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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 7 and 8: Behold Scotland

This time I am putting two days together in to one for this entry, because they were much more laid back than what we were used to in London. In fact, our beds were so comfortable that I found myself drawn to the sheets almost the instant I sat down inside. Here, in Glasgow, we are staying at a 5-star hotel near downtown. Of course, as I was finally able to sleep in as long as I wanted, I took full advantage of the opportunity!

What did transpire the past two days had a lot to do with vehicles, I can tell you that. First there was the flight to Glasgow, which I was on while writing my last entry. Then, there was also a taxi (of which we could barely understand the words coming from our kind driver, unfortunately), a hop-on and hop-off bus, and a rental car. I'll start from the top.

The plane ride seemed decently short enough but there was a baby in front of me, and that's rarely fun. Either the baby is too whiney or the parents are too dotey. Second was the taxi, with a man who was helpful but not as much as he intended to be, as his message was often lost in translation because of the heavy Glaswegian accent. Third was the bus tour, which took 1.2 hours roughly, and by the end of the tour the best comparion I could make was to liken Glasgow to a small city, like Red Deer, mixed with London or Calgary. The statues of historical figures had poop on their heads, it was pretty funny -- like they were wearing a white wig, haha. However, I think what stood out the most for me was the Glasgow University. It was quite pretty, and nestled alongside a small forest and the river Clyde. Lastly was the rental car, and let's just say Uncle D is doing a great job but so far he's backed in to a bush and ran up the curb on more than a few occasions!
This night we are staying in Inverary! It's a pleasant little castletown along a loch, and nestled in the highlands.

As far as food goes, no haggis yet. I passed on trying my hand at blood pudding, too, in favor of some fresh haddock and chips. Uncle D and Aunty L approved of the fish here. While we were in Glasgow we ate Italian and Chinese. I whipped out the Cantonese a bit while at the Chinese restaurant but no one seemed too enthusiastic at that, and they seemed pretty rooted in English/Scottish anyway. The Italian restaurant was called Amalfi, but while it was tasty it wasn't actually run by Italians. It was nice to see Italian food done nice by non-Italian people. Our Georgian waitress was very nice and talkative/entertaining.

Now that we are in Inverary, we checked out the jail and Kirstie and I felt a very strong overhanging sensation that there was more than just us there. People were kept in that prison in horrible conditions -- the crazies were kept in the same place as the other offenders, so imagine being in a dark damp room with 3 other people, listening to the wails of the mentally insane. Children, adults, and the old were all kept there until their punishment or release. Some punishments consisted of death or dismemberment. Quite spooky. Inverary itself is quite quaint and pretty, though. But for the crimes committed in the past, in one instance, a man was accused of beastiality and both he and the white horse he gallavanted with were killed for their crime. In another, a variety of women were accused of the 'disgusting act of infidelity' and cheating on their husbands. Of course they were the ones who were punished -- it was hardly ever the fault of another man pushing himself on the woman, right? Right.

Also, saving the best for last, we had yet another experience with the UK electricity systems. Kirstie and I were enjoying our new favorite show called 'Take me Out', and all of a sudden we heard a pop. I looked over and there was Aunty Liia standing in a plume of dastardly smelling smoke! I rushed over to help but the smell was unbearable and we just let the apartment burn down instead. No, just kidding. We gave the broken instrument to the front desk man. Sadly our dependable Chi hair straightener suffered a similar fate. The lesson this time: pay better attention tot he lessons you learned before!

And the last golden nugget, our 5 star hotel had a waterline malfuntion the morning we had to pack and leave. Luckily we had drinking water in the fridge and we'd already done the laundry... but Aunty L and I were talking about how to use the loo. So, KP went pee in the shower to save the toilets... haha. But we didn't heed our own advice, and ended up using the toilets anyway. KP's efforts (and sacrifice) are not forgotten, though. Our European trip now has new connotations for her: 'Ur a Peein' -- in the shower!!

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