Our Scotland Odyssey: Day 1

Here’s a bit of fun: take two otherwise reasonable people, make them stay awake for thirty hours, and deprive them of caffeine. Then stick them in a car with all the controls on the opposite side of what they’re used to, make them drive on the opposite side of the road, and give them a GPS system that insists on changing destinations on them. Oh yeah—also send them into a big city full of rush-hour traffic, endless roundabouts, and no parking to be seen


Much hilarity ensues. Either that or a double homicide.

Such were our first few hours in Scotland. But I get ahead of myself.

Daughter Meg drove us to the airport at a surprisingly realistic time of day; meaning to say that, for once, we did NOT leave at “you’re-kidding” o’clock in the morning.

We had lunch/dinner and beer at Laurelwood Pub in the airport, then flew to Seattle, where we waited a short time for the second leg of the flight—over Greenland to Reykjavik, Iceland.

Entertainment system in the back of the chair in front of me—yay! No one sitting beside us—yay! Not feeling the least bit sleepy as day rapidly turned to night while we headed east—not so great.

I occupied myself by watching three movies (“Blade”, “The Bridge to Terebithia”, and “Larry Crowne”), reading, and doing puzzles. Good thing I bought some sound-cancelling ear protectors—with those over the earbuds, it was possible for me to hear and understand what was being said in the movies.

My eyelids were just starting to get droopy when they announced that we were landing soon. Phooey.

We touched down at 6am-ish Iceland time, so we saw nothing in the dark. No walkway chutes to greet us; we had to get off the plane and walk to a shuttle bus—which wasn’t so bad, really. It wasn’t terribly cold.

There wasn’t much of a layover, so we had a small snack and got on our plane. Still wasn’t much to see outside—it was just getting light.

When the pilot said the airport crew had to de-ice the wings, well, that was a surprise! I looked out the window—yep, ice! It hadn’t felt that cold. The ice was hitting the windows too, and soon we couldn’t see outside. But it all disappeared once we cleared the ground, and soon enough we were touching down in Glasgow.

Once we picked up our rental car, it took us four circuits around the general area before we could actually get to our hotel, which was about a quarter mile from the car rental area. Honestly, we should have just left the car in the there and walked to the hotel. What a fiasco! New to the streets, we were having a heck of a time figuring out the roundabouts. I am SO glad I didn’t have to drive this time! Frustrating hardly covers how we felt.

And then we had to pay to park at the hotel!

By the time we finally got parked, signed in, and into our room, all I wanted to do was sleep.

The room we had was a good-sized one—the bathroom even bigger. This was a room for someone in a wheelchair, which was obvious from the emergency pull cords in the bathroom. We were nervous about those—what if we pulled them by accident??

A note about toilets in Scotland: most I’ve seen here have had a bowl deep enough to stand a Chihuahua in, and just its head would be poking up over the top. I kid you not. Great acoustics…

And every place we stayed—towel warmers. I’ve never seen those anywhere else. That was unexpected.


Anyway—Paul wanted to kill two birds with one stone—get to the Hard Rock Café so I could get my shirt, and have dinner. Hungry won out over tired, so I agreed.

Oh man—driving in downtown Glasgow will give you religion. Good grief, what a place! Unlike Portland, which Glasgow sort of felt like, parking areas are few and far between. And expensive when you do find them.


After finally finding parking (excuse the holes in the car’s upholstery—that’s just us losing our minds), we had little trouble finding the Café.

p1070086 p1070083

The GPS kept trying to get us to turn down roads the wrong way because our goal wasn’t located on a driving road—the area had been converted to a walking mall, and no had told the GPS this little fact.


Dinner, beer, purchase shirt, get lost on return to hotel (about three times).

Once we got settled back in our room, I conked out and hoped to not open my eyes again until daylight. I had a caffeine-deprivation headache, and just wanted to sleep it off.

No such luck. The toilet, which had been making weird gurgling sounds, finally gave up the ghost for good. Paul woke me with the news; I was really hoping it was early morning—but no, it was 11pm.


We ended up having to move to another room—fortunately, it was right across the hallway. I dropped into our new bed, and hoped that I could get back to sleep.

And I did—seven hours straight. It was wonderful.

(I promise–this will get better…)

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2 Responses to Our Scotland Odyssey: Day 1

  1. cherimem says:

    Driving in downtown Glasgow is something else. We picked up our motorhome in a suburb of Glasgow and after 24 hours of no sleep, I got us out of town and up the A82 to the head of Loch Lomond where we finally found a campground and crashed. I know that mall area. We either took the bus, a taxi or walked around Glasgow. I do love that town. Eagerly waiting to hear more of your trip.

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