We’ll it’s day three in Glasgow and we’re starting to come out of our surreal fog as our long sojourn becomes a reality!
The few days before leaving it started to sink in that we would be away for a long time and we struggled with the emotions of saying good-bye to friends and family, thinking about leaving the dogs and especially the kids. We hadn’t anticipated it being hard, Janet cried on and off for the two days prior. The word ‘AIRPORT’ became the trigger and the kids and I made a game of it, maybe a bit cruel like tickling but we thought it was hilarious!
Early in the morning we gave the dogs our last hugs and made our teary good-byes to Meagan as she had to work that day, Brandon drove us to the airport. We had quick good-byes with more tears for him and boarded our flight to Halifax. We had a great flight, the flight attendants hooked us up after learning our daughter was also one of them and it seemed a fast arrival. We had a four hour layover and then boarded the red-eye for Glasgow. We arrived at 8am Glasgow time to more rain and dreary skies which has been the norm for the first few days.
On arrival we stopped at a news stand to purchase a new sim card for our cell phone and called to arrange to meet our Air BnB owner. We opted to splurge on a cab and arrived shortly at our temporary home which is comfortable although a bit rough around the edges. It really needs a good cleaning and we still don’t have Internet as promised on the owner’s website so we’re using the mall and public wifi spots. The area we’re staying in is a bit industrial on the east side of Glasgow near the Paradise football stadium (The Celtics) with some shops and pubs nearby, think Diagon Alley meets East Harlem! Our first wonder around the neighborhood left us a bit underwhelmed.
On our very first night we got immersed in the culture though as the area became a buzz around us with the pending football game between the Celtics and Man City. Football (soccer) is literally a religion here and they take it ultra serious. Our cab driver told us about the two rival football teams here in Glasgow with the Catholic/Celtics and their colors of Green and Gold on one side of town and the Protestant/Rangers in blue and red on the other. He warned us (somewhat jokingly) to wear neutral colors as you might lose an arm or leg if you’re caught with the wrong colors in the wrong part of town!
We were having an early dinner at one of the local pubs as some of the fervent fans began to pour in around 4pm with the game starting at 7pm. Food trucks were on every corner and just began to setup, we really wanted to stay and participate in the action but were so tired we couldn’t see straight. By 6pm we were in bed, I could hear the cheering and chanting from the stadium as I dropped in and out of consciousness. We got up for a few hours, back to bed and had a good sleep until 7:30am for a start to our first day.
We headed out in some typical Scottish weather (intermittent rain) for a half hour or so walk into the city center. Downtown Glasgow is busy and vibrant with lots of great architecture, shopping, pubs, restaurants and museums. We had a lovely day just wondering downtown, we visited the Glasgow Cathedral and amused ourselves walking through the old Victoria necropolis.
Later we headed to Sloan’s which was established in 1797 making it the oldest pub/restaurant in Glasgow. I wanted some typical Scottish pub food for my birthday dinner and had the lamb stew with soda bread, Janet had the steak pie and we washed it down with the local Saint Mungo’s beer. It was a satisfying meal, perfect for a misty, rainy day.
We had an enjoyable first day in Glasgow and now almost feel like locals having gotten our bearings, navigated the local transport and know our way about town! Tomorrow we might head out into the countryside with a day trip (buses, train and ferry ride) to the Isle of Arran.
For some more pics click here or go to the picture gallery.