The big day is finally here! After years of planning and those (best laid plans) failing. We finally made it to Scotland!
The trip started on Thursday 16 May right around noon EDT. We had contracted with shuttle service in town to take us and pick us up from the airport in Orlando (AKA Mickey Controls Orlando). We left the house a good thirty minutes before our scheduled time, and the shuttle office is only ten minutes away from the house.
As we turn off the main road to the frontage road that leads to their office, we see the shuttle turning onto the main road. Then I get a text saying call the office immediately!
Seems they changed the schedule and we didn’t get any notification. Luckily they could get the shuttle to return, and the trip was saved. I did get the notification email at 11:33 PM that night. Not that it did any good, I was halfway across the Atlantic Ocean by then.
Despite all that hassle, and the fact that our plane was completely booked, and filled with screaming kids, we survived. I have never seen so many small children on one flight before. There had to be ten under that age of 3. And for each one of those kids there were 3 more! No sleep was to be had.
We made it to Gatwick Airport in London about 6:30 AM British Summer Time (for my dear family subtract 5 hours from all times mentioned while I’m across the sea – 6:30 AM BST is 1:30 AM EDT). And what a strange airport it is. International arrivals that are continuing on to destinations in the UK (such as we are) have to clear the UK Border Service. This isn’t very hard. You just fill out a form, show your passport to the kind folk at the counter and answer some silly questions. They needed the address that you will be staying at for your visit. But we’re not staying at one place. We move every day. So they wanted the address of the first hotel. No problem, we have that. Then they want to know how many people are on the tour! I have no clue. Turns out the answer, of course, is 42.
The Border Protection lady decides we can enter. Bad move. Letting another Campbell in is bound to cause problems. But get this. We had to exit the terminal, go back into the main building and the clear security again. To get to the departure gates you have to literally walk through the entire duty free area. You can’t skip it. I think the marketing department at Disney set this up. And as I was afraid of, the coffee sucked!
However, we are Campbell’s are we made it through.
I swear that under those clouds lie Scotland. This was taken out the plane window just about the time we crossed the boarder. By the time we landed in Glasgow the weather was clear.
On to day 1, Glasgow:
The tour company arranged for a private driver to pick us up from the airport and deliver us to our hotel, the Hilton Grosvenor. George our driver, was a very knowledgeable and humorous gentleman. It was so nice to have someone that could drive from the wrong side of the car and on the wrong side of the road so expertly. And what a car! I don’t remember which model of Mercedes Benz it was, but it was gorgeous! I now want one.
The hotel is very nice but is missing one thing that I would imagine most Americans would miss. No, not indoor plumbing, air conditioning. It may be 50°F (at 12:30 AM BST) outside, but the room is quite a bit warmer. I tried to open the window but I won’t open more than 3 inches or so. Hence why I’m up.
Here are some shots I took while we rode around town in the tour bus.
We did to spend some time at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. A beautiful red sandstone building built around 1901.
These hanging masks are really cool. The light that’s projected on them change colors.
Look what is across the street!
Glasgow is famous for its urban art. This was on the side of a building as we drove past. There were Segal other murals but I couldn’t get pictures.
Finally, it was dinner time!
That will wrap up day 1. In need to some sleep now as I’ve been up about 36 hours. I’m much too old for that!