If you ever wanted to drive in Scotland (and by "drive" I mean look at pictures.
And by "you" drive I mean Mark Anderson behind the wheel),
well, boy howdy you've come to the right place.
I take a lot of pictures while here in Scotland.
For one, I'm trying to be a better photographer,
and for two, I'm a horrible photographer.
We tend to do a lot of adventuring and we do it in the car, because any other form of transportation with 4 kids tends to be pricey.
So most pictures were taken from within our vehicle.
Also, when the car stops the Anderson circus [children] think they all should abandon ship. And so we refrain from stopping the vehicle as much as possible to avoid an uprising by the natives.
Want to see what it would be like to drive in Scotland?
Our mode of transportation:
The French-made (don't get Mark started) Citroen C8,
it's a "people carrier" and not a minivan.
It's a manual 6 speed diesel.
I have never in my life heard of a standard, DIESEL, minivan.
So obviously, it isn't.
Introducing your driver and your tour guide: us.
And the kids hollering, providing background noise: them.
All photos taken are from within this vehicle, unless it's in the picture.
And then the view is from the outside of the vehicle.
Thank you for understanding.
Let's look at the streets of Scotland.
Double-dotted lines mean yield.
Dotted means don't do anything different.
Double solid yellow means don't you dare park here.
No lines means do whatever you want, park at your leisure
Set up a barbecue, a ladder, fiesta, etc.
This is between houses: two front doors,
and while probably not a main thoroughfare,
people can and will drive through this.
The houses came a long time before cars, and eminent domain is not really a thing here.
Roads are rather a suggestion in places here.
There was a time this squeeze would've made me nervous.
Especially because we just had oncoming traffic come through it...
But not a whole lot freaks me out anymore.
Unless it's the costumed creatures hanging out at the parades.
That's creepy junk.
You can park on either side of the street, facing whatever direction you so please.
And it's up to you to pay attention to oncoming vehicles--
they may be in your lane,
they may have a space to pull over,
they may not.
Now, some of our Scottish friends will now be saying,
"So what? You drove the street of Findochty?"
Well for you to understand why this post is so incredible to us Americans
here's a picture of highway 287 in New Mexico:
This is just HALF of it--just the northbound lane.
Out in the country the roads are narrow with no shoulder.
This is considered a 2-way road.
If it wasn't it would have small passing places every 100 yards or so.
Pretty views--with the Moray Firth out on the far horizon.
Driving down into a teensy coastal village called Pennan.
Someone's house hanging out on a hairpin curve.
Ahh, here it is.
Coming to THE street in town.
No double yellow lines--park where ya wanna.
Houses on one side...
The sea on the other.
This was taken over 11 years ago in Pennan.
Me with the lovely Miss Colorado International: Jamie.
Mark, along with my parents, sister, and Jamie in Pennan in 2003.
I've had the delight of knowing this lovely land for over a decade.
Turn around at the end of THE street and come back.
OH and one of the reasons we visit this village: the Hobbit house.
It's not really a Hobbit house,
But it's be christened as such by our family.
(see the road into town above it?!)
Here's another road off the main highway.
It too is a two-lane.
I shall call it the creepy sleepy hollow lane.
AH, finally a sign that warns of the perilous driving conditions!
And to the left is said passing place.
This has to be one of a very few stop signs I've ever seen in the UK.
Just around the corner from where we live in Buckie.
This spot does make me a little nervous--it's a busy, busy road.
See how close the houses are to the road?
The house in the background actually has black marks on its corner where cars have rubbed up against it.
A "Yield" sign here.
Country road take me home...
If you sang that, please award yourself 20 extra points.
One must be a cautious driver in the UK.
It's amazing how I consider navy blue or tan uniforms to be more intimidating.
The florescent yellow and bright blue, just don't invoke the same feelings for me.
Driving in the highlands.
This was in Edinburgh.
Please notice the work truck parked IN the street
FACING oncoming traffic.
But this is common here, and no one thinks anything of it.
Ok, so maybe the pictures got the message across of the extreme differences in UK verses USA driving conditions.
Come with me on a trip to the grocery store and y'all will get it, promise.
Did I mention I am trying to improve my photography skills?