Wednesday, 20 March 2013

The long and winding road.

The image quality of the picture I put up here a couple of days ago of the article in the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald wasn’t great, so I’ve just typed it out word for word. So here’s what the article actually reads:

The long and winding road

A plucky girl has just finished a year-long epic journey across Europe to Scotland from Australia.

Eilidh Robertson (23) and three male friends set off from the other side of the world on March 25 last year to travel more than 10,541 miles across Asia, the Middle East and Europe – finally arriving at their destination of Appin in Scotland on Tuesday, February 26 this year.

Eilidh lived in Scotland until she was 12, firstly in Bearsden – where she briefly attended Westerton Primary School aged five, and then Appin – between Oban and Fort William.

Her family then moved to Melbourne in Australia where she has lived ever since.

While growing up she often visited Bearsden to see her grandparents, Karen and Ian Macdonald, and she thinks of it as her “ongoing home” as both of her parents also come from there – Douglas Robertson from Conon Avenue and Alison Macdonald from Maxwell Avenue.

Eilidh and her friend Ben Crowley persuaded two other guys – Tom Denner and Tom Unkles – to undertake this massive journey in a custom-modified Toyota 4Runner and they called themselves 4guysinacar and wrote a blog.

Their first task was to cross Australia, from Melbourne to Darwin – about 2,332 miles. They had been looking forward to taking two weeks for this part of the trip across the desert but unfortunately they had to do it in just three days to catch the cargo ship.

This took them to Malaysia and from there they went on to Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Moldova, Transnistria, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France and finally the UK.

Amazingly they didn’t break down once but they did get a few flat tyres along the way.

Eilidh said: “Ben had always wanted to drive across the world and Appin was the logical sentimental end point.

“We wanted to see as much of the world as we could and there’s no better way to do that than in a car.

“The only way we could do this trip was by all being equals – I couldn’t get special treatment just because I’m a girl.

“The joke was that I was the real bloke and they were trying to keep up with me!

“The main thing I’ve taken away from this is that people from all over the world are pretty much the same.

“Most people are basically good and want to help you.”

Eilidh’s favourite country was Iran as the people were so friendly and the culture and history is exciting and varied.

They enjoyed visiting sites left over from the Persian Empire which were mostly untouched.

Her least favourite place was Armenia as the people were a bit stand-offish.

However, while they were there they visited a fascinating place called Lavon’s Divine Underground – a network of hand-dug caves under a house which had been created by the owner after his wife asked him to make a cellar to store potatoes.

Eilidh said: “It was really off the beaten track – there were no signs and we only found it because we stopped a local person to ask where it was and he drove us there.

“Apparently God spoke to the man and told him to keep digging as there was a purpose to it – but the purpose has still to be revealed!”

For more on their journey go to


Photo captions:

BACK IN BONNY SCOTLAND... Eilidh with her grandparents – Karen and Ian Macdonald from Westerton, Bearsden.

A map showing the route they travelled.

THEY MADE IT... 4guys arrived in the capital city of Kazakhstan – Astana.

The gang on their arrival in Appin.

TASTE OF THE ORIENT... the group at the Great Wall of China.

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