Wednesday 22nd June Glasgow

Our train to Glasgow was scheduled for 11.10 this morning. We woke at 7-ish, still too early; but in the end got up and had our breakfast. I turned on the computer to check – again – our train for today. It is still marked as going. We managed to not go out till nearly 9am, had a little turn down the street and into the last op shop, then back to the hostel to leave. Still early; but after getting chatting to Jan and her daughter at reception, we weren't as early as all that in leaving.

We retraced our steps of yesterday to Oxenholme Station, pulling our bags; the underpass door was open, and we went up to the platform for a ½ hour wait, which became longer as the train was 15 minutes late. But at least it came!

And we were away to Glasgow, a trip of two hours, and feeling very relieved. We had a table seat; we had our thermos of coffee and our morning tea, and then I ventured to speak in Spanish, to the Spanish couple across the table. They had been looking a bit dour, but then we chatted for the next hour in both Spanish and English; they were from Alicante, and had come to their daughter's graduation; both their daughters had opted to go to University in Glasgow! So the trip went quickly.

We had brought a salad with us for lunch, and sat down to eat in in Glasgow Central Station, before going up to our hotel, the Point A. Our room was ready; it is very modern, but the room is not much larger than Kendal's tiny room. But it is very central. There are no tea making facilities, but reception will make you a tea of coffee whenever you ask.

After unpacking a bit, we went out and walked around town. Very large, with lots of impressive old buildings. We found tourist info easily – they were very helpful – and then walked. I found, at last, a down vest – something I've been looking for for months; and not significantly heavier to carry.

Back to the hotel at 5-ish. Simon Duffin & Anita Volkert, from Castlemaine, are meeting us here just after 6pm to go out to dinner together. We went out to a Thai restaurant in the former ballroom of a grand building (one of so many here) just around the corner. Lots of buddhas underneath the busts of famous composers! And we had a pleasant time till they had to suddenly leave to catch their bus home,  And we went home.

Thursday 23rd June Glasgow

Alison had had our thermoses filled with hot water, and made tea for this morning in them; and the system worked very well. But with no facilities in our little room, we went out to Cafe Wander nearby for breakfast. Porridge and French Toast. Breakfast was fine (though so big we couldn't finish it) but I was in a foul mood. Just a nothing mood.

We continued on to the Council Chambers, to go on the 10.30am tour. But – surprise, surprise! - there was the A4 notice “All tours today cancelled”. So we looked around the ground floor for a while, and went out. Up to St. Mungo's Cathedral – the oldest in the UK, and very impressive – and then to the adjacent necropolis, on a high point with good views.

From there we headed south, aiming for the People's Palace. We went past what was marked as a market on the way, but it was all shut up with no indication of when it may be open; and got to the People's Palace, to find (surprise, surprise!) that it was all entirely closed off with tall hoardings. Couldn't even see over them.

By now it was miiday, and we walked back home. My mood had improved (thank goodness.) There was a new man on reception in the hotel; we asked for a coffee, and he wanted to charge us for it! “Only free to those who have breakfast in the hotel”. But he relented when we told him we'd been told otherwise.

Coffee and some food in our room, and a lie down. I had a background headache, and Alison said she did too. Then it was out again – continuing Alison's quest for waterproof overpants in op shops, before we leave on the West Highland Way. We walked down Sauchihall St., then across a tangle of freeways into Great Western Road. Here, she asked about overpants and was presented with some, a little too large but otherwise fine, for free! We said no, and we settled on £2.00. Then at the next one she found a “Craghoppers” jacket, so now she is set.

We walked home to find a receptionist we knew from yesterday on the desk, and she made us a coffee without a problem – and gave us a doughnut each as well. What a difference from this morning!

For dinner, we went to the “Counting House”, a pub in George Square; we ate a very reasonable pub meal at an outside table in the evening light. It was very pleasant. And home to our tiny and noisy room, where there were, again, nice reception staff who filled our thermoses without a problem.

Saturday 24th June Glasgow

Tonight, we have moved to our Airbnb apartment. It is quiet, and we have more space than ever before on this trip.

But, what a day!

We began by eating breakfast in our tiny room, checking out of the Point A Hotel, and leaving our luggage there. We went down to the Council Chambers, where we had to wait for a while till it was 10am, and tickets to the 10.30 tour were handed out. To fill in the time we walked down to the Queen St. Op Shop, where Alison donated her old jacket and non-waterproof pants (but hopefully not her jumper, which has disappeared.)

