I was a little apprehensive because of Ryanair's image, so I chose the lightest bag I could and packed light. I have no books with me. None at all. For my cabin bag my rotten old shoulder bag I got from Aldi a long time ago.
I checked in. My bag for the hold was well under weight. The guy on the checkin was friendly. So were the security folk. Everyone was relaxed and chatty.
We were taken through to the holding pens. I chatted with some French couples who were off to do a tour of Scotland. "You'll love it. It has everything Bordeaux hasn't, moutains etc... And you speak English ? Well the Scots accent is hard. Sometimes we don't understand them."
"And they speak French ?"
At this point the lady in front of us turned round. She's a retired French teacher and assured us that French was well-taught in Scotland and that anyone who has had any kind of education speaks French. She cited Tony Blair as an example. I wasn't sure that our French friends were all that likely to meet Tony Blair serving in cafes and pubs, but this was a point of view I thought ill-advised to express...
No problem then (and I made a mental note to speak French to all the Scots I meet on my brief visit here...)
One question. Why is hiring a car such a hassle ? You book it on the Ryanair website. They tell you what you'll be paying. Then when you go to pick it up they tell you that you have an excess of £650 that you can avoid if you pay £14 per day - for 17 days that is £238 more. I thought that £238 was a lot to pay to avoid risking £650, so I declined that.
Anyway... My car is a Skoda Fabia. It goes very nicely and seems very economical. It is comfortable enough and there's bags of room inside for me...
The adventure has begun.