14 April, 2011

Crossing the Border: Scotland

One of the most asked questions students pose when preparing to go to Scotland is, do I need my passport?  There is indeed a border between England and Scotland, but, along with Wales and Northern Ireland, these countries are all part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  This question put to Brits probably sounds the same as asking an American if you need to show your passport to travel from New York to New Jersey.  No passport is required for either of these border crossings.

Slightly less popular as questions about traveling to Scotland go is, do I need to change my money?  Another no is the answer to this question.  However, you will notice in Scotland that the notes look different.  £10 of Bank of England notes has exactly the same value as £10 of Bank of Scotland notes, £10 of Royal Bank of Scotland notes and £10 of Clydesdale Bank notes.  Yes, there are three banks in Scotland which have the right to produce money, versus one in England, one in Ireland and none in Wales.  All pound sterling notes are acceptable in all parts of the United Kingdom.  Scottish notes are often faced with skepticism in London because they are popular with counterfeiters trying to pass off fake money, but real Scottish notes are unquestionably viable.

My favorite question is, what did that person say?  Some Scottish accents can be difficult to decipher by an untrained ear, but there is every chance that that person really did say, "Deep fried Mars Bars are delicious".  It's a Scottish delicacy and well worth a try!
Bill is seen here preparing a Scottish feast, complete with haggis, Irn-Bru and Mars Bars for deep frying.  The flags in the background give extra Scottish flavour.


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