Next day—up and at ‘em. Fortunately my headache was gone—and I was not about to allow it to return. Paul suggested that we stop somewhere on our way to the first place on our list – Pollok House.
As to be expected, we ended up on the wrong road again; this time we ended up in a grocery store parking lot. Not such a bad thing—we went in and bought breakfast items—and coffee. Yeah, it was Starbucks in a bottle, but I wasn’t about to be picky when it came to staving off another headache.
We got back on the road (Paul learned that sometimes roundabouts are no bigger than manhole covers), and for the most part made it without any more errors to our destination.
A bit about Pollok House, from the tour book: “Pollok House is a very special place for the National Trust for Scotland, as it is believed that the inaugural discussions about founding the conservation charity took place here in 1931. Sir John Stirling Maxwell Bt, owner of the House at the time, was a founder member of the Trust. In…1939 (he) secur(ed) the Nether Pollok estate forever ‘for the benefit of the citizens of Glasgow’.”
This area of Scotland looks almost exactly like the Pacific Northwest, and shares much of the same flora: rhododendrons, azaleas, ferns, oak trees, etc.
Pollok Estate is also a large park and pasture for Highland cattle. Walking down those paths, I could have sworn I was home. Except, of course, for the moo-critters.
I’ve seen a lot of strange animals in the Portland/Salem/Eugene area, such as emus, llamas, and even a camel or two. These guys, not so much.
The grounds around the mansion were gorgeous, even though most of the foliage was spent for the year. I could name a lot of the plants in the garden—hostas, day lilies, the aforementioned rhodies and azaleas—but there were some I didn’t recognize.
There were also some Clydesdale horses grazing in a field. Big guys! We took a lot of pictures of them—you’d think we’d never seen horses before.
We finally found the true front of the mansion—Paul had overheard a couple of ladies talking about it—so we decided to tour the inside as well.
Wow—opulent, beautiful, a fantastic library full of old books. No picture-taking allowed though. I’ll see if I can find some online (no such luck). The book we bought has a lot of nice pictures, so we have that for memories.
Soon enough, it was time to travel to our next destination (yes, we made wrong turns here too—and ended up having to go through Glasgow again): Glengoyne Distillery.
By now I think Paul was relaxing into his role as driver a bit, which is good, because I never want to do the driving here. Did it once—never again. Not if I can help it. I especially would not use this GPS system which we rented at an additonal cost. We started calling her Bitchbox Babs, and she was pretty much useless. We did finally figure out that, when she said to “turn left now”, she actually meant a block further up.
Anyway, it took a bit longer to get there than what we’d originally intended, but there was still plenty of day left. At one point, Paul hit a curb on the left, but no damage was done to the tires—thankfully. He never drove in the wrong lane the whole time we were there though, which is a feat unto itself.
We walked around the distillery grounds a little, since our tour wasn’t going to start for a while. Decided to hit the restroom before we got involved with the tour—and discovered that they had Thomas Crapper toilets! The genuine items! Of course, I had to get a picture.
The tour started out with a little taste of whisky—which wasn’t bad, although I still prefer the Irish. Lots of interesting info, with the guide (Gordon) showing us the interior workings of the place.
I don’t remember all that much about it, and once again we weren’t allowed to take pictures. Nice tour overall.
We got back to our hotel, with NO driving errors!, and had dinner at the airport (since it was across the drop-off lanes from our hotel). So nice to just walk over, instead of having to drive somewhere.
No sleep for me that night. Beer keeps me awake nowadays. Don’t know why. Guess I’ll have to switch to something else. Whisky perhaps…