Old age has finally caught up. I snipped out a money-saving coupon from a magazine last week even though I’m not yet of pensionable age – eek! I think I got away with it though, as it gave us a Grand Day Out at the Scottish Caravan and Motorhome Show yesterday. For half price! As we’re still saving up for this year’s big trip in September, we thought a wee jaunt up to Glasgow for the show would be the next best thing to actually going away in Vince.
Glasgow’s Exhibition Centre is a couple of hours drive from where we live on the edge of the Galloway Forest. I have to confess it was quite a transition from brown, bracken-covered misty rolling hills, to the concrete urban city sprawl. Don’t get me wrong, Glasgow is a transformed city these days. It’s a long way from the dark and smoky place we used to pass through when visiting my mother’s family as a child in the late 60’s. There are big changes even from when I studied there in the mid 80’s. It’s a clean, modern and vibrant place now. It only took a couple of hours to get here so I can see us having future Grand Days Out to the many shops, museums and galleries. I’d better look up handy parking places for motorhomes.
Once we’d paid the eye-watering parking charge and our half-price entry fee we meandered through the three exhibition halls to ogle all the latest shiny and gadget-laden models.
I’ve always liked VW camper vans, especially in surfer-dude paint jobs like the ones we saw in Sagres, Portugal. We’ll never own one though. I think it would be far too much of a squeeze after touring with all mod cons in Vince. No shower, a portaloo if you’re lucky and not a lot of storage space for arthritis pills, zimmer frames, Werthers or comfy slippers. They’re so good to look at though – if we were thirty years younger maybe…
At the other end of the scale we sat in wonder inside one or two of the luxury A-Class models. They’re better appointed than our house! We were surrounded by discreet mood lighting, drop-down beds and TV’s and built-in coffee machines. They even had air suspension which automatically levels the vehicle when you’ve parked. There were glossy cupboards, huge beds, starship dashboards and room in the rear garage for his ‘n’ hers scooters! And six figure prices to match. Ah well, we’ll bear them in mind for next week’s lottery win.
We continued our Goldilocks tour (Too big? Too small? Or just right..?) by checking out the coach-built motorhomes like Vince. Built on a Fiat, Mercedes or Peugeot chassis they retain the van cab but come in a variety of layouts. We saw fixed beds, sofa-beds, over-cab beds, island beds and beds which drop down from the ceiling automatically. Some vans were so empty and basic that you could hear your voice echoing. Others were so packed with extras, soft furnishings and chintzy curtains that you could only take a small handbag away with you or the van would be overweight!
And the upshot of all this ogling and marvelling? We’re going to stay as we are thank you. We could never trade our Vince in, the handsome old thing. Our thinking is that the additional cash we’d need to trade up would pay for a lot of ferries and camp sites. There are lots of nice-to-haves on the market of course, but we thank our lucky stars that we’re currently fit and able to travel around together in the big fella, so we’ll just carry on making the most of our travel opportunities while we can.
And needless to say, when we do – we’ll keep rabbiting on here to keep you posted 😀