Bet the title of this posting caught your eye!! Actually, we are back in Sweden. We were up early this morning after a very nice stay at the Quality Inn near Edinburgh’s airport. They offered a noon check-out time so it allowed us ample time to enjoy breakfast and pack in a very calculated fashion. Calculated because we were determined to be smart travelers and prove to Ryan Air that we could do it. Last time we were “failure puppies” as Jeremy affectionately terms those who don’t quite make the cut! 😉 In the process of our packing & reducing weight, we even left behind a variety of items i.e. toiletries, clothing that was getting too thread bare (believe some items were packed in haste in Denver), & a nice variety of travel brochures or maps that we picked up in Sweden & Scotland. Then Steve rolled the luggage to the lobby where for 1 British pound each they could be weighed. BINGO!! He came back quite pleased that we were going to make the weight for Ryan Air.
Well, off to the airport we went. Returned the rental car with no issues. Strolled and rolled our luggage to Ryan Air, where we were 3 hours before the flight. 3 hours because last time there was a very long line through security and passport control. Well, we were too early to deal with our luggage according to Ryan Air. Instead we went to a cafe to sip some coffee, read, and work on Sudoku. Oops…time passed all too quickly. Off to Ryan Air. Went to the self-serve kiosk and the message was that we owed 80 British pounds for the extra luggage (nearly 130 U.S. dollars….can’t find the dollar sign on this computer). We thought there was an error, so we stood in line for 20 minutes at check-in to speak to an attendant only to find that we should have booked the extra luggage on-line for 30 pounds. Now we had to return to the kiosk, pay 80 pounds, and shuffle items to fulfill an entire new weight. Obviously Stockhölm’s Ryan Air had a different arrangement that Edinburgh’s. Oh well….80 pounds later, we had our luggage checked. There was a very short line for security and absolutely no customs or passport control. Go figure!!
Today within 10 hours’ time we experienced several modes of travel. We drove a rental car. Flew nearly 2 hours from Edinburgh to Stockhölm’s Skvasta airport. Obtained passage on an airport bus that took us to Stockhölm’s city terminal, an 80 minute ride. With 10 minutes to spare, we obtained passage onto another bus to the second airport in Stockhölm, Arlanda for a 30 minute ride. Then arrived at Arlanda where we called the hotel for a shuttle van.
Let’s get back to Scotland. It was difficult to leave. As we lifted off the ground, I peered down to see the lovely landscape of Scotland fall behind. How I will miss it. The ties that I now feel to my ancestry seem to run deeper than ever. I have such a profound respect for the challenges that my MacLennan and MacKay relatives experienced. I can only suspect that trying to survive was difficult, especially on a 3 acre croft amidst rocks and peat, making enough to pay the rent to the laird plus feed a family of 8 children. Supplementing their meager means with herring fishing and collecting of seaweed was the only way to make a go of it.
I also feel that both Steve and I have opened the possibilities to discovering more about our ancestry. Between Mom, Evonne, Beth, and us, we feel like the time in Sweden was a bit like being super-sleuths. I admit the same goes for Scotland.
Tomorrow we return to Chicago, where we rejoin our family. It will be a whirlwind weekend as we slip back into the Central Time Zone, catch up on the mail that has accumulated, pay bills, empty the safe deposit box, pick up our camping and biking stash from our friend’s basement, and enjoy time with overnights with the kids, Deb & Gene, Julie & Andy. We will leave towards Denver again on Monday morning via Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Montana visits with family & friends.
We are incredibly grateful for having been able to make this journey.
We hope that this message finds you all doing well. We look forward to hearing from you too.
Diane & Steve