After various lockdowns and nearly two seasons with hardly any visitors, the office life has us back. It was the 21 August which FINALLY saw us all reunited in the office. Needless to say, we were all really excited.
Before the pandemic hit, we were in the office five days a week. Now we´re enjoying a hybrid model, mixing home and office working. Like so many people all over the world, we have sorely missed parts of office life: the chatting, laughing and complaining about everyday life with colleagues; the exchanging of ideas, the sound of the coffee machine, coffee breaks and pastries; and our office dog Tiny, trying to get our attention (and cuddles). But of course, we also enjoyed the advantages of the home-office and our improved work-life-balance. We now take turns covering the office from Monday to Thursday, and Fridays we´re all working from home.
During the last lockdown people in Scotland were not allowed to venture further than 5 miles from their house. Of course, being the dedicated and passionate travellers we are, this was anything but easy for us. However, it gave us the opportunity to find out everything there is to know about our local area. A new addition to the treasure trove of destinations is the Dundas and Hopetoun Estate – a magnificent semi-wild park ideal for walking, hiking and cycling (including excellent views of the Forth). We also rediscovered Costorphine Hill, a tree-covered hill with viewpoint near the Edinburgh Zoo, and the River Almond Walkway. This picturesque path leads along the lower course of the river to Cramond, a beautiful settlement by the beach, and an offshore tidal island which can be accessed during low tides. A new discovery is Cairnpappel Hill near Linlithgow. The Neolithic ceremonial and burial site is more than 4000 years old and one of the most important prehistoric sites on the Scottish mainland.
New hobbies, new direction
In between – what felt like endless – cancellations, re-bookings, uncertainty and waiting, we also tried to enjoy the small things in life. Sandra fulfilled a life-long dream of keeping chickens. Maike started learning Italian, and we all supported small, artisan businesses such as fishmongers, bakeries and local farms with even greater enthusiasm than before. As a company, we also had a lot of time to think about the direction of travel (excuse the pun). We came up with new itineraries and products, developed a mobile phone app for our self-drive discoveries, and we launched our English website. Due to ongoing uncertainties around travel restrictions, we also decided to pause our group tours – for now anyway. Instead, we will focus on our individual travellers. Small private groups are, of course, still welcome. We look forward to the year ahead, and to welcoming old and new guests to Scotland. Here´s to a great 2022 season!