Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Grand Adventure - Glasgow

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.

And here's Glasgow Cathedral, also known as St. Mungo's Kirk. St. Mungo (aka St. Kentigern) performed 4 miracles in Glasgow, one of which involves a fairly convoluted story about an adulterous queen and a golden ring in the belly of a fish... The saint also brought a robin back to life and reignited a holy fire by blowing on a hazel branch. You can more about his mysterious deeds here.

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.

Soraidh Glasgow!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Still unpacking…

I’ve been back a few days, and I’m still making sense of the wonderful experiences I’ve had over the last few weeks. How does one “unpack” the rich treasures that such a trip brings: the lovely new friends, the wonderful experiences, the breathtaking sights, the decadent accommodations, the complete freedom and delight of being fully engaged in a wooly world…? Never mind sorting out the laundry, the photos, the yarn! It’s a bit of a shock to the system coming back to work obligations, house-cleaning and heart-breaking headlines. I’m taking things slow…

This weekend I plan on:
 - sorting out some of my photos to show you glimpses of Shetland and Iceland
- soaking up as much time as possible with my dearly-missed husband and friends
- wrapping myself up in my brand new Icelandic-yarn shawl (it’s surprisingly cold here!)
- going to the farmer’s market, and eating as many veggies as I can stuff into my face (the price of produce in Iceland was MIND-BLOWINGlY expensive!!!)
- Look through my cookbooks for a nice tea cake recipe

What about you? What are you up to this weekend?