Slow Starts

Adjusting to time jumps takes discipline. The first night, I woke up in the middle for 3 hours. The second night, I woke up ridiculously early. The third night, I couldn’t fall asleep forever… but then I slept fine.

So far in Edinburgh, we’ve walked along Princes Street and through the gardens. The gardens has the best playground I have EVER seen. We also walked through New Town, but only to go to the Emma Bridgewater shop… Definitely going to be going back there! Today, we spent hours in the Edinburgh Castle. Bit touristy, but the view, buildings, and the museums were first-rate. Wandered a bit through Old Town, bought the requisite wool tartan scarf, and dined on Victoria street. Taking the bus helps with the tiredness at the end of the day, and the perspective from the above is much better even than walking on the street.

My mum and I took a day trip to Glasgow on the train, only 45 and 4.5 pounds each way. We planned to immerse ourselves in the legacy of Charles Macintosh. He’s the better and less weird somewhat contemporary of Frank Lloyd Wright over here. And what a different city Glasgow is from Edinburgh! The subway system makes it very accessible but everything feels a little less central and walkable. It’s newer (if the 1970’s count as new) and more industrial. We had a lovely day: started out with tea at the Buchanan Street Tea Rooms, strolled by the Sauchiehall (pronounced saushiehole, and said quite fast) Tea Rooms, and then headed on to the Glasgow School of Art. All are Macintosh designs, and just exquisite.

We took the Subway over to the botanical gardens. They were not huge or excessively well-maintained, but the Victorian glass house was pleasing and the flower beds were nice. I’d never been in a glass house before. The one in San Francisco was closed when I was growing up, and I only ever walked by it on my way to the De Young Museum. In Glasgow, many of the plants inside the glasshouse actually grow in California and we had them in the garden when I was growing up. Familiar faces then.. and funny to come all this way for that. The park, however, was huge! Walking trails spanning both sides of the rusty and rushing river Kelvin. Remains of a torn out railway, several bridges, fishermen, lovely old trees… The mud smells different here in Scotland. Like B.O. and chocolate.

The sun came out in Glasgow, and the train ride back was glorious. There was a huge social housing estate in east Glasgow in the midst of being torn down. We passed quaint railroad suburbs with lots of footie fields for wee folks. The sun came out again today, and it looks like that will be the case all weekend! Perfect, as well might head down to Hadrian’s Wall in a car tomorrow. Having some Ovaltine and an oatcake, aye, then to bed.

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