Glasgow, Scotland…another Ancestral Homeland-Campbell’s
We decided to strike out on our own today in this land of Scottish accents. Last night, we listened to a really nice port lecturer from Scotland but could barely understand what he was saying, although it was clearly in English ;-)
The ship tied up at the Port of Greenock and we thought we would walk 20 minutes to take a train into Glasgow, about 45 minutes away. When we got into the cruise terminal, we saw some cruise passengers talking to a bus company. Turns out that there was a public bus was leaving in just 10 minutes and the bus stop was only a 5 minute walk away. So, off on another unplanned adventure! This turned out to be a great decision.
As we quickly walked out into the cold, windy day, we walked through the port area and turned right to the bus stop. There were a lot of people from the cruise ship who had the same idea! Jean starts talking to a little old local lady about kids, and shopping and who knows what else, but she’s clearly having a nice chat. About 10 minutes later the bus
shows up and off we went. Nice bus, nice driver and chatty, interesting people, both locals and visitors. The locals wanted to know where you were going and were very free with good advice. Nice. We made several stops for local passengers, some of whom were headed for a very large and modern mall, just outside of Glasgow.
We could see upscale stores, many of them US chain stores. There was a huge Marks and Spencer store, which is a premier retailer in the UK, and as one would expect, we saw a Starbucks and not to be expected, a HUGE Krispy Kreme Donut shop-two stories high-and the sign said it was open 24 hours a day with a drive through ;-)
We got off the bus at Georges Square in the heart of Glasgow, and asked directions to the “Hop On, Hop Off” bus. Turns out it was only a block away and easily identifiable. Georges Square is an interesting mix of old and new buildings surrounding it. One of the things that really impressed us were all of the banners saying “People Are Glasgow”. Loved it!
The “Hop on, Hop off” had a recorded tour
so we plugged in our ear phones and just hunkered down on the cold windy upper deck of the bus, to listen to the commentary. We had to sit in the uncovered section, and it was chilly! Fortunately, someone moved and we were able to move one row up to the last row of the covered section, but it was still cold! But we were bundled up and just fine.
This city is very much a mix of old and new structures with lots of history, parks, trees and educational institutions. The guided tour said there was over 130,000 students attending the various colleges in Glasgow, and it is a major educational center in Scotland. The University of Glasgow is beautiful and well known and sits on a hill in a beautiful and affluent part of the city.
We saw malls, old and new housing, sections of the city that are under redevelopment, upscale and large houses and parks that certainly reflect the history of the city. All of the museums and parks are free to everyone, and at one time, anyone was allowed to graze their cows and sheep on the greens ;-)
Off the bus
and time for lunch. The frigid wind was whipping as we walked about 2 blocks from Georges Square to a pedestrian mall, Argyle Street. Lots of upscale shopping. After walking for a while we were frizzed and decided to have lunch. We found a MacDonalds… NO! not that McDonalds; this was a little, local coffee shop that served small sandwiches, tea, coffee, pastries etc. and was kind of a “take out or eat in” shop for locals. Lots of people lining up for lunch. We had a sausage roll, and a ham and cheese sandwich and split a huge cup of hot chocolate. Boy, did that hot chocolate taste good, and it was really hot. Re invigorated by the hot food we were off to find the right bus stop for our journey back to the ship.
We look at our map and find the right bus stop, we think ;-) After asking a few people and receiving various conflicting directions, we finally find the stop for the 901/906 bus that we hoped would take us back to the ship! While we were waiting, Jean saw a man in a yellow vest with “McGill” on it and that is
the bus line we had tickets for. So, she went up to him and said, “Excuse me, can I ask a question?”, and he didn’t skip a beat as he said, “I know….you want to know the way back to the cruise ship, don’t you”? We laughed. Clearly we look like tourists ;-). As it turned out, we were at the correct stop and we just had to wait about 20 minutes for our McGill bus to arrive.
45 minutes later we were back to Greenock at the docks. A good day was had by one and all and for a total of 42 pounds. Wish everyday could be this inexpensive ;-)
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