Subject: Scotland May 2003, places, midges, passes
Hi Ziners,

we started to plan our next year's (and our first) Scotland trip. A few days ago my astronomical almanach for 2003 arrived and it told me that there will be an annular solar eclipse on May 31st (more info on btw, if you have the chance to view a total solar eclipse, its worth a journey!), visible from northern Scotland! As an astronomy enthusiast for many years it was clear: we will go to Scotland second half of May! This time of the year was also recommended by Ziner Pat Bettrdige, so our decision is clear about that.

What about the midges in May?

In May the weather should not be as cold as Gail Norris' wonderful Scotland travelogue is reporting for April. Gail, viewing a solar eclipse from one of the stone circles, wouldn't that be great? It certainly is (although it happens at 4 AM)!

When I entered Gail's tour into my route planning software I had difficulties to find the following places:

Callendar: could that be Callander?

Mulleig, Ferry to Isle of Skye: could that be Mallaig?

Scara Brae on the Orkney Islands: could it be Skeabrae?

And Craigmuir south of Aviemore is not in my software. Is this a part of the map's problems, reported by Gail?

(Gail, congratulations to the Ziner in the spotlight!, and, btw, if you come to Germany and drive on the motorway: tell me when, I will come to watch your madwoman style of driving, should be quite spectacular on German Autobahn's ;-) )

Another Ziner told me about the Great British Heritage Pass, available at They are offering a Scottish Explorer Ticket as well; has anyone of you bought one of these tickets/passes and were they useful and worth their money?

Best Regards, Johannes Haltern am See, Germany