Theresa Rodrigues

Kennesaw, GA

Theresa and Carolyn just recently returned from their epic Scotland road trip. They are friends who live on opposite sides of the US and they try to have one trip a year to catch up and create new memories! Read about their adventures below!

 

Watching the Jacobite Steam Train


What made you want to travel to Scotland?:
“A love of travel and the Outlander Series on STARZ moved the destination up on my list.”

Where were the top 3 places to visit on your wish list? If you made it to them, what did you think?:
“The Military Tattoo which exceeded our expectations! St Andrews Golf Course my handicap isn’t low enough to play but it was a must and nothing like I expected. Makes me want to improve my handicap! Hebrides – I read a book about them as a child and hoped one day I could visit. We spent two days on the Isle of Skye and it was fabulous!”

Tough question alert! What was the best part about your vacation?:
“Scotland was a self-drive for us and the freedom to choose the sites and timeline makes it difficult to put a specific mark on what we liked best. We both agreed we found the Scottish Highlands entertaining and the scenery spectacular – the light effects when the sun peaks through the clouds and the cloud formations – out of this world. The Military Tattoo tied for first place with the Highlands.

The Kelpies!


What made you want to travel with Tenon Tours? What advantages did you have booking with Tenon Tours?:
“We booked with Tenon Tours a couple of years ago for a trip to Ireland. They were very accommodating and helpful, that we decided let’s have them assist us with Scotland. I look forward to using their services for Iceland in the near future!”

How was your experience with your Personal Sales Representative(s)?:
“The entire Tenon team I’ve worked with are A+! I had various questions throughout the itinerary planning and everyone I spoke with was able to provide answers and assist with decisions. They also follow-up after the trip, which is great to know they are still thinking about their customers!”

Do you have any advice to offer up about the weather?:

“Pack an umbrella and rain suit – it will help keep the rain away! Scotland weather is fantastic, wait 5-10 minutes and the sun turns to clouds or a few showers. In the next 5-10 minutes you experience the opposite. Dress in layers because depending where you are you may have sun and shirt sleeve weather, drive a little way and you could have a cold wind (mainly in the highlands), and sometimes a light jacket is required.”

Did travel insurance come in handy for you?:
“We always purchase travel insurance because one never knows. Like insurance for a home or car, it’s a gamble, but better to have it than not. Helps you keep piece of mind so you can focus on your adventure!”

What are your favorite souvenirs you brought home?:
“My photos are always my favorite because I can look at them and relive the trip. But yes we did purchase a few items, like some golf balls from St Andrews, Scarves from Skye Weavers, yarn from Shilasdair Yarn shop on Skye, being a quilter…wool remnants from Johnston of Elgin.”

An adorable Highland Coo

Were there any unplanned parts of your trip that wound up turning into one of your favorite travel stories?:
“We rode the Jacobite Steam Train from Ft William to Malig (same Hogwarts Express train used in the Harry Potter film) and the next day, knowing the timing, drove to Glenfinnan to watch it cross the viaduct and discovered the Glenfinnan Jacobite memorial nearby.”

How did you feel about driving on the “wrong” side of the road?:

“Piece of cake! It’s more difficult driving on the right side when I get back home. The first couple of right turns back home I have to remember they are not wide to the far side of the road.”

What tips do you have for others planning a self-drive tour?:

“Do a lot of research! If you know the key things you want to see, then find other sites along the way, and use a map program to calculate mileage. You’ll be surprised how much you can see in addition to your primary destinations. Expect 30 to 120 minutes at a destination if just acting as a tourist, especially if it is a guided tour. More if you want to do hiking to explore history or sites off the main causeways.”

Craigievar Castle – Cinderella Inspiration!


How did you go about planning your itinerary, picking sights, arranging them and figuring out how long to stay?:
“We each read travel guides and travel adventure books several months before the trip. Use the internet to find pertinent information like cost, hours, what the site offered. Then we take the two itineraries, combined like sights, and each chose a few sights from each of the lists. Next we researched, estimated the time at the site, figured out the mileage, and planned the itinerary. Good planning helps eliminate wasted time figuring out the days events. We review the next day itinerary the night before because sometimes you learn about something that you really want to see and then determine how to make an adjustment to your schedule. Purchase as many tickets for train excursions, hot air balloon rides (Virgin Air has about a hundred in the united kingdom. It was an awesome flight), in advance. If visiting a lot of National Trust sites, purchase a year membership as it will save you funds in the long run.”

Any advice for getting around? Using maps, GPS, following road signs, etc..:
“Parking….be prepared to pay for parking almost everywhere you park during the day. You have to find the ticket dispensing machine and you’ll require one to four pounds to get the parking pass for your vehicle. So keep some one pound or 50 pence coins in your pocket. Don’t park by double yellow lines along curbs in the city. We rent a car with navigation and also purchase a road map or atlas. Collins makes a great folded map, but we find the country road atlas works best when driving off the beaten path. The navigation works great but with the map we are able to determine the type of road we will be on. Always fill the gas tank when it’s near a 1/4 tank full. You never know where the next petrol station will be. Round-abouts, they’re making a return in America, but in Europe they have two and three lanes in a roundabout so pay attention. We saw one three lane round about with a traffic light in it, that was a first – wish I had time to take a picture of it! If your car had navigation enter the site postal code and 95% of the time the navigation will deliver you to the doorstep.”

Is there anything else that you would like to add for future travelers?:
“If you’re a roller coaster fan – I recommend a drive to Kylerhea Otter Haven on the Isle of Skye. Approximately 9 miles of single lane road with blind curves, blind summits, that you have to really slow down or stop to see if it goes right, left, or straight. The scenery is beautiful along the way. If you like Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle plan a stop at Craigievar Castle near Alford, it is said the pink castle inspired Walt Disney. If you’re an engineer go to Falkirk and see the Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies.”

 

Thank you Theresa & Carolyn! We do hope to assist you again in the future on your next adventure together šŸ™‚

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