Saturday, July 24
From the plane, Scotland looks how you’d picture it: Green. It’s now 9:50am Glasgow time, so like 4:50am Toronto time. No problems getting off the plane and going through customs. We exchange our money for pounds sterling at the airport, and are very dismayed at the exchange rate. For my $300, I get £149 and change. We hop in a taxi and proceed to the City Inn. It’s a little weird watching traffic move on the other side of the road, and to have the driver be on the right side of the car. He is friendly enough and shares some info with us. The room is small, but just as I pictured it. The bed is wide, and short, and we have a view of the Clyde. The Clyde runs through Glasgow, just a little off of the center of it. We get settled in our room and we head over to the Scottish Exhibition and Convention Center, where Geoff’s conference is. It’s right beside our hotel, a five-minute walk. I grab a muffin to eat for a late breakfast, and we travel back to the hotel to retrieve Geoff’s poster to put up. We return to the hotel for a short nap. The bed is very soft, and the blanket is thick and heavy. I’m out like a light. We only nap for an hour, as we’ve lost a day on our trip. It has started to rain; it starts as a scotch mist, and progressively gets harder. It eventually slows and stops. We walk up through Kelvingrove Park, which is a huge park. There is a fountain sort of in the center. It’s hard to tell where the center of the park would be. The fountain is dry. We continue to walk up to city center, Merchant City as they call it. There are tons of shops, and old buildings to admire. One of the things I’ve noticed as we walk is there is a plethora of Indian restaurants. Makes me think of Lister (Red Dwarf) who loves vin de loo and lager. We see a big group of percussionists playing in front of Buchanan Galleries, a decent size mall. We look around a bit inside, to get out of the rain, which has picked up again. The mall is way to American for me, not the feel I wanted. We leave the mall and decide to head back to the hotel, and possibly look for some place to eat. We see a cute shop, James Pringle Weavers, which sells Scottish wears and gifts. As we are about to leave the rain has gotten even worse, coming down in sheets. We hang in the store for a bit, and then decide we’re done waiting. The rain lasts maybe another 15 minutes. We don’t find anyplace we want to eat, and have a small snack on McDonald’s fries. We hope to find a pub to have dinner at, some we saw a short walk from our hotel. All the pubs we visit don’t sell food, so we’re really disappointed. Some sell food, but not for dinner. It’s a little weird to see that. Naturally, they are very smoke-filled, as it seems everyone here smokes. We settle on a very tiny Italian restaurant, it seats maybe 10. I ordered spaghetti, and Geoff has penne. I’m not feeling well, so I eat very little, and Geoff is hungry so he finishes my food. We head back to hotel, and get some sleep.