I left my heart in Scotland

16Feb10

Streets of Glasgow

After so many years since being back, I was afraid I had created this idealized version of Scotland in my head and would only be setting myself up for disappointment when I arrived.

Instead, I fell in love with it even MORE.  Glasgow is such a vibrant, interesting city.  There’s not many places where you’ll see 400 year old sandstone buildings next to a shiny modern office block.

And the booze…the booze is so cheap!  My cousin took me out to the West End of Glasgow for a pub crawl one night, so we weren’t in some shady pub (like the one next to his flat that gets their booze out of a truck parked outside), and even then the drinks were almost half the price as a club/bar in downtown Vancouver.

The weather was pretty brutal-it never went above 0 and the snow just wouldn’t go away (well, at least outside the city).  But it didn’t stop us from going out and enjoying our trip.  We went to Edinburgh for the day with my uncle, and the city was just breathtaking covered in snow.  We walked up to the castle, stopped in the bar at the whisky museum (300 kinds of whisky…how can I resist?), and took a look at the very oddly extravagant Scottish Parliament buildings.

Parliament Building

Skyline of Edinburgh

Glasgow shopping is great-Buchanan Street and Argyle Street run perpendicular and have most of the big high street shops, as well as a couple of department stores.  Argyle Street is a bit younger, with Topshop, Primark (F21 is way better-I wasn’t very impressed with Primark at all), H&M, Zara, etc.  Buchanan is a bit more high-end; All Saints has amazing knits and tees, while Princes Square holds some high end boutiques (including Vivienne Westwood) and fancy coffee shops up top.  House of Fraser is what the Bay COULD be, with lots of mini brand boutiques and a really great assorted of low-to-high merchandise.

My grandparents in the paper! How cute are they? (Click to read)

The wedding anniversary was on Saturday-it was so good to see my family again and spend time with my cousins.  I promised myself that night not to leave it so long between visits-family is so important and you can’t just let that go.  Seeing my grandparents dancing together after 60 years of marriage made me get a bit emotional-especially seeing the whole family standing around them clapping and singing.  In true Scottish fashion, everyone was pretty sloshed by the end of the night (nothing like seeing your uncles stumbling over the dance floor-although it covered up the fact my younger cousin and I had no idea what we were doing during the group dances!).

Getting back was rough, British Airways cancelled our flight so we had to frantically book another flight (we had SO many issues with BA-will never be flying with them again).  I wish we could have stayed longer, but hopefully I’ll make it back soon.  Family is so great that way-it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away, you just pick up where you left off.  Scotland always feels like home to me, even though I’ve never lived there.

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