Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Scotland 2013: Glasgow, Part I

Looking down the Kelvin
It was with no small amount of trepidation that I packed my life for the next two and a half weeks up into two Ortlieb panniers and a cardboard bike box (obtained for free from Gregg's Greenlake Cycles).

Thankfully the trip from Seattle to Glasgow was relatively uneventful - baggage was checked and I found my way through security to my gate at SeaTac without any trouble. I settled into my seat only to be asked if I would be willing to sit in an exit row. On a 7+ hour flight? You bet. Even better, it was only 2/3 full, so I had plenty of room to stretch out. Sadly I'm bad at sleeping on flights, though I managed to catch a few fitful naps.

The sun was just rising as we approached Iceland. After collecting my belongings, I trooped into the airport in search of food. A bit of yogurt was enough to banish the rumblings for a bit, but I also knew it had been a long time since my last meal. I shuffled onto the next plane for a short hop to Glasgow. Again, pretty uneventful, though there was a growing sense of "Am I actually doing this?"

The pleasant view from my room
I got into Glasgow International around 10 AM. After a fairly quick trip through customs, I found my bike box on the carousel and dragged it outside. While I had thought about getting a taxi into town to find the B&B where I would be staying the night, I had entered that peculiarly lucid realm where my hunger had faded and I actually felt strangely rested. So I pulled the pieces of my bike out of the box and managed to put everything back together. Thankfully I happened to be right next to a waste collection area, so I was able to get rid of the box without any guilt. After that I saddled up and slowly rolled out of the airport - after making sure Google Maps was loaded up. It took a few false starts (especially since I hadn't adequately tightened the front brake hanger), but I found my way to the Renfrew passenger ferry, which got me to the north bank of the Clyde. Though there was a fair bit of traffic, I took the clear route of Dumbarton Road towards the center of the city. I was eventually able to duck off to a cycle path that paralleled it, but that petered out and I had to turn north along the B808 to Byres Road heading towards the university. Eventually I got onto the Great Western Road, which quickly took me across the Kelvin. It didn't take too much more effort to find the Amadeus Guesthouse.

This was, to put it mildly, a relief, since it had been roughly a day since I had last eaten a proper meal. After getting in and crashing for a bit, I went out in search of food. Thankfully I was in a great neighborhood and my Glasgow guidebook pointed me towards a rather tasty (albeit priced accordingly) Indian restaurant, Shish Mahal.

University of Glasgow
Bas relief on the engineering building

After refueling, I wandered around the neighborhood for a while, passing along the Kelvin and through the university campus. As the sun started to go down, I finally wandered back to the B&B, knowing that I had to make an early start the next morning. Auchentoshan and Arran beckoned...


  1. I'm really enjoying these posts, Jordan! I can't wait for the day I make it back to Scotland. Side note: that bas relief is fantastic!

    1. Yeah, I'm really glad I wandered around the university, if only for that bas relief. I love the way they worked in imagery from all sorts of different mythologies.