Swindon - Glasgow -Milngavie
Trip Start May 18, 2002
9Trip End May 26, 2002
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Drove from my sisters to Heathrow airport, to catch plane up to Glasgow. Couldn't fit my hiking sticks into my rucksack, so had to put them in as checked baggage. (Looked a bit pathetic after I'd wrapped them up with the tape and the luggage label, and sad to see them wobble off as odd sized baggage).
The flight wasn't too bad, although had to swap sides with a lady and infant as apparently they needed to sit on the right hand side of the plane as that is where the spare oxygen mask is. Looking a bit grey out of the window - and just think there was sun at my sisters in Swindon.
Arrived safely, picked up my sticks, then bus into Glasgow. Very nice bus driver told me when we arrived at the right train station. All a bit complicated as had to go to 2 different ticket offices, and talk to a guard, before I found out how to go down to the lower level ticket office to get the train to Milngavie (pronounced Mulguy). Bit dismal down there, but wrote a couple of postcards and had a quick look for the others but guess they'd already gone.
At Milngavie train station I suddenly realized that I really had no idea how to get to the B&B, so asked the ticket man for directions. My memory is obviously not that great as after the incredibly long walk across the car park I'd completely forgotten which way he said to go, so asked again at a local garage. Walked miles along the main road and finally found the housing estate that is Drumlin Drive. Unfortunately started in the low 20's and was looking for no. 93! So headed off along for another mile or so, with a little side trip around a cul-de-sac, numbers 66 to 102, but cunningly only even numbers! Fortunately this was pointed out by one of the local residents, who took pity on me after he'd watched me for a while wandering aimlessly from house to house.
Finally reached no. 93 and the others were all there - except Francois who is missing! Sinead's first comment was on how small my bag was - they have full sized bags and Sinead has brought her entire wardrobe with her - but my bag is still heavy. Place is ok, and lovely to see everyone (at the moment anyway). Sinead and Ronan already have bad knees and ankles!
Am sharing with Eli, in a very pink room upstairs. Dumped stuff and then headed out to find a pub and get some food, but only after Ronan had a discussion with the landlady about whether or not they are related since they have the same surname!
Still no Francois. The others all met at Milngavie station and they were all on the same train, but didn't realize until they arrived here. (Eli found out later that the reason she didn't bump into the others in Glasgow was because she was at the other Glasgow station and not Glasgow Central, and this despite Jon's detailed instructions!) Walked the short route back to town (and passed the station from a completely different direction, so have no idea what was that guy was on about sending me the other way!)
Arrived at the pub and ordered beer and food. Prawn cocktail salad done the British way - lovely. Jon already complaining as his food took a while to arrive since Eli and I were having starters and he wasn't, so had to wait for our main courses to be delivered. Several attempts made to contact Jon's mum and sister to see if Francois been in touch, but he really has gone missing! Bit worrying, so had another drink to calm our nerves.
Ronan unable to resist the flashing lights on the slot machine, so went off and played a hi-tech and skilled game - or rather put his money in, stared confusedly at the lights, pressed a couple of buttons and lost. (Got very jealous later in the hike watching someone else play with skill, and win).
A bit later a band of two guys started setting up in the comer. Lots of equipment and what appeared to be groupies or at least a large group of people that came up and sat at the tables near them. Unfortunately these two ordinary looking guys then came back all glarnined up with long wigs and glitter on! and started playing very loudly and not that well. The groupies changed their minds and moved away, and so did we. No where to go out of range in this pub so walked back through the old town and found a much nicer one there - don't know why Ronan made us go to the other one.
More beer and then Francois arrived. Landlady had very nicely given him a lift and had been following us from pub to pub. Apparently his direct flight from France was diverted to Birmingham airport (I think because of the computer problems that air traffic control have been having). So he spent 7 hours there and only just arrived in Milngavie! He walked the long way round to the B&B too!
Eli is a disgrace to the American people. She was asked by this drunken man, that Jon found in the bathroom, what the Confederate flag was called. So she thought about it and gave him an answer, but he wasn't quite drunk enough to believe that it was the Union Jack! Eventually decided on the Stars and Bars.
Walked past the start of the WHW on the way back to the B&B, then off to our little pink room. Eli looking out of the window saw all these fireworks and ordered me to turn off the lights so that we could see them better, thus ensuring that by the time I'd turned all 30 or so of them off the fireworks had finished! She said that they were really great! (Is this the beginning of selfish Eli?).