Ok I promise there is no whisky in today’s update (Though there were Whisky Shops in both Inverness and Glasgow. I can’t get away from it) but there is beer.
I was happy to leave party hostel early this morning for what would be a very long travel day. I didn’t particularly mind making enough noise to make the couple awkwardly trying to have drunk-yet-silent sex (hint: that’s impossible kids) even more awkward.
I was really looking forward to snow in Inverness, but it seems that area is too temperate to keep snow the way the rest of the highlands seemed to. Inverness is an incredibly charming mix of old architecture with well integrated shops. I shamefully admit I was expecting, and somewhat hoping for, some sort of barren tundra with hardened rural people (Siberia, I guess), but what I got seemed just a modest sized, incredibly charming town. I do very much want to come back here and stay for more than the two hours I was there.
Then it was back to Perth to a connecting train to Glasgow.
No one I have talked to bad mouthed Glasgow, nor were they very kind to the place, most politely saying something to the effect that it is “rough”, which brings to mind my memory of Naples, Italy. If it was comparable to Naples, in this regard, I knew the impolite description of the place might sound like “It scared the crap out of me.”
What I actually experienced on arrival was more of a sooty Madrid, a massive city that I happened to be coming into right at the beginning of rush hour, which meant that as soon as I stepped out of the station and into the merchant’s area, there were more and more people by the second coming through.
That’s when I had a bit of a meltdown, it seems.
I am not used to this sort of travel, but my wife has done it quite a bit, and told me before I left that it can be a beating, and she is right. Different beds every night in varying quality establishments, carrying 30-40 pounds on my back while wearing very new, very unforgiving military boots have been wearing me down some this week. It’s great for my waistline, and my body can take it, but when I discovered there was, in fact, no sleeper to Cardiff (A miscommunication, I should have gone to London then taken an AM train to Cardiff). The prospect of staying in Glasgow (something I had not planned on doing and had no contingency plan for) seemed terrible to me. I walked around for more than an hour just trying to find a place with internet, ordered a beer at Europa Bar because they claimed to have internet.
They did not.
Ordered another beer at ANOTHER bar after the girl at Cafe Nero said it had internet, and for the first ten minutes there was no internet until it magically started working. At this point, mind you, I am two beers in, and after not drinking at all in the month of January and most of December, I apparently became quite a lightweight. I digress…
Talked to my wife online, where I told her I was taking a sleeper to London, then the next day up to Birmingham and was just going to relax there and get ready for Sunday’s Race. I was in full-on pout mode, throwing up my hands at a couple of roadblocks. Christine calmed me down though, thankfully. Encouraged me to pay the extra for a private room at a hostel near Central Station.
I am smart enough at this point to take the wife’s advice. I don’t love spending extra money (I’m a cheapskate) but it was absolutely what I needed. Just a nice, quiet place to myself.
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I did not do justice to Glasgow, which I think could have been quite an awesome little trip if I had more time and wasn’t complaining like a toddler through half of it. It’s a truly beautiful place from the little I saw, and I would love to make it back there sometime.
Somebody in Glasgow is quite the little prankster.