This is the fourteenth post in a series about my 2013 trip to Ireland, Scotland and Great Britain. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 1 – How I am taking my Dad to Ireland, Scotland, and Wimbledon in London in Business Class for $137!
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 2 – Planning for Hotels in Europe for Maximum Miles
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 3 – The Orlando Star Alliance Gold Lounge and the first change of plans
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 4 – Layover in New York City
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 5 – The JFK Lufthansa Lounge
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 6 – Brussels Airlines JFK-BRU in their new Business Class
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 7 – 13 Hours in Brussels
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 8 – Two Days in Dublin
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 9 – Waterford, Kilkenny, the Butler Castle, and a bit of Blarney
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 10 – Ring of Kerry and Dingle Peninsula
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 11 – Galway and the Cliffs of Moher
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 12 – Belfast, the Ferry to Scotland and Train Travel
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 13 – Paying the St. Andrews Old Course, Aberdeen and the Drambuie Incident.
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 14 – Searching for the Loch Ness Monster, Eilean Donan Castle, and Turnberry Golf Course
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 15 – London and Wimbledon
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 16 – 22 Hours in Frankfurt
- Eurotrip 2013: Part 17 – Lufthansa Business AND New First Class FRA-AID on Boeing 747-800
The “Drambuie Incident” behind us, we enjoyed the train ride to Inverness. It was at this point that I made the possible mistake of opening another bottle of wine. Things got a little fuzzy for me after that but I remember my Dad trying to take away my glass unsuccessfully with me insisting I bring it not only in the taxi to the hotel, but also into the lobby while we checked in. A word of advice, when a Scotsman offers you a drink, tread carefully.
We stayed in a Holiday Inn Express for a rate of 93 GBP which was fine because we wanted to get an early start and the free breakfast would be nice. The next morning, we took a taxi back to the train station and rented a car for the drive along Loch Ness.
Loch is just the Scottish word for lake and Loch Ness is the spot where people over the years have seen the fabled “Loch Ness Monster.” Naturally I wanted to see Nessie too! This was the closest I could come however…
However, with the advent of the cannon it didn’t fare so well, and it ended up being blown up after being overrun by the Spanish in 1719. The current castle was rebuilt in 1919 based on the original drawings and the ruins that were still in place. Here is my Dad standing in the interior courtyard.
We returned the car after a long day and hopped on the train down to Ayr, where Turnberry Golf resort is located. Since I have Platinum status with SPG (due in part to the 2 stays credit I get from my Business SPG Amex), SPG properties are one of the first I check when I travel. Turnberry is part of their Luxury Collection and normally charged 330 GBP per night!
However, on the dates we were there I was able to score a cash and points rate of 6000 Starpoints and $110. We arrived late but had time to grab a great meal at the restaurant at the hotel including Steak Tartare.
The next morning I slept in while my Dad played another round of golf and I was able to get some pictures of our room which was quite nice. I felt like it was critical to take a bath when it had a view like this!
I also took a few shots outside of the view from the hotel of the golf course, the sea and their signature lighthouse which is located on one of the holes.
I had originally planned on taking the train from Glasgow to London, but since we waited until the last minute to book the fares were over 100 GBP each and it would take 7 hours. I checked online and there were frequent flyer seats available using British Airways miles for only 4500 miles and $22.50 in taxes one way so I decided that was the way to go. Next stop London!