Scotland 2018: Day 1

So, Scotland again… for 2 reasons this time:
1. I had to include the U.K. in my “Year of Travel”
2. The European Gymnastics Championships (Euros) are taking place in Glasgow this week.
In fact, the Euros were my motivation for booking the trip in the first place. Even though I’m here for the gymnastics, the European Championships actually encompasses 7 different sports and includes 4,500 athletes from all across Europe.

Scotland 2018 036
Glasgow Cathedral

I decided to try connecting in Philadelphia this time on American Airlines, as opposed to British Airways through London, and though I can’t say I regret it, British Airways has a far superior flight experience and I wish I had gone with the London connection instead. Live and learn. Anyway, I arrived in Glasgow around 7AM feeling anything but bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after sleeping just a couple of hours on the plane. I took a taxi to my hotel along the River Clyde, dropped of my luggage, and set out to explore Glasgow. I walked along the river to the city centre where I feasted on French toast at Cafe Gandolfi for second breakfast (the first being coffee cake and yogurt on the plane). Next up was a stop at Provand’s Lordship, one of the oldest buildings in Glasgow (built in 1471). The inside is part restored house and part museum. Just across the street is the Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow Necropolis, modeled after Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. My legs were tired from walking after that, so I took a bus back to the hotel to check into my room.

Scotland 2018 058
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

I could have collapsed on the bed at that point, so I only stayed a few minutes before heading out to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum for an organ recital and a walk around the galleries. The exhibits are spread over three floors and include works by Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso as well as many local Scottish exhibits. The focal point at 1PM every afternoon is the 2,889-pipe organ played by a guest organist for a half hour recital. I listened for a few minutes, then wandered around the galleries for a while, but exhaustion was fast setting in. Across the street from the art gallery is Baffo Pizzeria, scene of a late lunch/very early dinner. I knew I would never make it to have another meal, so I stopped at a Tesco on my way back to the hotel and picked up some Cadbury Twirl Bites and a soda for a late afternoon “snack”. It’s only 4PM, but I’m thinking I may just head to bed and deal with it if I end up wide awake in the middle of the night. (Remind me I said that when the first sentence I write tomorrow is that I couldn’t sleep last night… 😉 )