Less touring….

With the new restrictions put in place we could still go on a tour across Scotland but pretty much only with up to six people of one household.

So for sightseeing 2020 looks a little like a total write off. However, not all is bleak.

I foster a lifelong fascination for flying and think in general that it is a good idea to provide you, my customers, with more unusal activities which you could add on to future tours (potentially in 2021). Already in 2019 we added on the possibilitly to combine a tour with an airexperience at the Scottish Gliding Centre at Portmoak in Fife or to go flying with the Loch Lomond Seaplanes.

My own airexperience resulted in me aiming to one day fly solo in a glider. On the way there I had the opportunity to take these photographs below. Enjoy!!!

Views on Edinburgh

By accident – almost- Edinburgh happened to be my destination today and after a miserably rainy day yesterday today there was something to see indeed.

I ventured off initally to find a building which was mention in this interesting articly by Edinburgh Live on derelict buildings in Edinburgh.

Originally built as a police station it continued its life as one of Edinburgh’s most strangest restaurant. Sadly, though pretty much in the city centre it now sits empty:

55 Abbeyhill Road, Edinburgh Police Station/ Armenian restaurant

Next to it and very close to Holyrood Palace, the Queen’s summer residence, I found this wee lovely tower:

Wee tower next to Holyrood Palace

If you visit Edinburgh my advice always has been: use your feet. Especially in the old town which was build when people walked. You will discover so much more.

Calton Hill is worth climbing uphill. Here the view over the Firth of Forth towards Fife with the Isle of May on your right

View of Firth of Forthlton
Carlton Hill
Observatory on Carlton Hill, Edinburgh Tour
Why you need to walk in Edinburgh
Community garden at the back and bottom of the Royal Mile
What could have been a Parliament building
Looking on to the Royal Mile
toll house
Waverley Station
Waverley Station

SCITOUR project

As I am hoping to be part of this project with my tour offering I am very exited about tomorrow’s webinar.

Email: kirstin@starfishtravel.scot for log on details or get in touch with Andy : andy.ruck.perth@uhi.ac.uk

Webinar: Introduction to Scientific Tourism Thursday 1st October, 12-2PM

SCITOUR is a collaborative project centred around the development and promotion of ‘scientific tourism’. Scientific tourism puts scientific learning at the heart of the tourist experience, giving visitors a deeper knowledge and appreciation of a specific place, while taking scientific education into adventurous settings that inspire as well as educate.

SCITOUR brings together academic research institutions and small-to-medium businesses with the goal of helping tourism businesses in remote regions to develop and market new products based around scientific learning. SCITOUR is part-funded by the European Union’s Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (NPA), and involves partners from Scotland, Iceland, Finland and Greenland.

Through SCITOUR, we aim to create an umbrella organisation that gives participating businesses access to an established scientific tourism brand and identity, a website where they can market their products, access to transnational promotional campaigns, and a supportive network of businesses offering similar products.

This webinar will provide an introduction to the project and the idea of scientific tourism, as well as enable us to gain the perspectives of those working in tourism businesses. You will hear from the researchers at the centre of the project, as well as one of our key partners – Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. As we are right at the beginning of the SCITOUR project, this is your chance to help shape its content and direction.

Through a mix of presentations and open discussions, this webinar will cover:

Aims of the SCITOUR project

What is (or what could be) scientific tourism?

SCITOUR brand and marketing

Ways forward, and how you can get involved

For joining instructions and to book your place, please contact Andy Ruck: andy.ruck.perth@uhi.ac.uk

New Restrictions

Since new restrictions have come into force last week booking a tour is most likely not good advice and certainly not if you wish to travel with more than one household.

You can still get in touch to plan tours for the future and most certainly also if you wish to get some help with planning or looking for ideas.

I sincerely hope that operations will resume to be normal by summer 2021 and meanwhile I aim to bring a little Scotland to you on this website and via social media.

Stay well & healthy!

Scottish Golf Courses-> Now is your time

Golf is open again and there are no international golfers this year. So 2020 maybe your best bet to get onto such famous courses as the Old Course or as remote as the Isle of Colonsay Golf course.

You can of course always combine your game with some Scottish Uisge Beatha = whisky, perhaps on Islay and if you do not understand anything try soma Gaidhlig:

Science & Sightseeing

Robert Watson-Watt 1892-1973

Robert Watson-Watt was born in Brechin, Scotland, which is known for a good wee dram: Glencadam Whisky, Brechin castle and the entire area for fertile farming. Robert, however, is known for turning a potential weapon of mass destruction into Radar. The so called “death ray” was an idea prior to World War II which would be aimed at aircrafts and this beam of energy would make conditions in the aircraft unbearable and would eventually melt the plane.

