Photo by Kris Van de Sande
It just so happens that a Belgian friend of ours is going be in Glasgow at the exact time we’re in the area. We hadn’t actually planned on going in to Glasgow, as from what we know and have seen of it, it looks like hell on earth. At first, however I’m surprisingly keen as Kris is in Scotland to see a Scottish friend of his and I figure seeing Glasgow with a Glaswegian will be pretty cool. Then I find out his friend is 18 and my enthusiasm is considerably dampened. It’s at this exact point in my life that I realise I’m an “Adult”. I remember not too long ago thinking that I still don’t feel like an adult and that if I don’t by now I probably never will. Turns out, I’m much more comfortable hanging out with a 38 year old than an 18 year, so at some point I must’ve toppled over the tipping point between adolescence and adulthood and not noticed. Things I never thought I’d think run through my mind, “She’s going to make me feel old”, “My god, did I just think that?!”.
Note to my almost 18 year old cousin, Dalaney (if you’re reading this): You don’t count as a “teenager” because you’re awesome — I’m just judging teenagers en masse.
It turns out that we won’t be site-seeing with Kris’ Scottish friend after all as she “hates Glasgow”. I find out that Kris doesn’t have anything in mind for our day in town and when he asks his friend for recommendations she suggests the “HMV”. With these new developments, I hit the Lonely Planet chapter on Glasgow and am greeted with the death knell of urban travel destinations — the city is undergoing “massive redevelopment”. We’re going to write a decryption key-code for Lonely Planet travel guides one day, if we’re ever up-to-date with our travel blogging. For the purposes of this blog post, anything along the lines of “massive redevelopment” or “undergoing a renaissance” means “this city is a shit-hole and they know it, run, run away”.
The day before we’re to meet Kris in Glasgow we get a message from him saying he’s not going to see the puffins anymore. He’s been looking forward to seeing those birds for months and as far as we can gather, they are his main reason for coming to Scotland. The reason: his 18 year old friend is too tired to drive. I grumble about “young people these days” (ok, I didn’t actually say “these days”, I’m sure they’ve been equally unreliable and horrible in other centuries too), then we get down to brainstorming with him. He needs to get over the other side of Scotland, catch a 11am ferry and get to the airport in 48 hours. Can he drive his friends car? He can’t drive. Bus or train? Won’t get him to the ferry in time. Can we drive him? We can’t make the ferry in time because of “Nettle time” (ordinary car time x 1.3). We can make the ferry the day after, but Kris’ flight leaves early that evening and there’s no way we can get back in time. Kris seems to be convinced we can, which we take a sign of desperation coupled with a lack of comprehension of “Nettle time”. That is, until Mike thinks to ask where he’s flying out from. It’s Edinburgh and not Glasgow like we’d assumed! We’ll have plenty of time to get him to the airport and if we pick him up tomorrow, we’ll have a leisurely drive down and all day the next day for puffins! Puffins kick Glasgow’s flabby, regenerating ass!
The next day we seize Kris from the clutches of the evil puffin-hating ranga who, I note, doesn’t look like she’s going to collapse from exhaustion any time soon. This detour means we’ll be doing Scotland in an anti-clockwise loop, starting on the east and heading west instead of clockwise (starting west and heading east). It’s become a time-honoured tradition that all of the plans we make crumble piteously in the face of real life, so this only seems right. Today, we’re driving across the width of the country, from Glasgow, past Edinburgh to the teeny seaside village of Upper Largo.
We have a better than average pub meal and a pint of Guiness at the local when we get there. We go for a stroll along the coast for a bit, the highlight of which is this Harry Potter house and its chimney.
Kris has brought a hard-drive with a ton of TV shows for us so we spend the night watching the first of the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes series. I’m enjoying reading the books at the moment, I loved the movie and the TV show is stupidly good. Never would’ve pegged myself for a Sherlock Holmes fan.