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Trip Report- Scotland May 2012

california
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552 posts
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Trip Report- Scotland May 2012

My husband and I loved our visit to Scotland and would like to thank all of the nice people on TA who helped to make this trip so great. I'll post each new entry as a reply and mention people who helped me with specific issues. If I forget anyone I apologize in advance, please know your input was very valuable.

I have photos and video posted on my blog: http://sandydtraveljournal.blogspot.com/

The blog entries contain historic and general info on the places we visited because most of our friends and family have not been to Scotland. I plan to gear my trip report more to the traveler perspective.

I'll also share some final thoughts at the end. Here goes:

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Scotland
Scotland
United Kingdom
california
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552 posts
128 reviews
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21. Re: Trip Report- Scotland May 2012

Speaking of rental cars, we did not have a great experience with our rental car in Scotland.

We booked throught Budget and received a BMW 3 sedan. You're thinking that sounds pretty good, right? So did we... until we drove it.

I had requested an automatic transmission, this car had a manual trans, but we had just driven a manual in Ireland for 7 days so didn't think it would be a problem. Unfortunately, the gears are very close together in this car and it was easy to end up in 5th gear when you wanted 3rd, etc. And, it kept popping out of first gear on its own, usually at a very critical moment. I had also requested a non-smoking car and even thought they said this one was non-smoking, it had a definite odor of cigarette smoke inside.

Anyway, it made driving more of a chore than anything else and is actually the reason we didn't drive to Iona from Tobermory as planned. I suppose we could have turned around and taken the car back to Edinburgh, but we originally thought we just needed to get used to the gear shift issue. :(

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Scotland
Scotland
United Kingdom
Ireland
Ireland
Europe
Iona
Iona
The Hebrides, UK
Tobermory
Tobermory
Isle of Mull, UK
Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Scotland, UK
california
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552 posts
128 reviews
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22. Re: Trip Report- Scotland May 2012

Our favorite things:

Favorite Castle (renovated): Sandy- Culzean, Mike- Stirling. (architecture, history).

Favorite Castle(ruin): Kilchurn (atmosphere, isolation).

Favorite abbey: Melrose (beautiful colors and carvings).

Favorite activity: climbing towers, especially in castle ruins.

Favorite food: Mike fell in love with the cookies/biscuits.

Favorite accommodation: Annfield House, Callander (beautiful room, home, garden).

Favorite breakfast: Annfield House, Callander (huge variety of fresh fruits, beautifully displayed).

Favorite hike: Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh.(unbelievable views).

Most accomodating B&B host: Liz at Burnside Guesthouse, Ayr (above and beyond our expectations).

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23. Re: Trip Report- Scotland May 2012

Calsand, I'm really enjoying your entries. I like the way you have split your trip report into different headed sections - it makes it very easy to read :)

Your experiences with the car rebtal sound frustrating, and really, if you request am automatic, provision should be made for this at big rental locations (where they have a large fleet). There are plenty of people these days not even licenced to drive a manual , and Budget should have prepared for this. You usually pay a surcharge for automatic cars as well - did you at least get that refunded?

And as for returning it late - what did they say at the time? It wouldn't be unheard for them to charge an additional day, and it is usually worth getting these things clarified at the time of drop-off, much easier than quibbling by phone/email later on.

Overall it sounds like you had a great trip, I am off now to explore your blog too :)

Abs :)

california
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552 posts
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24. Re: Trip Report- Scotland May 2012

Abs: by the time we reached the car rental desk we were exhausted from sitting in that traffic mess for four hours.

When we originally picked up the car, the agent said we needed to return it before midnight but my actual reservation said it needed to be returned by 8pm. I mentioned the delay due to the bridge road problem, but the return agent didn't seem to care. I'll have to wait for my credit card bill to see if they charged me. In regards to the automatic, I remember the booking agent on the phone being very explicit in saying that the car features and specifics were not guaranteed. That's what happens when you try to get a bargain, I guess. As I recall, the price was the same for manual or automatic which is why I requested an automatic.

25. Re: Trip Report- Scotland May 2012

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