Day One and Two: Thursday/Friday, May 09/10
In Transit: Overnight Flights from North America.

The big trip begins and making our way to Glasgow would require an 11:00 am departure and driving to Pittsburg where we left the car in the extended stay lot. The drive up was nice. There was lush spring greenery everywhere and an interesting mix of clouds and blue sky.
We then caught the shuttle to the terminal. It was very quiet and we made our way through the baggage check and security process with no problems.

The flight departed on time and we arrived at O'Hare at 3:00. It was then we realized we were now in Central time zone and now had a 3 hour wait instead of 2 hours.
We managed to whittle away the time and boarded our flight to London at 5:15. The plane was loaded and ready to go by 6:00. Then it was 6:15. Then 6:30. Then it was announced mechanical problems would delay take-off. Finally, at 7:15 we took off and were on our way to London.

  Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Here, Betsy calls the shuttle from the extended parking area.
We were allowed 50lbs of checked luggage. Betsy weighed in at 27lbs. Pretty thrifty!

  Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

The concourse at O'Hare where our plane departed from.

  Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Busy, busy, busy!

  Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Once on board the plane to London we could track our progress. It took 7.5 hours to fly 4000 miles.

  Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

We decided to treat ourselves to drinks, something I had never done before. We found out later the drinks were included in the air fair. BONUS!

  Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

A closer look at Betsy's tasty beverage.

As far as I am concerned we had the worst possible seats on this flight. We were in the center bay of seats, in the next to the last row directly adjacent to the bathroom and galley. The noise and foot traffic was constant. I am glad I remembered my ear plugs!

We are now getting into day two of this trip.
We arrived at London's Heathrow Airport around 7AM. And after checking the flight board, we found the terminal where our plane to Glasgow would be departing from. In addition to going through security and getting our pictures taken, getting there involved a bit of walking as well as a bus ride which included a half mile long tunnel. Heathrow must be a pretty big place.

We got to the terminal and waited for the boarding announcement for our flight. It never came. Everyone just congregated at the gate when it was time to board and we went on through. Stopping to get our picture taken again. Guess you can't be too careful these days...

Our flight to Glascow was just under an hour. Along with beverages, we were offered "crisps" (potato chips to us Americans), and chocolate chip "biscuits". Around 11:30 we arrived in Glasgow to cloudy skies and a steady drizzle. Imagine that. After quite a long jaunt we made our way to the baggage claim area. Here we found a money changing station and "bought" $200 worth of pounds. That got us about 108 pounds. Ouch!

Our hotel was just a short distance down the walkway and we were soon checking in. There were two youngsters checking in ahead of us. One of these fellows turned out to be Duncan McNeill a Ranger from Aigas. With him George who is just finising uo his Year long intensice training program at Aigas. We are to meet them at 5:00 for an intro and dinner.

Another OUCH! - WiFi is 6 bucks an hour here at the Holiday Inn. Rip-off! So, I will be sending this out from the Aigas Field Centre when we get up there.

After getting our bags to the room and some stuff sorted, we went down to the dining area for our included "light lunch".
It was here we met Lynne, Adele and Bart. All are from Washington state and all here for the same tour "Walking the Scottish Highlands".
Over a lunch of tomato soup and "finger" sandwiches the 5 of us got introduced and swapped a few stories of past trips.

After lunch it was back to the room to work on this report, snooze and get cleaned up for our 5:00 meeting and dinner.

We met Rangers Duncan and George along with Lynne, Adele, Bart and also Steve, who rounds out our group nicely.
We picked up quite a few details from the Rangers about our week to come in the Highlands and got a good overview of the geology and geography of the area.

After the meeting we moved over to the dining room for supper and more conversation. By 7:30 Betsy and I were both starting to nod off so we said our "Good Nights" and retired to our room.

Tomorrow we have breakfast at 7:30 and then start the day-long scenic transfer to Aigas Field Center in Inverness-shire with information about and stops en route at Luss (Loch Lomond), Tyndrum, Glencoe and Spean Bridge.

Finally, we will be in the Heart of the Highlands!


Stay tuned....


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