Finally summer. Sitting in the warm sunshine, having cold drinks, swimming in the lukewarm sea while the sun sets over the horizon. What better thing to do than to go to the sunny shores of Scotland. Last year we didn’t do any long trips so I see this trip to Scotland as the continuation of our tour of Northern Ireland in 2013.
When choosing the destination to enter Scotland, easyjet helped with the decision by making Glasgow a lot cheaper than Edinburgh. Upon our arrival we understood why. Glasgow is an ugly assortment of seemingly random convulsion of concrete and more concrete. In the spirit of the middle of last century the city was designed for automotive traffic and not pedestrians and so you end up crossing big and bigger roads constantly while being crammed to a tiny footpath.
We didn’t do Glasgow justice by spending only a short time there. Towards the end of our journey we met a lovely lady in Oban who gave us a list of things to do in Glasgow.
- Ride the subway. Edinburgh has none, Glasgow shines with a circular underground line.
- Visit the Glasgow school of arts, do a tour there.
- Visit the town hall and get a tour there.
- Have food at a nice Italian place in the area.
We did none of the above. Partly due to lack of time, partly due to everything being closed by the time we arrived.
What we did instead was this. We arrived at a lovely air bnb (hello Lou!), dropped our stuff and explored the neighbourhood. Not that Glasgow is beautiful, we mainly followed a large road. It led us to the pub 78, a vegan café restaurant pub student hangout place. “Burger and a pint” it said on the menu. “Burger and a pint” I said seconds later to the waitress.
Burger and a pint is what I got.
And what can I say: although vegan, the burger was delicious. The “meat” was some bean and stuff thing, but no tofu, and it felt absolutely right. When in Glasgow, head for the 78!
After this filling dinner we still strolled around Glasgow for a bit to find the train station and sutff. Did I mention how ugly Glasgow is?
We found what we wanted, returned and had a good night of sleep, eager to jump on the train to head on North.
I spare you the four hundred blurry photos out of the train window. Just know that the ride is very pleasant, shows lovely landscapes and is highly recommended as an alternative to the shaky bus on windy roads. Next to us a group of women in their forties continuously poured pink alcohol in their painted faces. They were fun.
Last stop on the line: Oban!
Crab sandwiches were had. They were okay, a bit heavy on the mayonnaise. Compared to Berlin standards still a blast.
We didn’t stay long in Oban as the next step lied already in front of us: the ferry to Mull.
And from the ferry we hopped onto a bus to Tobermory, our final destination for the day. A bumpy ride on single lane roads later we arrived in the small harbour town of Tobermory.
The hostel in Tobermory offered very basic comfort. A very charming staff could not fully make up for the tiny tiny bathrooms, the low pressure showers and the courtyard that had to be crossed before reaching the showers. Still, it served us well as a base to discover the Northern parts of Mull.
So far we spent our days mostly seated, in planes, boats, trains and busses. Time to get into hiking mode.
On the North edge of Tobermory a walkway leads past a number of waterfalls through a small forest. Perfect for beginners, to soften the shoes and harden the calves.
That’s it for today. The next time I will tell the story of how we both got sunburn in Scotland and how we climbed an island full of puffins.