kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

kayaking on Loch Leven near Glencoe, Scotland, 2018

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Scotland -- Part 1

Bob, Eric, and me in front of University of Glasgow

We went to Scotland this past September to help usher our son Eric into the next chapter of his life -- graduate school at the University of Glasgow. (Andrew was not able to accompany us due to school.) We flew from Houston to Manchester, England, (and may I say, we were more than happy with the excellent service on Singapore Airlines), and from there, a moor-jumper into Edinburgh (pronounced Edin-brah, we learned.) Highlights of our time there included the Haymarket District, Old Town, the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, and St. Giles' Cathedral.

Nicholson's Irish Pub

Great beer in Scotland

The average high temperature in Scotland is 51 degrees. It rains approx 200 days a year, and even when not raining, it is often overcast. 

To counter the gloom, you see lots of flowers and red doors.

At a kilt shop. The man purse is called a sporan.


We spent barely a day in this enchanting town, and then on to Glasgow via train. Eric was on orientation the week we were there and had several events he needed to attend, so our adventures were limited to the city, but there is more than enough to see and do in this fascinating metropolis where old world collides with contemporary, a colorful mash-up of cultures, food, and languages.

 University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 and is the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world.

This part of campus is called the cloisters.

One of two main lawns.

Murals abound in Glasgow.

Botanical Gardens

Eric walks through this . . . 

or along the River Kelvin every day on his way to campus. Nice, huh!

Outside of City Chambers -- their courthouse.

Inside of City Chambers. All so ornate!

Old World meets contemporary.

Random door.

This was once a church but has been re-purposed as a pub called the Oran Mor, home of A Play, a Pie, and a Pint, held weekdays at lunchtime.

These are a few of my observations while visiting Scotland:

  • The people there are super friendly.
  • Despite that fact that we speak the same language, I barely understood a word they said.
  • Very few toilets work properly (based on my limited experience.)
  • Sunshine is rare, but so appreciated when it peeks through the clouds.
  • Their public transportation system is fabulous. No need for a car. Within the week, we traveled on a plane, a bus, two taxis, a train, a tram, and the Glasgow subway.
  • There are NO water fountains, ie the drinking kind, anywhere. Not even in the airports. ?? That baffled me. 
  • Very few public restrooms have paper towels. Which could be related to the fact that they are... 
  • very environmentally friendly. They are big on recycling, give incentives for people to bring their own bags for groceries, use public transportation, have water savers on all facets, etc.

This trip was but a mere introduction to Scotland. We plan to revisit next August to celebrate Eric's graduation, as well as enjoy a bona fide family vacation. Andrew included.

Please forgive me is this post is a wee bit late. And never mind it's been a year since my last post. I'll refrain from excuses.