We’re in Scotland!

After seven months of planning this trip, I can’t believe we’re here!

The 757 we flew in from Newark to Glasgow didn’t allow for tipping the seats back much, and I can’t sleep sitting up, so I didn’t sleep more than a couple of hours on the overnight flight. We got in at 7:30 am. Glasgow airport is relatively small for an international airport, so we got to the flat we are renting by 9:00. Unfortunately we couldn’t check in until 1:00.

The landlord was nice enough to let us leave our bags in the housekeepers flat next door, so we were able to explore the city unencumbered. The city centre is only a 15-minute walk from the flat, so in no time we were downtown. First order of business: get a pay-as-you-go cell phone. Every step of the way we will need to be checking in with landlords, and we feel much more comfortable driving around the back woods for three months with a phone. Second order of business: Get some local cash. Check, and check. We also got a bite to eat. Then it was time to head back to the flat to check in.

By the time we got checked in, I could barely keep my eyes open, so I laid down for a wee nap. In 30 minutes I was up again and ready to go. On our second venture into the city, we shopped around a bit and got a bite to eat at one of the oldest pubs in Glasgow. We had a great conversation with the guy at the table next to us, a local Glaswegian. It turns out that the book Marcus is currently reading, Whisky Galore! by Compton Mackenzie was this guy’s favorite book as a kid. The people in Glasgow have been fantastically friendly. They don’t usually make the first move, but if you ask someone a question, they usually are very willing to chat.

Due to some wifi problems, which our landlord dropped in to work on, we were able to stay awake until 9:30 pm. Getting up after 10 hours of sleep, more or less, was not a problem. (Less for me, having been awake for two hours after our GPS unit, Rita, felt the need to wake me and tell me she lost satellite contact at 12:30 am. Whoops! Someone forgot to turn off the GPS unit before bed, Marcus.)

Day Two was marvelous! We had signed up for the local “hop-on, hop-off” city tour bus through viator.com. For 48 hours we can pick up this bus anywhere on its loop through the city. We sat for the one-hour-45-minute loop guided tour this morning to get our bearings. Turns out Glasgow is much bigger and more impressive than the wee peek we got yesterday. After the full tour we had lunch in another of the oldest pubs in Glasgow. Then hopped on the bus again to make our way back to Kelvingrove Park. It was a gorgeous afternoon, sunny and warm. We walked around the park, went through the Art Gallery and Museum and the Botanic Gardens (all free!), and found another pub (you guessed it – one of the oldest in Glasgow!) along Byers Road in the neighboring Glasgow University area. We bought a few dinner groceries, went back to the flat, and had a relaxing meal at home. Now it’s time for bed. This time I’ll make sure Rita is silenced!

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