Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Scotland - Driving on the Left

One important thing to know if you are traveling to Scotland, and driving while there, is that you drive on the left side of the road and sit on the right side of the car.  This was not new to me as we took a family vacation to Ireland and Northern Ireland in 2015.  It is, however, a bit odd when you first get in the car and start driving.  You really have to think through every turn, lane change, etc.  After a couple of days it becomes quite normal and no big deal, but it is an adjustment at the beginning of the trip.

The other interesting thing about Scotland is the speed at which you drive.  In most cases, in rural areas, the speed limit is 60 mph, but due to the very curvy roads, it was often impossible to drive this speed.  I found myself driving at 40-45 mph much of the time and this kept me at the normal flow of traffic.  When on Scotland's version of interstates, the speed limit was 70 mph and you could go 70 mph as these roads were relatively straight.  I quickly noticed that when driving 70 mph I was passing 90% of cars on the road!  In the U.S., if I drove 70 mph in a 70 mph speed limit zone, I'd be passed by 90% of drivers!  Quite the difference.  I'd say most cars were moving 50-60 mph in the 70 mph zones.

One last interesting thing about driving in Scotland is that many roads are one lane roads only, with small little passing zones carved out every now and then to allow an oncoming car to pass by.  Our GPS took us on a 'B' road which was one of these one lane roads.  The GPS considered it a shortcut from the 'A' road which went out of the way of where we were headed.  We decided to stick with the 'B' road as the distance was only 10 miles.  We moved at 20-25 mph most of the way due to the extreme curves.  We did however, run across a BEAUTIFUL waterfall along the route that we had no prior knowledge existed on the route.  Therefore the 'shortcut' was well worth it!  More on this waterfall in a future post.

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