|Scotland travel tips on money saving, personal safety, sightseeing, and enjoying your trip to the fullest from InfoHub suppliers and community members.
Planning a Pilgrimage
Submitted by M16806
Planning a Pilgrimage: Seven pointers towards making a sacred journey
1. Pack lightly – the essence of pilgrimage is to find out who we are outside the cocoon of our familiar milieu, so don’t try to bring it along
... view more with you!
2. Take comfortable clothing and shoes – you will only get to know the land by walking on it, and many sacred places tend to be off the beaten track.
3. Be prepared to get dirt in your sandals – we are a society addicted to a lifestyle that promises to make us feel clean, safe, and protected from the environment, rather than free and open to explore it.
4. Less is more – if you try to pack in too many places to visit, you will spend precious time on the road – especially in countries where poor or narrow roads make distances deceptive. We can end up replicating our frenetic lives back home and return with spiritual indigestion, rather than feeling nourished. Choose two or three special places and prepare to spend time there for a few days, getting to know them – and the local people – in different lights, weather and moods.
5. Let go of expectations – pilgrimage is a gradual process of unfolding and discovery rather than a goal in itself. Spiritual experiences have a disconcerting tendency to happen at the least expected times and places, and require us to stay open to a higher agenda than our own.
6. Embrace your shadow – delays and inconveniences on the road or in less-than-perfect lodgings can make us annoyed and irritated. At these times, we tend to see these things as roadblocks to the spiritual experience we hoped to have, whereas they are all part of it. If we observe ourselves compassionately under stress, we can learn a lot about how we operate out of our comfort zone.
7. ‘Wherever you go, there you are’ – or as St. Brigit once told some pilgrims:
‘It's labor great and profit small to go to Rome,
Thou wilt not find the king at all unless thou find him first at home.’
Use a qualified Blue Badge tourist guide in Britain so that you know you are being given the correct information and the guide is insured.
Midges in the Highlands of Scotland
Submitted by M19391
- The scientific name for the Highland Midge is Culicoides Impunctatus.
- There are 37 different species of midges, only 5 species bite humans.
- Midges have a wingspan of 1.4mm.
- Midges like all other biting flies
... view more (mosquito etc.) are attracted by (human) smell.
- The biting season starts when the female midges are pregnant from mid May to early June and finishes at end August to mid September.
- They thrive in woodlands and wetlands.
- They don't like direct sunlight and winds over 5mph.
- They love light rain.
- The skin reaction of midges can differ from little red dots which disappear after 2 days to very itchy red lumps which can get slight infections. This depends on skin type.
- Midges feeding time is early in the morning between 5am and 9am and fall to lower levels at 9am. They start off going food mad at 6pm till 11pm. Knowing that you can avoid the worst time. If you still get it bad in between these times it just means it would be worse at high peak.
- Cover as much skin as you can. Cover your ankles by tucking the trousers into your socks, wear gloves and a midge hood.
- We already know they don't like wind. The wind created from your walking speed is usually enough to keep them off you. Just don't stop.
- You usually wouldn't need to bother with any midge protection when the sun is out since they don't like direct sunlight.
- Keep your breaks short.
- They disappear when out in the sea. Just a few meters offshore will do (good news for sea kayakers).
- Midge repellent works -> Sorry, but I don't know any midge repellent that really works. If you try some go for the natural stuff. Some of the ones with toxins melt plastic so what do they do to you.
- They are bad everywhere in the Highlands -> There are certain areas in the Highlands especially along the west coast where they are particularly bad. They are less so in the Grampian area and Speyside.
Travel Times in Scotland
If you self driving please give yourself 3 hours to drive from Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness to Aberdeen. Traveling in Scotland, even though the distances look small if you are coming from the US etc, takes a long time
... view more getting from one place to another, even if the weather is nice. So please give yourself ample travel time.
If you are taking a coach or train, confirm if it is a direct, local stop or 'change' over with your operator as your times can vary a lot in getting to your destination. Some will stop in most small villages and that adds on a lot of travel time.