Start of our Adventure

Trip Start Jul 31, 2011
Trip End Aug 19, 2011

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Flag of United Kingdom  , Scotland,
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We left Taos Saturday afternoon just when the rains have decided to pay us a visit. We've been waiting for the cool rains for months, now.  Friday, it rained on and off most of the day.  I’ve learned to appreciate the rare grey skies in New Mexico and the even rarer rainy day.  I got a Thai massage Friday afternoon and there’s nothing like hearing the syncopated patter of huge, cold, refreshing drops of rain hitting sky lights and windows as you’re being manipulated like a gumby figure.  I awoke myself 3 or 4 times with a grunting snore!

So by the time we got to Albuquerque we were so tired that we just couldn’t muster up the energy to go to Albert’s birthday/going away party.  Sorry, Albert….we would have made ghastly soiree guests.  Aside from the bags under my eyes, I think I would have scared your other guests with my cranky attitude!

We got to bed hoping to get a restful sleep in preparation for our 14 hr travel day…..and that we did!  I repacked and ended up with two shopping bags of stuff I took out of my very large suitcase… weighed in at the airport at exactly 50 lbs!  Whew!  But before there we had an adrenaline-producing incident.  I woke up early and started to repack while Paul meditated.  And my passport was nowhere to be found.  We both recall that I had asked about passports in the garage at home….and we both recalled that I had pulled it out and made sure it was my newest one.  But from that moment on I couldn’t recall where I had put it.  I remembered opening my car to grab my sunglasses (we were driving Paul’s to Albuquerque).  I had a dreadful thought that maybe I had laid it down in the passenger seat.  We checked all my luggage and nothing.  Paul went down to check the car while I took a shower all the time trying hard to not freak out.  When Paul returned he had bad nrews….no passport.  I started to think about plan B….driving back to Taos and rescheduling my flight for tomorrow.  I figured Paul and Anne could fly ahead of me.  At that moment Paul looks at the shopping bag that I was going to leave in the car and there’s my passport!!!  Yikes, this is so unlike me.  Hope it isn’t a sign of things to come.

We made our way downstairs to get our shuttle to the airport and as we walked outside, the skies were pregnant with the promise of rain.  Huge, puffy, dark purple-ish clouds loiter about the expansive Albuquerque sky.  As the sun creeps from behind the mountain it immediately hides behind the skirts of a billowy cloud….and in the distance a beautiful, vibrant rainbow announces the beginning of our day!

Only thing that could put icing on that cake would be an upgrade to 1st class…..I see a flight attendant coming my way….YES!  (How spoiled am I?!)

Another upgrade from Houston to Newark really spoiled me (the 777 had seats that reclined completely into a bed!).  And then there was the trip from Newark to Glasgow…..we sat in the row right in front of the exit row.  Now, if you fly enough you know NEVER to take those seats because they don’t recline…..AT ALL.  Luckily, it was a short 6 hours from Newark to Glasgow.  So it got dark quickly and within about 4 hrs it was getting light again.

Not much sleep for any of the 3 of us going across the water, but it was a relatively short 6 hr flight.  We actually arrived in pretty good shape.  A quick shower and we were up and ready to walk around the town. 

We stayed at the Thistle Hotel—a great 1st night hotel in a great location.  It’s a great way to ease into a new country and a new time zone.

We walked around a bit getting our bearnings and we found a nice coffee shop for a quick coffee and breakfast.

From there we headed for the Glasgow Cathedral.  It is a beautiful medieval structure.  As we understand one of the few Catholic churches that was not destroyed after the reformation.  It’s quite the impressive structure to see from a distance.  I loved one of the gargoyles.  But the most impressive was the interior of the cathedral.  One of the stained glass windows was pretty fantastic with Adam and Eve and the story of creation from Genesis.  The second was the wood ceiling.  I’m attaching the photos.

We had dinner at The Butterfly and The Pig….a whimsical restaurant…..well the food wasn’t as whimsical as the descriptions for their food.  The food was the delicious, the menu entertaining, the space comfortable and the prices very reasonable.  By the time we were finished it was about a quarter after 9 and the sun had just barely set.  In the distance the clouds were parting just about where the sun had just set.

This morning we made it to the car rental place and it’s been quite the mental challenge all day.  Not only am I driving on the left side of the road, but the steering wheel is in the opposite side of the car AND I’m driving a standard transmission which also has the gears on the left side.  I have yet to get used to it.  My left hand forgets it needs to be doing the shifting!!  It’s been quite the day, but I’ll have to report on this tomorrow. 

We’re spending the night in the teenie village of Kilmartin.  I’ll talk about it tomorrow and share photos from our day then.  Good night!
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Maria-Grazia SELZER on

Have fun!!!!!!!

Maria P. Alvarez on

Sounds like a wonderful time. Have lots of fun and take lots of pictures.

Mando on

Driving on the wrong side of the road in a standard transmission vehicle with the steering wheel on the right side in a foreign country with a New Mexico driver's license and shifting left handed.......oh yea, the adventure begins !

Steven on

Looks like your liver is in for another "workout." Have fun!


Janine on

Heh! Finally you are driving on the correct side of the road! 'Bout time I say. How many times have you headed for the passengers door, and thought someone had stolen the steering wheel? Have a great time and good luck with the accent...they say they speak english, but I have m'doubts.
love J

sinfronteras on

Spoken like a true Australian, Janine! This gives a whole new meaning to Aussie Rules!!! I don't call it the right or wrong's the Queen's side of the road. I think I'm getting used to it after just 4 days. At least I'm not screaming when trucks (sorry, lorries) are coming at me from the right!

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