Scotland Road Trip
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Day 0 – 1
We flew American Airlines from (DFW) Dallas, Texas to (LHR) Heathrow, London. Then took a British Airways flight to Inverness, Scotland. The flight over to Heathrow was an overnight flight. We took off at 3:30 from DFW. The flight is a 9-hour flight landing at Heathrow around midnight DFW time which is 6:00 am local so not much sleep! I would just like to mention that Heathrow airport is a NIGHTMARE… You will land in one terminal and need to get to another (more than likely) which requires you to catch a bus! This creates a very, very long line while waiting for the bust to your terminal so much so that it took us about 1.5 – 2 hours to get from where we landed to our connecting flight terminal. Most of this is caused by having to go through security again which requires you to use their clear bags for ALL liquids no matter how small the amount. This being said you will need to get any liquids even makeup into one of their small clear plastic bags. Otherwise, your trip through security will take a long time or it did for us. We only thought we had all our liquids into the clear bags. I forgot I had some eye drops in one of the pockets of my backpack. This will require you to wait in the line if it was like use EVERYONE was having to get the second search and swab, then scan. The trick we used on the way back was put ALL liquids in the checked bag this worked great for the return flight we actually made it through without being stopped. You will probably also want to take some snacks with you in case you get hungry during all this. This being said I think 3 hours on a connection at Heathrow is probably about right anything less and you could be pushing making it. If you happen to make it from your landing terminal to your connecting terminal easily please share your secrets! Once we made it to our connecting terminal it was just a matter of waiting to board the flight.
We landed in Inverness, Scotland which is considered the capital of the highlands. The airport is small it appears to only have one runway since we landed then turned around on the runway we just landed on to return to the terminal. You will deplane via stairs then walk into the terminal building to collect your bags. Then make your way out of the baggage claim area back outside and around to the main part of the airport. We rented our vehicle from Hertz which is located a little ways from the airport entry/exit. Hertz has a little shuttle that will come and meet you at the airport exit doors and give you a ride to pick up your rental vehicle. We did ask someone at the information desk and they were really friendly. He called the Hertz shuttle driver for an ETA. The driver was about 10 minutes away and come inside to get us once he arrived. He was a friendly Scottish gentleman and gave me a few driving tips while taking us over to Hertz. Basically, it was don’t hit anything….lol and keep yourself near the center line that means you are on the left side of the road and in your lane.
We arrived at Hertz and we going to get a Mercedes van since my mother-in-law has trouble getting into and out of low vehicles. We actually settled on a Volvo XC60 SUV which I am so glad we did you will see why in a later blog post. It was a diesel but gets 38-40 mpg which is nice when fuel is 135.9 pence per liter ($6.36 per gallon) not to mention the lane keep assist which was really useful on the narrow Scottish roads. We finished up the transaction which I never get insurance but this time I got the £ 1000.00 ($1299.60) deductible insurance. I figured given the narrow roads with spots with rock walls on both sides plus the fact that I was learning to drive on the left in the right of the SUV chances are I might need it! I could see me knocking a mirror off or something. 🙁 but I did not need it after all! Hard to know that before the fact tho. Below is a picture of the model of the Volvo SUV. I cannot recommend it enough great fuel mileage and the handy lane keep assist!
We loaded up the SUV and off we went. I was really nervous about driving on the left side of the road on the right side of the car not to mention all the roundabouts! The main reason was I was really tired with maybe an hour of sleep from all the flying. Luckily the hotel was only a short ride from the airport. It was 7 miles to be exact. I had a GoPro mounted in the window for the Day 2 through the end of the trip. Minus from and to the airport. The from the airport I was too tired to dig out the GoPro and paraphernalia for only a 7-mile drive. It was just a normal drive I was really nervous since I was so tired and my instincts were all wrong for driving on the left. I managed to get us to the hotel without any issues. We had a room for a single night at the Holiday Inn Express Inverness. This was because our flights got changed around from Heathrow to Inverness so we would have missed a day. We managed to get the flights changed to 1 day earlier so we could maintain the planned schedule and move to our longer term hotel the next night.
This day was uneventful with few pictures but I did take a picture of the plane at some point! I think this was landing in Heathrow.