Celestial Realm
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UK/Scotland Trip of 2002

For two weeks in the spring of 2002, three friends and I set out to explore parts of England and Scotland.  Two of us, myself and Cindy, had been there before.  The other two, Kevin and LeAnne, had not.   

Since I've had a few questions regarding the trip, a word of explanation might be helpful.  This was largely a self-guided tour so that we could spend our time doing what we wanted to do rather than blindly following a tour guide.  Cindy and I had done this on our previous trip to the UK and Paris in 1998 and it worked well. 

The four of us got together a number of times to work out details.  We individually made a short list of sites and activities we definitely wanted to see.  Conveniently, we often overlapped on what we wanted to do.  Those sites and activities we included on our itinerary.  Since many of these places offered local tours, Kevin worked through a travel agent (Jo) to take the tours.  Some tours are only offered on certain days, so we locked those days early.  That put us on a schedule. 

We knew we wanted to do a bit of traveling, so we got a Visitor's Pass for London's underground ('subways' to us Yanks) and bus system.  We also knew we wanted to take the train to Scotland, so we got a BritRail pass and reserved seats for those trains.  Our travel arrangements were made through Jo.  Kevin decided to try driving in Scotland in the more rural areas, so we checked out our options there and Kevin verified his insurance would cover it.  We hired the car. 

We used online resources to check for hotels, train schedules, get driving distances, locate ATMs and available restaurants.  I even ordered postcard stamps from the Royal Mail website so we wouldn't spend our valuable moments abroad standing in line at the post office. 

In short, we did everything we could to take care of the details ahead of time so we could concentrate on enjoying ourselves.  Did it work?  Yes, usually.  There were snafus, but for the most part, we did a good job scheduling our activities.  The main benefit of this type of operation was the freedom it gave us initially, the assurance that we would see what we wanted to see, and an idea of the time we could spend doing them.

This is my daily trip journal, complete with some of my photographs. 

Those of you who have been here before may notice some changes.  To cut down on load times I've split the diary up into two days per page.  I hope this makes it faster.  Once you are on a page, you can go either forward, back or return to this page.

 

Click on an item to go to that page

 
  Day # Location/Event Day/Date

The Gang Gathers

1 Leaving the USA Saturday, March 23, 2002
2 Arriving in London  Sunday, March 24, 2002 

Trafalgar Square

3 London Experience Tour Monday, March 25, 2002
4 Shopping Day, 'My Fair Lady' Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Hampton Court

5 Tate Gallery, British Museum, V&A Museum Wednesday, March 27, 2002
6 Hampton Court, 'The Mousetrap' Thursday, March 28, 2002 

Stonehenge

7 Stonehenge, Bath - Good Friday Good Friday, March 29, 2002 
8 Queen Mother Dies, Train to Edinburgh Saturday, March 30, 2002 

Stirling Castle

9 Easter in Edinburgh Easter Sunday, March 31, 2002
10 Stirling Castle Monday, April 1, 2002 

Loch Ness

11 Loch Ness  Tuesday, April 2, 2002 
12 Glencoe, Balquhidder Wednesday, April 3, 2002 

Tea for two

13 Leaving Scotland Thursday, April 4, 2002 
14 Going Home Friday, April 5, 2002 

 

 

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