Have you ever shown up at the airport drunk? What about on a Wednesday afternoon, alone, in a foreign country? There I was, wandering around Glasgow’s airport in search of my terminal, asking people idiotic questions like, “Where’s the bathroom?” while standing a few feet away from one, thinking I wonder if they can tell I’m American…
(Yes. Yes, they sure as hell could tell I was an American.)
The day I left London to spend some time with James in Glasgow, I met an English guy in a nondescript pub near Victoria Station, drank a few too many ciders, decided it was appropriate to kiss him in front of everyone at the train platform, got on the plane to Scotland and plopped down smiling at my burly seatmate, who had the thickest Scottish accent I had ever heard. It was a good day.
As I sobered up, we descended into Scotland. My previous trips had been by train; the greenery of Scotland from the sky was captivating:
This was my third trip to Scotland, and each time I’ve found that I’m surprised by the utter friendliness of the people. London will forever be my first true travel love, but the English ain’t got nothing on the Scots when it comes to hospitality and warmth and general geniality. My cab driver chatted me up for the entirety of the ride from the airport to James’ flat, sharing stories of his 1970s road trips around America and his brother who lived in Michigan and how much he just loves, loves, loves his dear old Scotland — especially Glasgow.
We arrived at 76 Thornwood Avenue (an address I somehow still remember after a year’s worth of letters and cards to my pally), and James greeted me with homemade salmon, roasted brussel sprouts, peach champagne, and his own rendition of sweet potato dumplings — this was just days after our trip to Prague and we were still reeling from the magic of the place.
James was finishing up his masters’ degree at the University of Glasgow, so I took advantage of being on the right side of the pond and let him tour me around for a few days before heading back home. Scotland only ever gets more beautiful, more breathtaking, more green and welcoming and refreshing. It being my first time in Glasgow, he took me to the university, one his favorite bars, Brew Dog (has anyone else gotten addicted to the show?), through parks and shopping streets and cathedrals.
Again, I regret not bringing the ole DSLR. Clunky, but would have been worth it. I guess I’ll just have to go back to Glasgow another time with the big camera… GOSH DARN IT.
We sat here for awhile and contemplated life.Haggis burgers. Only in Scotland…!Brew Dog. Such an awesome place! And since we went during the afternoon on a weekday, it was essentially empty (aside from a few moms having some beers while their babies ran around and ate off the tables. Oh the Scots.)
This trip to Glasgow only reaffirmed how much more of Scotland is left to experience. On my previous trips to Edinburgh and St. Andrews, I saw a classier, more sophisticated side of the country – it was all royalty and architecture and men in kilts. Glasgow was grunge and grit and soul. Next stop: I think it’s time for the Highlands and the northern islands!
Have you been to Glasgow? What did you like about it?