all other options. You can go the Air BnB route if you don't mind paying the service fee. Or you can find places online with holiday letting listings, which is what I did. I saved about $80 a night doing this, with the place I'm staying at in Edinburgh.

3) Be realistic with time frames. If you think your itinerary isn't overcrowded, then it probably is. I personally resorted to such internet searches as "what castle is prettier" or "will I be sad if I don't see this castle" and "do the unicorns in Scotland wander up to you for a carrot" and surprisingly this helped me trim a couple from my list.

4) Be realistic about travel within the country. At first I thought I could just drive all over Scotland. It didn't take long to realise I was horribly mistaken.  Not even the fact that the cars are opposites there, but the fact that there are constant herds of unicorns crossing the roads, and I don't know if I'm an experienced-enough driver to navigate properly.  I am now aware that my only methods of travel will be tour bus or train. Or a combination of my feet & legs moving in harmony.

That's all the information I have so far on planning a trip, none of which is extremely useful but I'm sharing it anyway because this is my blog and I will do what I want! There will be a future blog post about the actual trip, which hopefully is far more interesting than me just talking about a trip I will be going on, at some point in the near future.


Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye painted in 1874 by Sidney Richard Percy.
Yes, I'm going here.  Check out that herd of grazing Unicorns.  

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