The tour lasted 40 minutes. I was blown away by the building; masses of marble, just amazing! We walked back across the square and had coffee at the “Counting House”, before walking down to Central Station to meet Simon, who had arranged to rent a car for the day to show us around. We walked with him to the car rental office, picked up the car, and off we drove.

We picked up Anita outside the University where she works, then headed out of town, eastwards. First to “The Kelpies”, an huge sculpture of 2 horse heads, done to recognise the work done by tow horses on the adjacent canal. We had some lunch in the cafe, then drove on to the Falkirk Wheel. This is a huge piece of engineering, which replaced 14 locks on the canal there; a sort of huge ferris wheel which raises up to two longboats at a time the height of an 8-storey building, while using only the power needs of 8 electric kettles to do it! It is the only one of its type in the world. We saw it do its job three times. Amazing, again.

From there we walked to the Antoininian Wall, the remains of a Roman Fort and wall – like Hadrian's Wall, but further north. Only the earthworks visible now, but very interesting.

Back into Glasgow.

We picked up our bags from the hotel, and drove to the apartment. It is further out of town, apparently in a multicultural sort of area – but we haven't really seen it yet; we continued straight on to Gourock, 50km west, where they live. We had dinner at the Spinnaker Hotel, very near their flat, stopped for a whisky on the way back, and were dropped back at the apartment after 10pm. A bit tired, but a very full day.

Saturday 25th June Glasgow

I was very tired. I slept. Alison spent the night wondering about her missing jumper, and not sleeping so well. And then in the morning she realised her nice Scottish hat was also missing. Where? I was not very helpful, getting worried and downcast about it too. We rang the hotel – no sign of it there. After doing a load of washing and hanging it out, we went out; we bought a day's subway ticket and returned to the Op Shop where she'd donated her clothes yesterday; the staff were very helpful, and... she found the hat! Why, oh why, had she left it with her excess clothes? Tiredness, I suppose.

Her jumper did not turn up, but that is more minor. We at least know where they went, and the important thing is found. We celebrated with a coffee back in George square, then took the subway out to Byres Road; lots of Op Shops there; to replace the jumper. In the end, after a tour of the street, it was replaced with a down parka more my size than hers – but it will suffice well.

We found a large Waitrose Supermarket in Byres Road, and bought food for lunch and our next two dinners. Real food. Back on the subway and home for lunch, before going back into town. We had arranged to meet Simon & Anita at the MacIntosh at the Willow Tea Rooms, for afternoon tea. It was very pleasant.

We said goodbye outside, and walked to the Tenement House – a National Trust property. It was closed (not surprisingly – it was 4.30 by now). On the subway to Kelvinbridge, and we walked to Kelvingrove Gallery – closing, as it was now 5pm.

From here, we opted to walk home; via Exhibition Centre Station, from where we intend to take the train to Milngarvie on Monday morning. It was not such a nice walk – a lot of the time near a busy freeway – but we did find the station and found it took 18 minutes to walk home from there. 6pm when we got home, to relax and then de-clutter the apartment a bit.

Sunday 26th June Glasgow

This was a Sunday; we slept in, did some last washing, didn't hurry; went out at ~ 11am, to go to KelvinGrove Museum and Art Gallery. We walked back firstly via the station, but then a more direct route than yesterday; and we went in. It is quite an amazing place; an eclectic range of things; stuffed animals; Egyptian antiquities; lots of artworks; a Spitfire WW2 aeroplane hanging from the ceiling; etc., etc. We wandered around it for an hour or two; it's hard to get bored there, because if you are you just move on to a totally different section. We had our morning coffee in their cafe and then returned to look at things.

But eventually, we'd had enough. We walked down to Byres Road, where Alison bought a fleece jacket – a better replacement for the accidentally donated jumper. We had a coffee and cake at a nice Italian patisserie, and walked back. We went back into KelvinGrove, to see if the organ recital happening at 3pm was still going; it wasn't, but we walked through a part of the collection we'd missed before. Then – home.

Alison thought there may be a shortcut to home. She went to investigate, while I went home – and she didn't turn up! Lost. In the end I had to ring her; we managed to work out where she was, so she could come home.

And our bags are nearly packed for our early departure tomorrow.