Though a beam of electromagnet energy could not destroy the aircraft, but it determined that there was an object and you could calculate how fast it was travelling.

Radar stands for radio detection and ranging. This sounds complicated but it is one dish transmitting radio waves and microswaves. These pulses bounce off an object and a small amount of the energy is reflected back to where it came from. This energy is picked up by a second dish/antenna. The scientist can then calculate how far away the object is and how fast it is moving.

This of course was a vital technique to spot German bombers early enough to shoot them down during WWII.

Robert Watson-Watt was leader of the team which developed practical Radar. He had become interested in electromagnet energy during his studies at

St Andrews College in Dundee.

It took Watson-Watt and his team until 1940 to have working Radar station installed along the British coastline. Britain might have lost the war without Robert Watson-Watt’s invention.

Around the same time elsewhere in Scotland, namely Aberdour, at

HS Tarlair

Captain Ryan and his team worked on something vaguely similar: detecting submarines. If you visit today and yes you can little of the site is left.

The team at HS Tarlair used hydrophones (underwater microphones) which eventually led to sonor detection.

So how could you spend a day involving radar and sonar look like?

Back to normal? Or rather back to madness?

The last two days the taxi side of our business has had the first signs of returning back to normal. This certainly makes all of us very hopeful.

However, dropping guests off at Elie & Earlsferry yesterday you could not move there were so many people and cars.

Today’s St Andrews is busier than I have ever seen it. On one hand it is truly awesome to see people supporting their local areas and tourism in general.

However, I am sightly worried that this might be too much too soon?

In saying this people seem very considerate and respectful and appear to keep their distance. So fingers crossed this will give all of you a fantastic break and for the tourism industry a solid recovery.

At Starfish Travel and Taxis we have screens installed, separating us from our guests, we sanitise the vehicles after each and have hand sanitiser and face masks onboard for you. We also offer contactless payment (no additional costs).

Stay safe and enjoy your freedom to visit!!!

Air bridge countries- no quarantine

After listening to our daily First Minister’s update on the Covid-19 pandemic there are some good news for some international travellers. You can now fly into Scotland without needing to quarantine for 14 days if you are from the following 59 countries:

Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Réunion, San Marino, Seychelles, South Korea, St Barthélemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Vatican City, Vietnam.

If you travel from Spain or Serbia you still need to adhere to the quarantine rule.

Read the full Glasgow Times article here

Travel to Scotland again. View from Abernethy over the river Tay

Special offer: Sightseeing by the hour

If you & your family are on a staycation in St Andrews perhaps you would enjoy some sightseing in the surrounding areas.

R & A St Andrews

Our offer is sightseeing by the hour at £40 per hour

There gorgeous place in the surrounding areas, such as the fishing villages of East Neuk, the Crail Pottery, perhaps some kayaking at Elie or a walk on the coastal path. If you enjoy watching wildlife maybe you would like to visit a one of Fife’s reserves, such as Bankhead Moss

or Fleecefaulds Meadows or pehaps Kellie Castle in Pittenweem? Whatever you fancy we can make it happen. Do get in touch for more ideas: Contact
https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/kellie-castle
Crail
https://fifecoastandcountrysidetrust.co.uk/walks/fife-coastal-path/

Getting back to normal in tiny, wee steps:

Near Norman's Law, Fife Scotland

As of today, 3rd of July 2020, people in Scotland may travel further than five miles for leisure purposes, caravan parks and other self catering businesses may open up again and also beer gardens. For daily updates for Scotland Click here

Wester Flisk, Fife Scotland
View of river Tay

There is also some talk of reducing the 2m disctancing for some hospitality businesses, which hopefully enables smaller venues to survive.

Additionally the 14 day quarantine might be lifted for certain countries.

For Starfish Travel we expect to rely predominantly on UK visitors to join us for bespoke tours in 2020. For 2021 we sincerely hope to welcome back the rest of the world. So if you are planning a trip please do get in touch and we will assist you with any questions and worries you may have.

Contact
View from Norman's Law, Fife, Scotland
View from Norman’s Law, Fife, Scotland

Our vehicles are santised after each use. We have soft, transparant partititions installed to separate passengers from the driver. Hand sanitisers and face mask are available and our drivers use both. All our vehiscles are MPVs and offer six seats separated from the driver currently arranged in conference seating . So six people of the same household and can travel safely.

For the future we have some exiting plans which involves diving into SCITOUR, which is a project involing scientific tourism in remote areas.

There was also and article in the Herald. The project so far involves a number of very exiting companies and we hope to be part of it.
Highland cows, Norman's law
Highland cows at Norman’s Law.

We have created a SPECIALS PAGES  where will publish new exiting ideas on attraction, venues and sites. So, do visit it on regular intervals and by all means leave us a comment below if you have a great idea!