Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Bags Are Packed (Almost!)

This Sunday I am off on an adventure. I am flying to London and will be there for several days recovering from jet lag and seeing the sights. My cousin Kath is flying over from the US to join me, so for those of you who know me well enough to know I have absolutely zero sense of direction, no worries. Kath has assured me she knows up from down and right from left. (Although, come to think of it, the right/left confusion thing might play in my favour when crossing streets in Britain.)


On September 23 we will be taking a train up to Dundee, Scotland, where we will be picked up by a representative from Glentrek, a company specializing in walking tours around Scotland. They will drive us to a B&B at the start of the Cateran Trail. Our next five days will be spent walking the 103 kilometre (60 mile) trail, which is described as running through three main types of habitat: farmland and river valleys, woodland, and heath and moorland. Glentrek transports our luggage from village to village along the way, dropping it off at each night's B&B which they have kindly booked in advance for us.


After the Cateran Trail, and assuming our legs are still able to support us, we will be going to Edinburgh for a couple of days. There is to be an added attraction in Edinburgh, one that most tourists miss out on completely. I am going to have lunch with Jean, the well-known Scottish knitting blogger. Never mind Edinburgh Castle or the Royal Mile. Finally getting to meet Jean in person will definitely be the highlight of my time in this Scottish city.

After Edinburgh we take the train back to London. Kath will be flying back to her home in Idaho but I will be continuing my adventures. I fly to Luxembourg, where I will spend a few days with some wonderful friends that I have not seen in over a decade. Then I fly back to London where I will spend a few days with some dear friends there. October 8 I return to Kamloops, just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving.

Sorry if this reads like an itinerary. In some ways I guess it is. My hope is that I will be able to blog frequently while I am away. I won't promise a post every day, but you never know! A lot depends on Internet connections. I am hoping to be able to buy a SIM card for my iPad once I get there, but I have been told connections in rural Scotland will be spotty. And I was also told that only some of our B&Bs will have wi-fi. Figuring it out will just be part of the adventure!

Adventures are tricky things. I am hoping for some excitement, but it must be the right kind of excitement. For instance, if I unexpectedly spot Queen Elizabeth while I am walking down the street in London that would qualify as the right kind of excitement. However, if the ATM machine at Heathrow eats my debit card when I arrive that would be the wrong kind of excitement. Lost luggage, food poisoning and train wrecks would also fall into this latter category.

One final thing. Remember my traveling sweater? In the end I decided I just could not live with the two different colours, so I ripped it out and reknit the offending section. I am so glad I did. I love the finished product. What would make this sweater even more perfect would be if the weather was so lovely in Scotland that I didn't even need to wear it!

19 comments:

  1. Your sweater is gorgeous ... and a beautiful colour :D

    Here's wishing you lots of the right kind of excitement! Happy travelling :D

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  2. Nice sweater!..you're taking both your passports? REbekah

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  3. Give Jean a hug from me when you make connections.

    Lynne

    aka 'The Socklady'

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  4. @Annie - Thanks for the compliment on my sweater! It is actually a little darker shade of blue than the picture shows. My hope is it won't show the dirt.

    @Rebekah - I haven't decided yet. I will probably take both. If there is a terror attack I will show my Canadian passport. If there is a natural disaster and I need rescuing by the Marines I will use my American passport. The best of both worlds!

    @Lynne - I will definitely give Jean a hug from a fellow knitter! Thanks for sending me the email with the picture!

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  5. I think you will probably have plenty of opportunity to wear your sweater. When I visited Scotland in July (2008) it was FREEZING! we even had snow occasionally.
    BUT...I'm sure you'll have a great time anyway! :D
    I'm jealous....

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  6. I'm hoping it isn't as WET for you in Scotland as it was for us. We were there late May/early June, so there's hope for you :) The sweater is lovely. May your luggage not get lost and may you always have at least some dry clothes.

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  7. Have a lovely time in Scotland. It is such a beautiful past of the world, I'm sure you will.

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  9. Exciting! Look forward to hearing about the trip!

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  10. Oooh have fun! London is such a wonderful city (although I'm bias, being near London and all that!)

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  11. @Jill - Your comment has scared me so bad that I am packing an extra polar fleece vest in my backpack. :-)

    @Kate - I hope we fair better than you did in terms of rain, but am packing a rain jacket and rain pants just in case. I looked at the 10 day forecast and it doesn't look brilliant.

    @Stitched Together - Thanks for the good wishes! I am sure we will have a fantastic trip, even if the weather that everyone is warning me about doesn't fully cooperate!

    @Julie - Stay tuned for updates as I travel around. Hopefully it will be easy to find Internet access so I can post.

    @Jaz - I am really excited for London. I have been once, but it was a long time ago. I wish we had more than 3 days. I am sure we could spend 3 weeks there and still feel like we had missed out on some things!

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  12. Leaving already?!! Have a wonderful time. Can't wait to read your blog posts about it! BTW, your sweater looks fantastic!

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  13. It came out beautifully! Have a wonderful trip!

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  14. Wow, wishing you all sorts of the right kind of excitment. I was tempted to tease that this sounded like a tea smuggling operation. Visiting England sounds nice, but the idea of walking through Scotland makes me smile for reasons I'm not 100% of. Is Brigadoon in Scotland? =)

    Have a great trip!

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  15. @Aneta - I am really happy with the sweater. But now I am worried it might not be warm enough.

    @Tana - Thanks! Now it just needs to do its job and keep me warm while I walk the Scottish moors.

    @Ric - You are not far off. I have every intention of bringing back as much tea as I can fit in my bag. :-)

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  16. Have a great trip! I'll be coming home from the Grand Canyon on October 8th. So we'll have to get together and compare notes.

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  17. Two passports? We must talk about that over lunch. I've only got one. Also about sim cards for iPads -- I thought that was just for telephones. I hope you'll find wi-fi commoner than you fear. See you soon!

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  18. @Jean - I think we will have so much to talk about our lunch could last for hours! Looking forward to the conversation!

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  19. Hi Kristie- Just catching up with your travels and thought that you might be in Great Britain at the same time as Aliah. You might want to see if you are in the same place at the same time.

    Have a great time, we will be in Israel at that time.

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