This entry is brought to you with courtesy of the Belgrave Hotel, Glasgow, which provides computers and free internet access in every room. At least I think it’s in every room. There is one in my room anyway. But its keyboard is a nuisance, because some keys have to be pressed very firmly, which slows down typing quite a bit. I decided to try an update anyway as long as I have internet so easy available.
The trip by train to London last Friday didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped, but for once this was no fault of German Rail, but due to some track problems in Belgium. I freaked out a bit, when it was clear, that I’d miss the EuroStar train I was booked for. But it was no problem at all to take the next one, and I wasn’t the only passenger headed to London on the delayed train. So I got there an hour later as planned, but I got there after all :-)
And my first thing was to buy an Oyster Card for the tube and busses. Whoever invented that thing should get a medal, because it’s so much easier to use than the Travelcard. My hotel wasn’t close to the city center, which I didn’t mind. What I did mind, that I happen to get a room on the groundfloor, next to the 24 hour reception and on a rather loud street. Even with earplugs I obviously didn’t sleep too well, because I was pretty exhausted after four nights. Thank God this hotel in Glasgow is located in a rather quiet neighbourhood.
This keyboard is such a nuisance *sigh* I will have to cut this entry much shorter, I’m afraid. In short telegraphic style: in London I checked out the Great Hall of the British Museum, did a tour of the British Library, saw “We Will Rock You” (great musical), visited the National Portrait Gallery, did a London Walk about the London that inspired Harry Potter (can’t really recommend that one), saw the Comedystore Players at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park (and had such a awesome time), visited the Science Museum, met friends for a drink and between all that spend quite some time in various parks and Starbucks buried in a book. (I get to that later *g*).
On Tuesday I got on a train again headed for Glasgow. According to a friend there isn’t much to look at, as far as she remembers it from a previous trip and I have to agree with her :-). Maybe it’s just my impression after spending a few days in London, but Glasgow city center doesn’t really look that interesting. I strolled around a bit on Tuesday and spent some time (reading, again *g*) in the nice Botanical Gardens near my hotel. Yesterday I took the train to New Lanark, which is a restorated industrial complex from the 19th century and a world heritage site. Located on the river of Clyde, where there also the Falls of Clyde, which I walked to as well. Today I got my first taste of the Highlands during a one-day-tour with a travel company. We visited Loch Lomond, drove through the Trossachs and visited Stirling Castle and I really enjoyed the trip. There definitely are a lot of different shades of green in the Highlands :-) Tomorrow I will visited some of the museums and architectural sights in Glasgow, before I will leave for the 5-days-tour of the highlands on Saturday.
The weather so far has been great, warm and sunny, which I have to admit was a bit surprising after the forecasts I saw just a few days ago. But I’m not complaining :-). I’m surprised that I have no big problems understanding the Scots so far. I sometimes have to ask them to repeat what they said, but basically I understand them pretty well. During the tour today I had my first real (and longer) conversations in English and both times I was complimented on my English. I guess all the US TV series and movies and novels in English are paying off…
Talking about novels: On the train to London I started with the first book of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which I bought almost two years ago and never got around to read. But as it’s situated in Scotland I took it with me and what can I say… I love it. I love the whole idea (accidental time travel, rebellious highlanders etc.) and the main couple – Claire and Jamie – have just captured my heart, so to speak. I finished the first book yesterday and bought the second one immediately. And that’s where I will return to after I will have posted this. When I can finally turn off the TV which is on in the background to provide some noise. But now “America’s got talent” is on and getting on my nerves.
There is so much more to tell, but this will have to wait until I get my hands on a decent keyboard…