August 2017 - Scotland

Gone are the days of Concierge handing you a new map every time you needed directions, of circled places with illegible scribble and the inevitable question, 'Who has the map marked with where we are going for dinner?' Google Maps (sorry Apple) is the new norm; the convenient pocket, pin dropping, data/battery killing wonder that finally means I can reduce my carbon imprint by saving a tree or two. It is in the data/battery killing part this story begins.

Phone priorities when visiting a new destination:

  1. Fog of World
  2. Everything else

In other words when your battery is about to fall into the dreaded yellow zone at the beginning of the evening and you don't want to turn on data roaming to make matters worse you enlist the assistance of your best friend to search out the Coffee Shop where J.K Rowling began writing Harry Potter. Therein lies the first issue; leaving the family's navigation to the notoriously bad navigator, but with Google Maps how can you really go wrong?

By adding the third dimension, in our case height.

Just because your little blue dot is hovering over the red pin does not mean you are there, not if what you are looking for requires you to look up. But I do thank our navigator for taking us to a delightfully dingy and seedy area of Edinburgh that I would not have seen otherwise and probably didn't need to see. So there's always an upside, which in this case was on an elevated street above our head.

The unnecessary detour lost two of our party that thought seeing The Elephant House was not worth the angst and pain of detouring and the required rise in altitude.

But two of us did make it, for less than 5 minutes and a couple of photos out the front before running through the streets of Edinburgh to make it to the Tattoo (note I beat the two that left early).

So be warned when walking uphill, downhill, over bridges, under bridges. Google Maps only works if you enter in the address and launch the directions, otherwise you may find yourself above or below your intended destination. I would love to say this only happened to us once on this trip. Alas it happened on three separate occasions.