Home > Vacation > Scotland – Day 0: Getting There

Scotland – Day 0: Getting There

Wireless Router

One piece of equipment I forgot to mention was a portable wireless router. Doris had the great idea that we should get a travel router for those hotels that don’t offer or charge for wireless Internet in the room. After some searching, the obvious choice was the Apple AirPort Express. No way I was going to pay $100 though. I decided on the ZuniDigital ZTRP150 (who names these things?). It had good reviews, works on non-US voltages, and has the huge advantage of 2 USB charging ports; one of which is a high-power port. All for half the price of the AirPort Express.

Unfortunately, finding free wired Internet in our hotels proved difficult. Somtimes the hotels had no wired Internet at all. We are definitely spoiled by our newer hotels here in the States. So we didn’t get to actually use it until our very last night, where it worked great. We did, however, make full use of the USB charging ports throughout the trip. Highly recommended.

Austin to Dallas

We weren’t excited about leaving a car at the airport for two weeks and our return flight arrived at midnight which isn’t a good time to drive. So we booked a SuperShuttle instead. Worked great and was cheaper too. I would be remiss in not mentioning the Schlotzky’s at the Austin airport. I love that you can order food via a touch screen exactly how you want it and not have to talk to anyone. Been wanting this for years. Anyway, the flight to Dallas was predictably boring. Yay!

Dallas to London

Somewhere in the northern hemisphere

Here’s where things went wrong. The clock ticks past our boarding time, but no boarding announcement. A lady comes on the intercom to announce the cleaning is taking longer than expected. Fine. The minutes whiz by and still no boarding. The lady comes back on and tells they are now waiting for pajamas for the first class passengers. I think we all just looked at each other in disbelief. She wrapped it up nicely, saying something like, “The staff does not want to allow boarding until the jammies are here.” Yes, she actually said ‘jammies’. All this mess is in regards to American’s new services announced recently. I totally agree with Doris when she said the FC passengers probably care more about getting to London on time. Adding in a long taxi on the runway meant we were likely going to be late for our connecting flight in Heathrow.

The flight itself was on a 777. The plane was great fun even though it is dated. The only bad thing was that it was freezing. I had to throw the blanket over my head to stay warm. It’s a 9 hour flight so they serve beverages, dinner, and breakfast. Serving beverages is pointless when you’re just going to serve dinner immediately after. Skip it so we can eat and sleep earlier.

And to top it off, there wasn’t a landing spot for us. So we watched the plane go around in circles on the little TV display.

London to Glasgow

Terminal 5. Our afternoon was here.

Upon landing at Heathrow, there were some employees at the gate with signs for the connecting flights. They gave us a boarding pass (or something, can’t remember) with a bright orange envelope to speed us through. To make a long story short, we had to take a bus to the new Terminal 5. Unfortunately it’s outside, which means that once you get to Terminal 5, you have to go through security again. All this plus a confusing array of desks, people, etc. Needless to say we missed our flight and had to wait for the next one.

Is one of these planes for us? Nope!

Glasgow

Glasgow has a much smaller airport. We waited for our luggage, but of course, it did not come. I talked to the very nice gentleman in charge of the luggage area and he said our luggage was still in London. We were dumbfounded that we beat our luggage. It was scheduled to show up that night and would be delivered to our hotel. This rather stressed me out, obviously. He also recommended taking the city bus, rather than a taxi, to our hotel. We would have to walk a few blocks, but since we didn’t have any luggage, who cares? :P

We made it!

Our first two nights were spent at the Thistle. It’s a nice enough hotel, nothing special. Took us awhile to figure out the shower. The hair dryer was stored in a desk drawer, where it would be for each hotel (except in Skye, where it was missing), the question is which drawer.

We walked around town and ‘dined’ at Wok to Walk. Was alright. Massive amount of food for the amount paid. I kind of wanted to eat Indian (it is Britain, after all) but was really turned off by the people outside the Indian places handing out coupons and wanting you to eat there.

Came back and hit the sack. Around midnight, the hotel staff knocked on our door and brought our luggage in. Whew!

Full Gallery – Day 0

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