I've been having a hard time knowing where to start with this account of my fabulous trip. A blog post simply can't do it justice. Partly because that overwhelmed feeling has not left me. The trip was just THAT good. And partly because I didn't bring my "good" camera, which I now regret. I can't help but feel that my photos don't accurately capture the beauty of the places I saw. The photos I took with the ipad I borrowed turned out really quite awful, but the ones taken with my sister's small point-and-shoot were decent once I sharpened them up a bit. (Luckily, many of my Shetland traveling companions were accomplished photographers armed with the right gear. I highly suggest you visit Kathy's Instagram and Lori's blog and Instagram to see some amazing pictures of Shetland.)
I'll start at the beginning, and do my best to give you a glimpse into my grand summer adventure.
As you can imagine, there is no direct flight to remote Shetland, and so my first stop was a quick 24 hours in Glasgow. I was extremely jet-lagged when I arrived early on a Friday morning after a sleepless red-eye, so my impressions of Glasgow are a bit blurry. I basically jumped on a hop-on hop-off bus and tried (sometimes in vain) not to nod off! Here's a bit of what I managed to see:
George square, where my hotel was, and one of the hubs of the Commonwealth Games which started the day I arrived. Glasgow was simply teeming with people!
Hop on the bus and try to stay awake!
The weather was glorious, and unexpectedly HOT, which I was not prepared for clothing-wise. Even the Glaswegians seemed shocked by the good weather.
The Tolbooth steeple, built in 1625-26, is a remnant of the old Glasgow Chambers building. This impressive sight is one of the few remaining medieval buildings in the city (it's also where they used to hang people, as our tour guide pointed out with grim glee).
Looks like Dr. Who was in town for the games!
Glasgow Science Centre. If you look closely you'll see that there are some brave (crazy?) people scaling the spine of the building.
McLennan Arch, at the entrance of Glasgow Green, the oldest park in the city established in the 15th century.
Italia statue atop the Italian Centre in the merchant city area.
A statue of St. Mungo, Glasgow's patron saint, tucked into a niche above the Savings Bank Building.
I wish I could have spent more time in this cool, friendly place. I definitely want to heed the invitation to "haste ye back" and explore more of what Glasgow had to offer, especially Kelvingrove, the Necropolis, and the Gallery of Modern Art.