Sunday, June 24, 2012

Scotland Day 1 - Glasgow

After convincing my parents that they really would like to take a vacation with me and A and A's mom in Scotland, the five of us headed off on an 8 day tour of Glasgow, the Isle of Skye, the Scottish Highlands and Edinburgh. Huge thanks to Nigel at Catswhiskerstours,who planned out a self drive itinerary for us and made all of our B&B bookings and car rental reservations, ensuring a smooth journey the whole way.

The train ride to Glasgow was uneventful, aside from me and A forgetting our driving licence counterparts, which meant he had a harrowing dash back to the flat but still managed to catch the train with a couple of minutes to spare. Once we were in Glasgow, we noticed that black cabs are a lot less expensive than in London, making our cab ride to the B&B incredibly affordable. Sadly our first afternoon was quite rainy - as we were walking into the centre of town the rain drove us into a little Italian cafe called Villa Toscana (1080 Argyle Street Glasgow, Glasgow City G3 8LY) for a bite of lunch while we waited out the downpour. 

Seriously, this is a pizza that has been rolled into a wrap shape.

Cured pork makes everything better

The pizza wraps were intriguing, especially at a bargain price of 3.95, so I went with one filled with chicken, salami, mozzarella and olives. It was essentially a pizza rolled up into wrap form, so it was much more food than I was expecting. A's carbonara was also generously strewn with bacon pieces and as rich as a carbonara should be (unlike our last nightmare carbonara at Jamie's Italian).

A unicorn!

Since we were all stuffed after lunch, we wandered into town, stopping at the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art. The Cathedral and Necropolis were also worth a look (especially as it happened to be sunny right at the moment we were there), but we sadly missed the Mackintosh-designed School of Art as we got there a bit too late for a tour due to my poor scheduling. A stroll back through the park by our B&B (the Argyll Hotel, clean and affordable, with a generous buffet breakfast included) was going well until it started raining again, and we decided to eat close by to avoid another drenching.

Looks juicier than it was

I see why there are so many sheep in Scotland

Ok, I promise this tasted way better than the picture looks

Luckily, Konaki Greek Taverna (920 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G3 7TF) was almost across the street from the B&B so we made a reservation there after reading some flattering online reviews. The hummus was creamy and nutty - even my parents, who are not big fans of Mediterranean food, enjoyed it. My swordfish special with lemon broiled potatoes was also good, if just a tiny bit overcooked, and A's lamb kebabs were meaty and smoky. C's vegetarian moussaka may have been the best dish, though my mom's Greek meatballs were a close second, especially after I had a taste of the fabulous sauce mixed with the fluffy bed of rice they came with.

Exhausted from all the travel, the parents went off to bed after dinner, while A and I ventured out to Glasgow's Brewdog pub (1397 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G3 8AN) for a post-dinner drink, as it was around the corner from our B&B. It was so relaxed it was hard to tell it was a Saturday night - quite a different vibe from the Camden branch!

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