Scotland 2007

Day 3 - From Inverness to Glasgow

weather: mostly overcast, then sunny

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View from the Breakfast Room, Alamo Guest House, Glasgow
View from the Breakfast Room, Alamo Guest House, …
The latest time we can have breakfast is at 8:30. As the alarm clock goes off I manage to slip into the bathroom, since one of the Italian guys has forgotten to bring a towel and kindly agrees to surrender the key for two minutes. I have trouble waking my friend who is totally conked out, but I succeed on my second attempt. We turn out to be late for breakfast, because some woman is hogging the bathroom for half an hour - that Italian party is quite big. After breakfast I manage to sweet-talk one of them into surrendering the bathroom key again, so we can have a quick wash-up. After packing, we call up our base camp and they come to pick us up and drive us to the bus station. Our would-have-been landlord can't believe his ears as we tell him the story of our mishaps the previous day, and he apologizes again for the double booking. The B&Bs we stayed at were more expensive than the one we booked, so he makes up for the difference.

We're booked on the 11:55 bus to Glasgow and we still have about an hour, so we settle at the station's café for tea and water and a little chat. One of my friends from the Gaelic Learner's Corner recognizes us and comes over for a quick chat. We speak English though because we're not alone, so the only Gaelic words we exchange are a quick "Chì mi thu!" before we have to leave. It's time to get on the bus and off we go through Perth towards Glasgow, with the countryside around us getting steadily flatter. I finally find some time to relax and unwind, to finally reflect and savour the moment and the concert. It settles around me like a warm glow while we pass through the mountains, which come in all hues and violets and reds and greens.

The bus is on time, so we reach Buchanan Bus Station at 15:50. The taxis in Glasgow look quite old-fashioned, which makes them instantly recognizable. As expected, we hit our first linguistic problems, since we don't speak Glaswegian. We name our destination and we think the driver is asking us if it's Kelvinside, which we confirm. What he actually does ask is if it's Kelvingrove Street. Luckily, that's on the way to our destination anyway, just a few streets over. We probably should just have said "Alamo Guest House", but he doesn't understand me on my first attempt on that either.

Breakfast Room, Alamo Guest House, Glasgow
Breakfast Room, Alamo Guest House, Glasgow
Our B&B is beautifully located, just off Kelvingrove Park. It's a Victorian house. Luckily, the owner speaks a very clear English, so no communication problems there. As he shows us around the premises we ooh and aah at the view from the breakfast room where we get a clear view of the University of Glasgow, and above all the colourful Victorian ceiling! He informs us that he spent three months on his back painting it. There is old furniture, carpets and mirrors all around, clearly arranged with love. And there's a huge communal bathtub which my friend inaugurates while I try out the en-suite digital shower with the massage head. Pure bliss!

At the Alamo B&B
At the Alamo B&B
We pick a curry shop from our travel guide to have dinner in, and cut through Kelvingrove Park past the South end of the university. After a few wrong turns, we finally do manage to find Ashton Lane. However, the place happens to be too noisy for the likes of us in our exhausted state, so we walk down Byres Road until we hit a pub called Tennent's, and choose a table. It is full of little sayings; above the bar is inscribed: "The easiest way to make ends meet is to get off your own".

As is customary in British pubs, I walk up to the bar to place and pay for our order, then sit back down at our table. The waitress then informs me that the lasagne I ordered isn't available. So, I pick something else from the menu - fortunately, I'm a quick chooser - which they ran out of as well, so sorry! I try my hand at a bit of Scottish humour: "What do you have?" She asks me if having tagliatelli with my garlic bread would be fine, which it is. And she brings us a bowl of the obligatory chips with our dinner, which we only manage to nibble at due to the late hour. They're very good though!

After dinner, my friend decides to have that beer after all, and boldly walks up to the bar. I see her ending up with two beers and having a discussion with the barmaid. As it turns out, we have another linguistic calamity at our hands. She ordered "A Guinness ... and a small one" and everybody understood what she wanted - except, of course, the barmaid who gave her exactly what she asked for: a pint and a half-pint!

The fat cat - this is actually a flattering picture!
The fat cat - this is actually a flattering …
Back at the B&B, my travel companion almost trips over the fat cat, which I promptly nickname Blob. We contribute even further to its pampered state by copious scratching behind the ears. We find out later that his name is actually Flash!
Last edited: 9 November 2007 11:35:19