I was in Glasgow last Sunday – Wednesday morning. I stayed with friend Al & her hubby Allan – saw castle ruins, a hunting lodge, deep, dark forest, a farmhouse turned restaurant/pub, their lovely home, and Shelley the cat! It was fun commuting in and out of Glasgow via train with Allan, and thank goodness he was with me when the train failed at one stop and they said “get off; we aren’t going anywhere” – a signal problem apparently. He called Al to come pick us up while we watched the mad scramble of other passengers making similar arrangements or queuing for the bus line across the street. I had no idea how far we were from anything – ‘course I would’ve been on the phone to Al, but if this happened elsewhere on my travels I could just picture it… “Al, pull up google maps and tell me where I am… check transport options… bus nearby? how do I get back ‘home’? taxi? turn left? there’s no street called that… there’s a roundabout with 5 arms, which way do I go…”
So… Glasgow meeting with Tony K. and members of his staff was successful. I played tourist on Tuesday and saw Kelvingrove, the Glasgow Cathedral, and Provand’s Lordship. On to Stirling on Wednesday. B&B was about 3 blocks from the train though google maps failed me this time. I tried to take a taxi and the guy at the taxi stand said he wouldn’t drive me ‘cos it was so close. He gave me walking directions and ta-daa…. another old lovely home, up a winding stone stairwell. Room was nice. Mattress a bit soft. Otherwise comfortable and so very convenient. The university WAS a taxi drive (or bus if I’d had time to study schedules) and in a gorgeous location. Of course, I think all the Scottish countryside is gorgeous, but the staff I talked to had offices looking out over a park-like setting with lake, mountains, ducks, and green space.
I’d booked 2 nights in Stirling, intending to do my sightseeing on Thursday, but the folks at U of Edinburgh asked to move our meeting from Friday to Thursday. Since the two cities are less than an hour apart by train, I stayed that 2nd night in Stirling – much, much cheaper than accommodations in Edinburgh – and commuted into Edinburgh on Thursday and met up for lunch with my contact before meetings began.
Friday I waited on pins & needles to hear that oldest son Joel’s flight had arrived at Gatwick from FL – the ban on flights had just been lifted on Wednesday (or late Tues?) and we still weren’t sure if all flights would be on schedule. Then he had to find his way to Kings Cross to meet up with Jenny. He hadn’t activated international calling on his phone – I think that was the one thing we forgot to tell him! I’d suggested they meet at the ticket office but he got a bit lost, wandered around a bit – but all is well. Got a text message from Jen shortly after 9am – they found each other. Whew.
They trained up, stopping in York on the way, while I explored Stirling Castle in the rain. Can’t complain. The weather has been gorgeous the last 2+ weeks. Headed back to the B&B around 2ish, grabbed my bags and headed for the train. Waited to hear from the kids at The Elephant House… soaked in the atmosphere, wrote a few hundred words of fic… kids arrived around 6.
Tale of the hostel next…