Around the world in 15 days (part 4: city living)

Friday

We woke early to get everything in order for the day. We brought everything downstairs and packed up the car before returning to the hotel for a leisurely breakfast. After that, we checked out and drove the few minutes to the ferry terminal.

As before, it was easy enough to get our tickets scanned, into line, and onto the ferry for the 2.5 hour trip back to Kennacraig. The ride was as smooth as before, though unfortunately the weather made it impossible to get any decent pictures. We kept trying to glimpse the coastline of Islay but only saw bits and pieces, so we sat back with our reading instead.

After disembarking, we drove to Tarbert and had lunch at a restaurant called Starfish. Virginia had found it somehow, and it turned out this was their first open day of the season. After dining on prawns, a scallop Scotch egg, and monkfish (with a fennel-potato gratin for me) we drove on to Glasgow,

We arrived in Glasgow in late afternoon. Thankfully traffic wasn’t too bad and we were able to park the car without too much trouble. We checked in at our hotel (the Hotel Indigo Glasgow) and then dealt with our first priority: securely packing the whisky we’d purchased over the week for the trip home. We found a shop nearby and managed to get there before they closed. One large box and several meters of bubble wrap later, we were all set.

In all our planning for the trip, we’d neglected to figure out dinner in Glasgow. We scrambled a bit on our phones and found an Indian spot – Charcoals – nearby. It turned out to be exactly what we wanted and everything was excellent.

Saturday

We got moving early to return the car, which was even easier than we’d expected. Happily freed from driving, we walked to Riverhill Coffee Bar to get our first coffee of the day and something to eat. It turned out to be a great pick (friendly people, good food and coffee), and we mapped out our day as we ate.

We then walked west out of downtown toward the University of Glasgow campus. We stopped at The Steamie’s cafe for coffee, managing to even get a seat in their snug space. Thanking the staff, we moved on to our first destination: The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It’s a beautiful building, free to the public, and has a wonderful collection. They also had a special exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci’s notebook sketches that we made a point of visiting.

We walked up through the university campus to our only planned destination. Òran Mór is the home of A Play, a Pie, and A Pint, a lunchtime event since 2004. We got our pints and pies and settled in to watch The Scurvy Ridden Whale Men, a short play set in a coastal village. After the play finished, we filed out and walked back down the street to Loop and Scoop for dessert (gelato, churros, and coffee). We started walking back toward the hotel when it started to rain, so more coffee! It eventually cleared and we resumed our walk, which we then quickly interrupted to visit Caledonia Books.

We finally made it back to the hotel to fill out our VAT refund forms and start packing. We also figured out dinner, which we had at the Grill Room on the Square. It definitely had that old-school club/steakhouse feel. We shared haggis spring rolls, châteaubriand, mashed potatoes, and vegetables with a Chateau Mont-Redon Châteauneuf du Pape 2014, followed by tiramisu with port. Afterwards we strolled back to the hotel and finished our evening.

Sunday

Time to go home. We were up early and in a taxi at 6:30am. Because of the early hour, we checked our bags and dropped off our VAT refund forms in plenty of time to visit the lounge and have some breakfast. Our plan was a little delayed leaving Glasgow, making our connection at Heathrow tighter than was comfortable. But we made it and had an uneventful flight to Chicago.

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