WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                    Aviemore, Scotland

HOUSE KEEPING: Remember when you click on the pictures in "Where's Johnny Jet," they will open up in another window. Just click the "x"(close) in each picture to get back to the newsletter. This should alleviate complaints about closing Johnny Jet. Thanks again for your support, and remember: If you book trips on the web, please go through JohnnyJet.com. (It will save you money).
Web JohnnyJet.com

Join Our Mailing List

Web Resources

1 | Page 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

There are two ways to get to Aviemore (the Highlands of Scotland): drive or take a train. The train wasn't running frequently since it was a Sunday, so I stayed with the arranged bus option. Later in the week I did take the train back. Both options offer scenic views and take around two and a half hours. FYI: I much prefer the train since I can work on my laptop and get up to use the loo.

At first I was questioning why ATTA would have the conference in such a remote place that it took me almost 24 hours to get to. But once I saw the town and its beauty I fully understood. Aviemore is a popular tourist town that's situated within the Cairngorms National Park in the Highlands of Scotland. I wasn't expecting it to be a good-size town with a variety of restaurants, but I was wrong: there were even a couple of Indian eateries. There were lots of tourists, and I hear there are even more in the winter since it's popular for skiing and other winter sports in the Cairngorm Mountains.

Most people stay in the Macdonald Aviemore Resort (website), which is the heart of the Aviemore. The town is built around the resort; even the train station is just a five-minute walk away. The resort has four distinctive hotels and a woodland lodge. I spent four nights in the resort's nicest property: The Highlands Resort.

The Highlands Resort is billed as a four-star hotel, but it's definitely not worthy of four stars. I would give it three. I wasn't expecting much, though, because the reviews on Trip Advisor were mostly negative. The check-in was slow, especially for groups (some waited 40-plus minutes). I was smart: instead of making small talk when we got off the bus, I made a bee-line to the front desk. I was third in line and it took me just five minutes.

Unfortunately, my room was in a terrible location. It was the first room in the hallway next to one of the hotel's many fire doors. I heard it swinging all night long, even with earplugs in (the walls are thin). I later tried propping it open, but they must have a night watchman who comes around to make sure it's closed. Other than that, the room was fairly comfortable. I slept well in the twin beds, which had squishy pillows and tartan-pattern blankets folded at the bed's end. There was also an old-school TV and wireless Internet.

The Internet was provided by BT, and there were a variety of different package deals: 90 minutes within 24 hours is £5.99 ($9.50), unlimited for 24 hours is £9.99 ($15.75), and 2,000 minutes over five days costs £26.99 ($42.50). Just remember to log out each time. The same company provides service at the EDI airport.

-The bathroom had soft towels and a heated towel rack. -I still don't understand why Europeans have two faucets in the sink--one is too cold, the other too hot. I'm not into filling the sink. -Even though I put the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door, they knocked for a safety and health check. -The hotel's breakfast is pretty darn good, especially if you like haggis and blood pudding. -The resort grew on me, and by the end of the conference I was thinking this was a fine place to choose. Just bring an umbrella.

The weather in Scotland is crazy. One minute it's bright and sunny, and the next it's raining. Here's the 10-day weather forecast. It wasn't that accurate, though, because when I logged on a week before my trip it showed rain every day. It turned out to be glorious weather for the most part and only rained a couple of times.

I was in Scotland to speak at the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) annual summit. I had never heard of ATTA before this, but they are a global membership organization of "550-plus responsible, profitable businesses, destinations, and media who transform customers and businesses alike into advocates for sustainability and justice worldwide." Their members include "tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, specialty travel agents, guides, accommodations, media, and service providers." For more on ATTA click here.

What's cool is that the first day of the four-day conference was a day of adventure (from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.). Aviemore and the Cairngorms provided more than 25 options covering water, land, and mountain adventures. Choices were wild to mild white-water rafting, canyoning, canoe and whisky tours, sea kayaking in search of dolphins, clay-pigeon shooting, canoeing, sailing a loch, ferrata, nature walking, working at an estate, golfing, ropes course, rock climbing, and more. If it hadn't been October, I would've done the white-water rafting trip, stopping at distilleries along the way, but since I was in Scotland, the home of golf, I jumped at the chance to do a little golfing.

I was one of the lucky eight to sign up early for golf. We played two courses in one day, both in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, and it couldn't have been any more beautiful--especially with the fall foliage.

Our first stop was the Abernethy Golf Club (website), which was about 14 miles away (they use miles in the UK) and took about 20 minutes to get to. It was a beautiful drive--lots of sheep and green countryside mixed in with fall foliage. Abernethy is a 9-hole course that was established in 1893. I quickly learned there are no golf carts in Scotland--you walk. I also learned to dress in layers and bring a rain coat (it didn't rain for us, but it normally does). The most interesting thing I spotted (besides some wild mushrooms) was a statue smack in the middle of the course honoring those locals who gave their lives for war. FYI: The 2010 Green Fees are £20 ($31.50) during the week or £22 on weekends. A late-day ticket is £10 less.

After our round our group had lunch at the club. The shopkeeper Kevin and his wife served us sandwiches (cheese and tomato; tuna and sweet corn; cucumber and cheese; ham and cheese…) and lentil soup. They hit the spot.

We then drove about 10 minutes to Craggan's (website) unique 18-hole par-3 course. This parkland course is situated beside the river Spey and boasts magnificent views of the Cairngorm Mountains to the south and the Cromdale hills to the east. The grounds were beautifully manicured and some holes were long for par 3 while others were short. One was just 51 yards. My golf game needs help, but it sure was fun to meet new friends and get out in the fresh air for some exercise.

1 | 2 | Click to continue | 4 | 5

Copyright 2010 JohnnyJet, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Pictures From

The Trip


Drive to Aviemore


Scenic Ride


Highlands Resort


My Room




Scotish Breakfast




It was made in Palestine




First Swing In Scotland


Beautful Grounds


Wild Mushrooms




The Woods


Lunch at the Club


A Random Church


More Countryside


Craggan Country Club


What A Sky


Fall Foliage


So Pretty



This Newsletter is sent by permission only. If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription at any time, please login HERE. If you have any questions or suggestions please send message addressed to Johnny@JohnnyJet.com

Join Our Mailing List
Johnny Jet

Natalie Bahadur
AboutPublicityNewsletter ArchiveMy MomPhotogalleryContactBlogSuggestions