On my trip to Scotland last summer I felt like I didn’t bring the right clothes. Partly because I had expected sunnier weather, like I had experienced it in my previous two trips to Scotland during summer time. Because it doesn’t always rain in Scotland. I had great sunny sunburn inducing days there as well. Except last year, where I missed long sleeves or sweatshirts. Anyway, I will pack those and T-shirts, but also realized last year, that I should bring a few clothes that are better fit for outdoor activities. Last summer I climbed Arthur’s Seat wearing a cotton T-Shirt under a waterproof, breathable jacket. Stupid!
I know I needed to get a few breathable base layer shirts, and probably a good softshell jacket as well. Plus new hiking sneakers and/or boots, because the one I wear almost everyday are worn out and might thus not be the best choice for a walk up a hill or along a creek or wherever my fancy might take me in the Highlands. Even though I’ll take my sat nav and have Google Maps on my phone I also know I’d feel saver with a old fashioned road map as well. I also finally wanted to buy a matching camping table set (plate, cup, bowl + cutlery) for the picnic lunches (bread, cheese, fruit) I will probably do most days along the way. I also wanted to finally buy a new, bigger backpack (as in “day pack” not instead of a suitcase) for this trip.
Thursday was a public holiday in my part of the country and I took Friday off from work as well to have long weekend. I used that day off to drive to Cologne to shop at Globetrotter, which is a huge store selling outdoor gear and clothes and everything. Perfect for all the things I thought I needed. But of course I wasn’t the only who had taken the day off from work to go shopping ;-) It wasn’t too crowded really and I managed to buy most of the things I had planned to.
Except the shoes, because there was such a long line waiting to be served in the shoe department already! So I stored my purchases in the back of my car and went shopping for some other summer clothing on the high street instead ;-)
On my way back home I decided to drive a bit further on to another sporting goods store to look for some shoes and maybe some more additional clothes. I bought a pair of hiking sneakers there, but even while I bought them it felt more like a stopgap purchase. Like, “I’ve come all this way and I like these shoes ok enough”, so I buy them to get it over with. Those are the most stupid purchases, I know, because you end up never wearing these shoes, pants, shirts, whatever.
In my case I was lucky enough to drive to yet another shoe store with my mom yesterday. It’s a wonderful store for people like my mom and me, who have rather large feet for women. I’m at German size 41/42 (7.5 to 8 in UK or 9.5 to 10 in US) and my mom’s feet are even a size larger. The usual shoe stores on the high streets rarely cater to women with these sizes and that sucks a lot of time. But this store has a specialized section for larger sizes (male and female) and it’s great. I found some hiking boots pretty quickly and then I fell in love with some sneakers. Which as I later found out actually are from a Italian manufacturer of trekking, hiking, climbing footwear, so they will be perfect for light / short outdoor activities in the Highlands as well.
I fell so in love in fact, I bought them in two different colours. My mom was just shaking her head, but I didn’t care. That afternoon I also drove back to the sport goods store and returned the other sneakers, because there was no way I would ever wear cheap generic ones, when I have these beauties, right?
You don’t want to know how much money I’ve spent in the last 48 hours for all these various purchases. It’s a good thing that I’ll be getting my tax refund soon :-)