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Here we are. 6 months into the pandemic for us Brits, who have a load of other sh*t to deal with as well right now on account of the criminals running the show in Westminster.

In September I usually take one of my main holidays, as the Boss does not allow such things in July and August (long story). I would be aiming for 10 days away.

Had things been progressing better with Covid 19, my two possibilities would have been Ukraine and Albania. Albania might still be a bit warm for an active holiday in September – remember, I have Viking genes and ice in my veins – and while I enjoy sitting about doing very little for big chunks of my holiday, I need activity too.

Albania has been on my “interesting possibles” list for a while, and it was vlogs from Daneger and Stacey which really brought it to the top of the list this year. Anxhi Çeliku’s vlog reinforced the idea.

Flights from Edinburgh to Corfu are readily available, and from Corfu it is just a short ferry trip across to Saranda.

Ukraine would be more suitable for me at this time of year. I resumed my Russian studies in March, after a break of 45 years, having booked a trip to the Russian Federation for June (cancelled, obviously). I know Ukrainian is different to Russian, but at least being able to read the alphabet would help.

The idea was to have a few days in Kyiv and then move on to Lviv for 3-4 days. Unlike Russia, getting an expensive and time consuming visitor visa is not a barrier to visiting Ukraine.

Again my thinking was encourage by a vlog – this time from Alina McLeod.

Well, neither country is on the UK’s green list so – apart from any other considerations for a trip like that – they are out of the question.

Yes, the green list. Countries are taken off it and added to it at a moment’s notice. Sweden went back on this week. Portugal came off. Even then, it is a scam which is not much more than news management. Estonia and Latvia are on it, but when you check their entry requirements, travellers arriving from the UK must quarantine for 14 days. I am sure it will be the same with other countries.

Poland is on that green list, and has no quarantine requirements – as of today.


Tomorrow could be different. We have plenty of flights from Edinburgh to Polish cities. A week in Gdansk and the surrounding area is certainly appealing. I have visited Warsaw twice, but that was in the 90s and for work. Seeing more of the country has been on my horizon for years.

To My Son

We will see. I expect the anti-virus hygiene arrangements in Poland are at least as good as in Scotland. But is everything I might want to see open? Taking a 2 hour flight at the moment is a risk – flying is in the highest risk category. If the prevalence of the virus is low, the risk reduces. Right now?

The advice from the Scottish Government is not to travel abroad unless it is essential. I suppose I ought to follow it. I suspect it is aimed at those who head off to popular holiday destinations, and spend lots of time in bars, night clubs and restaurants whilst there. That is not my style. Who knows…

A holiday in Scotland right now would normally be so low on my wish list as to be hardly worth thinking about. The virus situation is much worse in England, so it is not on my list at all, and neither is Wales because getting there means a very long drive.

Dawn on Eigg

I enjoy holidays in Scotland in May and June, when the days are long and the weather is usually better. September is early autumn, and often brings storms. It may be the best bet anyway.

Ben Lawers

Dull, but safe (relatively speaking).

ⓒ iain taylor, 2020


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