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Finally going back to Scotland

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Saturday 07 May, finally going back to Scotland

Finally back to Scotland! Last year we did not go to Scotland for the first time in 10 years, actually we were not on holiday last year at all. Well, we did go 4 times for a weekend or week with our granddaughter Esmee, but then we did mainly fun things for her. Now we really go together again and this time for 3 weeks.
Leaving home Small room in FranceTwo weeks before the holiday our car broke down and we had to arrange another one quickly. We had hoped that after the many expensive repairs the Peugeot would still survive one trip, but unfortunately. After some searching we could cheaply buy a Volvo on the head, with lots of cargo space and running on lpg and according to everyone very reliable. We could pick up the car 2 days before the start of our holiday so this trip will be a test immediately because we drive 6,000 kilometers or more in 3 weeks holiday.
On the Nortyh Sea Seagulls behind the shipThe first long drive takes us to Dunkirk where we have booked a hotel so that we can leave tomorrow morning by boat to Dover. The room was not that expensive, but when we see it we also understand why: it is a very tiny room. We left this morning with a temperature of 17 degrees, but here it is almost 30 degrees in the evening, so we can sit outside for a long time.

Saturday 07 May 2011, the long drive to Jedburgh in Scotland

Arriving at Dover Arriving at DoverThe next morning we are quickly arrive at the ferry. We skipped breakfast at the hotel: 8 per person for a dry sandwich and some coffee, not really French cuisine! At sea it is pleasant although we seem to have headwinds because the trip takes 2.5 hours, for our feeling much longer than usual (about 2 hours).
Outside the seagulls follow us for a long time and float in the wake of the boat. Pieces of bread that people throw up are caught by them.
Taking a break at Newark Jedburgh abbeyBut at last the port of Dover comes into view, but it takes a lot of maneuvering before the boat is docked. Once the bow doors are open, it always goes fast: before you know it, you have left Dover on your way to the north. It is fairly busy, but we still make good progress.
This time we are going to Scotland by another route to see how we like it. Normally we drive to Birmingham and then straight to the north but now we take the M11 and leave the ring road of London. Then we follow for a bit A14 and then onto the A1, a smaller highway than the one in the west. The landscape is slightly sloping and soon we pass Cambridge and it becomes quieter on the road.
At Newark we take a break and then we drive through the yellow rapeseed fields of Yorkshire. At Newcastle it gets busier again but then we can see that we are approaching Scotland: the slopes are getting browner through the heather and we see more and more broom.
When we drive into Scotland there is a small shower and we have to stop to find out how the wipers of this car work. In the meantime it is not so hot anymore, only 15 degrees. It will be better tomorrow, we promise ourselves.
In Jedburgh we are looking for a hotel room and we find it in the Royal hotel, near the abbey. To our surprise we get an ashtray to take to the room, something that doesn't happen that often in Scotland, they have a smoking ban now for 6 years.
When Teije goes downstairs to get a beer (well, a big pint) he doesn't come back. He kept hanging around in the pub, I think, and yes, 2 hours later, he returns. He turns out to have met everyone (including some international dart hero), to know all the local gossip and even to have a political discussion about the SNP (Scottish national party). participated. What about Scots being stiff?


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