Tuesday, July 27, 2004

In attempt to spice up blog posting format, will provide Review of Weekend events in List format (OK..truth be told I  have an obsession with lists, especially Top 10’s…Jen knows this all too well)  Anywho, read on for details re: long weekend filled with singing (not the karaoke type), driving (around Scotland + Jen & Keri crazy), bargaining (for kitchen appliances), eating copious amounts of food (of the sinfully sweet & fabulously fattening varieties) and spending massive amounts of money (on some of the aforementioned activities)

Top Events of the Past Weekend

Three Canadian Gals Take 2 Day Road Trip Around Scotland

Listened to Tom Jones Sing Live at Edinburgh Castle

Visited Urquart Castle at Night When It Was Lit Up & Free

Purchased Microwave from Car Boot Sale for Bargain Price of 4£

Purchased Fringe Festival Tickets for 1st Weekend at Kind-of-Bargain Prices

Climbed Arthur’s Seat and Started Healthy Living Plan (again)

Right..so am sure you’re all keen to hear details re above list…this is where it gets hard, I actually have to think…
OK..so about the Road Trip..it was fabulous. Despite my being beyond petrified of assigned role as driver, all went well enough in this regard, save for a few snags at the beginning of the journey.

For instance, as I was driving out of the Rental Car Park and showing off my skills at the art of standard driving to the gals I came across a ‘No Exit’ situation which required me to back up and turn round the way I came from. All fine and good, except I couldn’t find Reverse anywhere. We sat there for what seemed like an eternity as I went through every gearshift and inched my way forwards as I tested for the right gear. I began to panic, could imagine that in a few minutes the rental guy would come out and politely ask me to get out from behind the wheel. Well, thanks to Jen’s expert knowledge of standard cars, we finally found reverse (you had to push the stick down then way over to the left and up).

So we were on our way, ready to take on the Highlands and north country. Except we weren’t…with great skill I somehow managed to get us on a major highway headed directly opposite, south towards England.    We finally found our way  North..Jen’s navigating skills improved drastically and my comprehension of round-abouts became much, much better.

For the most part, the driving experience got way better after these initial difficulties. The only other prob we encountered was long, long stretches of winding roads with lots of blind corners and summits. As if that isn’t every driver’s dream, we found ourselves stuck behind vehivles driving snail slow.  Must say I have a love-hate relatipnship with the road between Inverness & Glasgow, which runs along the Loch Ness and Loch Lomond. It is an absolutely stunning drive through the highlands..I can’t even explain how BEAUTIFUL and WOW it is (I used these two phrases excessively during the trip..sorry about that Jen) and it is kind of fun todrive along roadswhere you have to hug corners and pay attention BUT..by the time we hit Glasgow I was absolutley ecstatic to discover a divided highway where I could cut loose and actually take over other, slower dirivers (yes, confidence in driving skills had increase one hundred fold in 24 hour period)

OH..one other note – For the first day and  a half of driving I kept saying to Jen ‘ I am driving sooo slow….this is so embarrassing’ the speedometer read 30 mph and we were on a 60 mph highway at the time…Anyway, she finally pointed out to me half way thru second day (when I was complaining about how slow driver ahead of me was going) that I had been reading the RPM dial not the speedometer. Whoops. So..suppose I may have been speeding thru a few areas of Scotland, but hey, I’m a tourist ..just be glad I remembered to drive on the left.

This will have to be a TO BE CONTINUED BLOG..my lunch is over.. Sorry got caught up telling driving stories..rest assured weekend was more interesting than that…..

I leave u with a few details regarding road trip stats….

Stops in:  Kinross, Perth, Inverness, Loch Ness, Drumdrochit, Fort William and     other quaint little towns in between (for restroom breaks!)

Vehicle Driven: Volkswagon Polo
Hours of Driving Logged: 17
Hours of Driving Logged by Shannon: 17
Hours Spent Trying to Find Way Out of Edinburgh: 1.5
Cost of Petrol for Journey in £s - 45
Cost of Petrol for Journey in $ - 117 (to fill tank 1.5 times) 
Men in Kilts Sighted – 3


Rob said...

Well at least you have not taken the British driving test yet! After 10 prior years experience in Canada, Robin lurched out of her parking space and commenced to drive on the wrong side of the road. Being a brunette, she failed. My mother on the other hand could not find any of the gears but being blonde passed - the tester changed the gears.

Anonymous said...

You have an outstanding good and well structured site. I enjoyed browsing through it » »