Dundee to Aberdeen, Scotland Coastal Route

The Restart

December 2021 saw us restart our previously curtailed Scottish expédition, and amid an outbreak of the Omicron COVID variant, we headed to Dundee.

I had been double-vaccinated and had my booster jab, and Carol had been double-vaccinated and had recently recovered from a bit of a cold during which she had tested positive, so we were both feeling as protected as we could be, and after 3 months of working from home, I felt good and very fit for travel.

Our plans were loose to say the least. We set the satnav to Dundee, just to have somewhere to aim for, but with no accommodation booked, and no real idea if we would make the 758km trip in one go, or whether we would tire and pull in before then, perhaps somewhere like the Lake District. We started off well prepared with warm and waterproof winter clothing, and even a couple of quilts and sleeping bags in case accommodation was a problem, forcing us to sleep in the car.

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Scotland, United Kingdom

Carol and I married in Scotland on April 1st 2017, so every year when we start considering our options for this year’s wedding anniversary trip, a revisit is always an option. This year we did it. Well, kinda 😊

We drove to Inverness, breaking up the journey with an overnight stay in Manchester. It was that night that COVID restrictions were first put in place. In a large hotel, very close to Old Trafford football stadium and the Bridgewater Canal, we appeared to be the only people staying there. A full English breakfast and a relaxing sit down with a coffee were no longer options. Now it was a very small buffet with a brown paper bag you could pack and take back to your room.

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Where have we been for the last year??

We have been very quiet for the last year…not because of choice but mainly because we returned back after our years travel and everything has been hectic! Have we still been travelling? Ooh yes! But time has been an issue with writing our blog, especially with us both back working full time.

So just so you know we haven’t fallen off the face of the earth and more posts are coming very soon. The first ones are from Scotland and our adventures over New Year last year!

Carol & Nigel xx

Chilling out on Korčula Island, Croatia

Korčula (pronounced Kor-chu-la) is the 6th largest island in Croatia and is 20 miles long and 4-5 miles wide. When deciding which island to visit we debated Hvar or Brac but decided on Korčula due to the favourable conditions for snorkelling as well as its dense forests. Due to the fact that the beaches are mostly stony it is not as popular as some islands and is also further away from the mainland but it still took less than 2 hours from Dubrovnik via the Jadrolinija ferry.

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A Short Break in Dubrovnik, Croatia

We had heard great things about Dubrovnik from friends who had visited including how beautiful it was and as it was just over the border from Montengro we headed there via bus from Budva which cost €20 and took 3½ hours. Upon arrival we were impressed at how picturesque it was, arriving on the road above old town.

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Exploring Budva and the Montenegro Coast

After a very enjoyable couple of days in Albania, we returned to Montenegro and found a great, very modern apartment to stay in in Budva. We were able to get a bus straight from Shkoder to Budva which was perfect. Through Old Town Travel it cost £21 for the trip which took 3½ hrs including the border stop. We weren’t held up long at the border, the difference was that on this occasion we had to show proof of our covid vaccine as well as our passport to re-enter. Our arrival into Budva was preceeded by some amazing mountain views along the coastline from the bus so we were excited about the time we had here to explore the area.

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Two Days in Shkodër, Albania

I had set foot in Albania previously, nearly twenty years ago, having a day trip to Saranda and Butrint whilst staying in Corfu, which lies about 6 miles off the coast of Albania. I was happy to return for Carol’s first visit, despite the reputation the country has in some people’s eyes, gained through movies such as Taken, starring Liam Neeson. Personally, I have encountered no trouble at all here. The main appeal for us to visit here was Lake Shkodër, a lake that straddles the Montenegro/Albania border, rather than to head to the capital Tirana.

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Podgorica, Montenegro- The Most Boring European Capital?

We travelled by plane with Ryanair from Barcelona to Podgorica; allegedly Europe’s most boring capital city. We booked Airport Home Radinovic through Booking.Com, and got a lift from the airport to the property, situated in the countryside around 5km from the airport from the host for €5. We asked the host’s son Phillip what there was for us to see in Podgorica and his reply was “Nothing! There is absolutely nothing here that would be of any interest to a tourist” OK, so the rumours we had heard were instantly confirmed by a local, but we still had to see it for ourselves.

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A Day trip to Andorra from Barcelona

We had researched the best way to visit Andorra and it seemed the best way was from Barcelona. A mere 3hr and 18 minutes and 191 km away to be precise. We debated visiting in wintertime, but summer was also supposed to be pretty spectacular and so with a bit of research we booked the 7.40am ALSA bus for €18 each from Barcelona Nord Station arriving into Andorra La Vella at 11.40.

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Barcelona – More Than Just The Camp Nou and More Than Just Las Ramblas

We travelled to Barcelona by plane on a rather uneventful afternoon flight with Vueling; it cost £50 each and took an hour which compared to the alternative of 13 hours on a coach was a no brainer! An easy taxi ride and we arrived at our hotel at 6pm. Nigel had never been here and his main interest was Camp Nou, not my idea of fun but there were a few things I hadn’t checked out on my last visit some 12 years ago so I was excited to be back. Gaudi city here we come!

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