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My Scotland holiday last month was great, and I did particularly well with the weather. The trip was what you might call a self-guided tour: the travel agent prebooked all the hotels, train travel, and a few small-group day tours for places like Skye and Orkney. I got to see some of Scotland's more scenic railway routes, on a loop that went up from Glasgow to Fort William, across to Skye, then over to Inverness and up to Thurso, with a few days on Orkney before dropping back down to finish in Edinburgh. All the places I stayed were nice, I ate quite a lot of good food, and the logistics went exactly to plan: I would get off a train at a station and a pre-booked pre-paid taxi would be waiting to take me on to the hotel, every time. I'd happily recommend the travel agent if you want a good well organized tour-of-Scotland holiday where you don't care too much about how much it costs. They say they visit everywhere they send people to personally, and I got the impression that they tend to pick small hotels and day-trip operators and then use them consistently, which means that for instance the taxi firm cares about not letting you down because they're probably getting a job from the travel agent every other day in peak season. And they were happy to customise a 2 week trip into 3 weeks for me.

I've started on the drawn-out process of sifting through the photos I took; here's the first batch:

I think the first part of this trip was in some ways the part I liked best: it started with some really nice places to stay, and the geography of the area is spectacular. Skye has some beautiful scenery but I was surprised by how full of tourists it was. It's still possible to find bits which are empty of other people, though.

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