Travel Report

2nd club trip to Scotland

March 23. - 28. 2011
Prestwick, Gourock, Edinburgh,
Speyside, Inverness, Skye, Mull, Iona, Oban Argyll

Theme: "Scotland in a Nutshell"

day 0 , day 1 , day 2 , day 3 , day 4 , day 5

day 0 and trip preparation

trip preparation

Before we start with our travel report itself it is worth to leave some words about the travel preparation because this can not be more enthralling, exciting, strange and stressful.

At the beginning everything is relaxed: In January 2011 Jens finds a fight offer: for 1€ per flight to Scotland. He asks the club if someone is interested. Konrad, Heike, and Ralf say "YES" and so our travel group is dedicated.

Jens orders 4 tickets - incl. tax, airport fee and 1 piece of luggage á 15 kg it costs about 70€ per person all together (both flights) - a bargain. Start airport is Breslau/Wroclaw in Poland - not too far from Dresden.

On March 1st the crucial phase starts: Jens orders a rental car from/to Glasgow-Prestwick Airport at , creates a trip plan, organizes guided tours everywhere and also orders the B&Bs in Prestwick, Edinburgh, Inverness, and Oban. Everything is OK so far... ... until 2 weeks before trip start a e-mail arrives with the message the the return flight has been changed from 6 p.m. to 10 a.m. !!! The return flight has been planed on a Monday - at this day some events have been planned. All of this had to be canceled, instead of this we would have to leave Oban very early in the morning to catch this flight at Prestwick.So - what should we do ?

A bustling phoning starts. We want to rescue this Monday in Scotland ! Jens searches the Web and finds out that there is a Ryanair flight at this Monday evening around 6 p.m.: But not from Prestwick but from Edinburgh and not to wroclaw but to Posen/Poznan! The conclusion is: save the day ! After lot of attempts jens manages it to switch the fight to the Poznan one - without an extra charge ! - squaring the circle ! It was not an exhausting act to change the car contract so that we can return the car at Edinburgh airport - with a small extra fee.

Extremly enthralling is the polish part. we will leave our car at wroclaw Airport. So we have to go from Poznan to Wroclaw at monday night - about 200 km.
First attempt:
In the internet there is a polish car renter who lets a small car for 45€ + 15€ each for give and return outside the business time. jens sends a mail and after a longer silence the return is: No interest. Oops ! Jens begs for an offer - answer: for about 120 € + petrol he would make the deal.
Second attempt:
- we are Gold-club-member - sure - they will do something for a us. Answer: Incl. all club member benefits the can give us a car not below 170 € ! Remark: For 1 tour of about 3 hours ! Unbelievable ! This can not be. - Go on searching...
Third attempt:
On the Polish state railway web page Jens truely finds an Intercity train that leaves at Poznan main station for Wroclaw about 40 minutes after our aircrafts landing in Poznan airport. Costs: about 7 € per ticket. TAKE - ORDER - PROBLEM: The Polish state railway sells tickets only to polishman. Oops.
Fourth attempt:
Jens doesn't give up and find at the Internet a polish company "POLRAIL" , that exactly fills this gap. This company doesn't anything else then go to the railstation, buy rail ticket for foreigners take the cash via credit card, send the tickets to the foreigner by mail and take an extra fee for the service. So 1 Ticket is about 15 € per person.
We want to flight on a Wednesday - on the Monday before (2 days only !) the tickets arrive in a secure letter. REALLY NOT MUCH TIME and some more grey hair for Jens.

day 0

Wednesday, March 23rd 2011. After work. The day before the trip itself. Today the only point of interest is "simply to go to Scotland". Prestwick - nothing else. we are really excited after the whole preparation insanity.

Our group meets at 4 p.m. at Jens' in Dresden-Weissig. The weather is good. We start for Poland at 4:30 p.m. . Ralf drives. The motorway is empty and aftre 90 minutes we pass the border at Görlitz. In Poland we need a filling station first. The motorway from Görlitz to Wroclaw is complete since last year and so we can go speedy. Only the access roar to the airport from the "rear side" via the villages is heavy. we are afraid about the car: the dampers, the wheel bearrings etc. One pothole after another and
they are very large and deep in size. The new direct access road has been completen inbetween. Jens still knows a small private parking near the airport, where we can leave the car monitored for 23 € per week. We only hope that the return rail trip works so that we can reclaim the car as planned. We walk to the airport and are happy...
We still have quite a lot of time (one of the few moments during this trip) - at least according to the departures table. We have some snacks and drinks at the airport café and happily looking forward to our crazy trip to Bonnie Scotland. Film1 Film2

... that we made it to here without any problems. At first we look around in this very new airport building and check in.

Finally we take our seats in the -Aircraft and
Slowly we pass the very strictly and multiple customs and passport checks and move to the duty free gate room. Theres nothing special to be bought at the shops there and so we wait. After a shorter time the people in the gate room start moving and the "jostling to the gate door" starts.

the very kindly stewardesses start to explain the security advices. Very funny, especially during the explanation of the plastic-hopper-oxygen-devices. During the flight permanently several goods are offered - meals and drinks, cigarettes and parfumes, and Ryanair lottery tickets. There's no quietness at all.
We land ca. 10 minutes earlier as planned at Glasgow-Prestwick airport.
The pieces of luggage are already on the return conveyor belt, as we pass the passport check. We are amazed!
At the airport building Ralf and Jens look forward to a first good Scottish beer - but at 11 p.m. every pub is already closed. So we catch our luggage and a taxi and go to the B&B. We like the nice furniture of this typicaly Scottish house. Ralf and Jens still want to have a beer and so both of them go for a walk along Prestwicks main road, looking for a pub. But all of them are already closed inbetween. The only location that is still open is a very loud dance club. They have Tennents beer here - but only Lager. better than nothing. We are invited to a party in Ayr, but we are too tired to follow this invitation and because tomorrow the heavy travelling begins.

(C) Single Malt Whisky Club Sachsen e.V.- Report: Jens Burkhardt; Photos and Films: Jens Burkhardt
Usage of the material not permitted except there is a written permission by the club, by the author or by the photographer.

day 0 , day 1 , day 2 , day 3 , day 4 , day 5