quinta-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2014

First day in Scotland

Our trip to Scotland started with a delay of six hours in the flight, due to a strike. Long story short we ended up arriving in the hotel at 03:00 in a rainy morning, but in the next day we decided to wake up at 08:00, we were in Scotland and we wanted to enjoy our trip.

First day we decided to go north of Edinburgh.

Our first day in Scotland was a curious day, it was the biggest snowfall since the beginning of the year in the Aberdeen region and we did not know about it.

Bad weather in the Edinburgh Bridge
We started our trip in rainy conditions but we were already warned about the Scottish weather, and we believed would get better.

Snow along the road
Later we would find some inches of snow along the countryside. Since we are from a region that never has snow, it was an unique view and a new experience on vacations.

Windy in St. Andrews ruins
Our first stop was in St. Andrews. Our goal was to see the remaining ruins of the castle, it has not much left and it was so windy and moist that we left the car only for some minutes.

Arriving in Dundee
Time to continue north and continue to the city of Dundee, we stopped there to eat something and nothing much. We didn't find any points of interest we were interested.

The Glamis Castle
We decided to visit the Glamis castle inside and it was worth it. I will talk about it later.

The Scottish countryside
We continued north to see the Scottish countryside and more castles.
Castles and snow. Good enough for us.
This was one of the castles we saw. I cannot remember the name but it was west of Aberdeen.

Castle fields
Castles may be amazing but the plain castle fields are also beautiful, specially with the white from the snow.

Driving an Auris in Scotland

Most of my Car rental bookings are made with Europcar, it offers a competitive price and I never had any problems regarding the Pick up and the return point. I will leave this discussion for another post, "Choosing the Car Rental Company".

Toyota Auris in the Glamis Castle (2012)

In this case driving an Auris was better than driving the expected Renault Megane, Europcar did not have enough cars so they had to offer me a superior class than the one hired. It can happen to you, but it isn't very common.

The Auris was a great car for very long road trips. It was comfortable and with lots space to arrange stuff like the camera, gloves and even bottles.
Regarding the driving itself, it was my first time driving on the right, and I found it mostly easy, specially because it was an automatic, not needing to use the left hand to change gears. The steering was good, and it was easy to park almost everywhere with the help of a rear camera.

If you are considering choosing an Auris, you are probably making a good choice, at least the Hybrid version.

domingo, 16 de fevereiro de 2014

The Geneve Fireworks - Video

Every year in the beginning of August there is a great event in Geneva, it is the Fêtes de Geneve that end with an amazing fireworks.

terça-feira, 21 de janeiro de 2014

The Eilean Donan Castle and why you should visit it

The beautiful Eilean Donan located far away from the cities of Glasgow(173 miles) and Edinburgh (192 miles) is an icon of Scotland, one of the most famous Scottish castles around the world.

The castle is estimated to be founded in the thirteenth century and it was advantageous due to its location on an island, protecting from the invasions since it didn't have any bridge yet.
It was destroyed in the eighteenth century by the government ships due to Jacobin rebellions in the Great Britain. It was also a time in which castles were losing importance and sea transportation was experiencing new developments.

Fortunately in the 1920s it was decided to restore the castle and thirty years later in 1955 it opened to the public.

So why should you visit this castle?
First take a look at it, it has not beautiful walls as Carcassonne neither a majestic structure, but it is perfectly located on an island which makes it almost unique.

Another advantage is the landscape, it is beautiful around the castle as you will find in many Scottish castles.

So, why haven't I visited it?
Even though it is considered a must-see in Scotland, I did not visit it due to its location, it is not easy to get there if you want to visit more on the lands of Scotland. I ended up visiting Edinburgh and the area near Edinburgh (East), leaving west Scotland for another trip.