Published: July 14th 2007July 14th 2007
It was our first bit of travelling for a while but we had Naomi with us and we determined to have an adventure.
We left the sun behind at Gatwick airport and flew up to Glasgow where the forecast was showers and the first thing the captain said when we landed was 'Crikey! I didn't expect it to be this bad'. Where we stayed dry our luggage unfortunately did not, it could have only been out in the rain for a few minutes but every part of foam in my rucksack was saturated, I ended up wearing it backwards to stop myself being soaked.
It was almost midnight by the time we were in the city centre and we had managed to find Babbity Bowsters where our key had been left despite Naomi not being able to understand a word the Glaswegian taxi driver said. Sheets of rain were still lashing down as we made the five minute dash to our apartment stopping under every awning on the way. Once in the apartment we made good use of the fresh towels and hung all our clothes up to dry ready to explore in the morning.
Sam had managed to salvage
a few bread rolls from the previous days emergency rations and they made a sufficient breakfast along with the contents of the fruit bowl. Having booked a car and tried to find somewhere to stay (unsuccessfully) for the remainder of our trip we set off into town. Naomi had come up with a list of things to find in Scotland, this included: A Castle, A Highland Cow, A bird Naomi had never seen before, A man wearing a kilt, A Flag, Ragged Hill Farm, A Parker Grave, A Dragon and a Standing stone. As this was only nine things she suggested I come up with the tenth with guidelines that it should be suitably Scottish - so a Deep Fried Mars bar it was then. The plan was find all these things before we left and if possible photograph them.
The Gallery of Modern Art had a good exhibition on sectarianism but our guide was insistant on asking us how the more contemporary pieces made us feel, we felt like saying "It makes us feel like we don't want to be here' but we just stayed mum.
On the main shopping street we were in luck, there were several saltire
flags flying from the buildings and a piper in a kilt - two down, eight to go.
Our next stop was the Cathedral - it was a kilt goldmine, a wedding was going on a tour had turned up with a guide in a kilt (although he was very clearly Spanish). The bridesmaids looked like pink meringues and there is going to be a shortage of fake tan and hairspray in Glasgow for some time to come. Luckily the smoking ban had lowered the risk on them catching fire as with so much synthetic material they really should have been labelled flammable.
Inside the Cathedral a helpful guy showed us a ladybird carved unexpectedly underneath an ornate chair but we didn't venture further as the wedding party had come in and there was too much of a risk of static discharge - I hovered by the fire extinguisher waiting for Sam and Naomi.
Outside there were several Magpies - surely they are in Australia and NZ as well (but apparrently they are different) - three down, seven to go.
The cemetery behind the cathedral was impressive with lots of grand tombs with a distinctly Egyptian feel to them - from
here we could see most of the city and planned the rest of our day.
We made the Peoples Palace on Glasgow Green about ten minutes before shutting and dashed round it, it's a lot smaller on the inside than out!
Dinner at the bohemian Mono bar was good although it didn't look open at first and we nearly missed it out. Our aim was to find some live music but all the bars that were churning out loud eighties anthems didn't look particularly inviting especially now as the doorways are filled with lads in Celtic or Rangers shiny tracksuits having a fag. Saturday night wasn't the right night for live music in Glasgow and we wandered home stopping at various bars, shaking our heads after a few seconds of peering round the door.
Drink of the Day: Iron Bru
There are more photos below