Thursday, February 10, 2011

Scotland I: The Curse the of Great Glasgow Noodle

I should have taken more pictures in Glasgow. I just wasn't sure how to do it. The picture that could hold Glasgow's awesomeness is simply too big for my little camera.

We landed in the rain, and sloshed out way out to the rental car. The Awesomeface paused only a moment when he realized he'd be driving a stick-shift, on the wrong side of the road, in the rain, in a totally foreign city. He took to it like fish to water, of course. There is a reason I refer to him as "The Awesome One" and it is not limited to his excellent taste in women.

And with the help of our fabulous rented GPS, which spoke to us in a delightful Scottish accent of course, we found our way to the guesthouse where we had reservations for the night. Oh, how I loved that little guest house. Oh how I loved sleeping again at last.

So it was that our first truly conscious experience of Scotland was at night, in the industrial beauty of what must be the most under-appreciated city I've ever visited. Glasgow is gorgeous, people. The buildings are a strange hodgepodge of turn of the century architecture and modernism. It's all running with soot and rain. It's like Urban Decay, only it's not really decaying. And at night, everyone is drunk. Okay, not everyone. Just everyone we ran into. That may be due to our decision to go out searching for sustenance so late at night. The guidebook mentioned a noodle joint, and by golly I wanted noodles! Speaking of, I fear I will forever be haunted by the memory of those noodles. They were, hands down, the best I've ever had. Some Asian-type lemon sauce stuff and big fat noodles of joy and triumph. They have ruined me for all other noodles, my friends. I will never be the same.

Then, because Mr. Awesome had officially mastered this whole Scottish-driving thing we went for a drive through the city. We didn't even turn on the GPS, we just drove, wildly guessing at the meanings behind the traffic signs and managing not to turn the wrong way down one way streets. Somehow we ended up near an old church with glowing stained-glass windows behind a row of trees lit with twinkle lights. It was sort of magical and weird, because no one was there but us. And then we saw the old blue "Police Box" nearby and understood. If the TARDIS is in the neighborhood, strange things are bound to happen.
Listen, it's the TARDIS. You should be grateful for any picture at all, blurriness be darned.

The next day we checked out of the quietly efficient guesthouse where the cardigan clad owner had cooked us a lovely warm breakfast, and drove to the huge shopping mall where we wandered about looking for various necessities before commencing our honeymoon road-trip. First and foremost, neither of us had packed a coat or a jacket for our week-long sojourn in Scotland at the end of September. Friends, we are awesome at traveling (see the "Duplicity of Airlines" post, below). Also we needed cookies. And again, the cookies were mind-blowingly good. Seriously, Glasgow, what is with you and the crazy good, haunt-you-forever type food? Huh? And these were just from a little place in the mall. Like the Scottish version of Mrs. Fields...if Mrs. Fields baked unicorn tears and fairy dust into her cookies because I'm telling you those cookies were freaking awesome, dudes. Freaking. Awesome.

And then we turned North and West and drove out of the city and into the lush, green, misty beauty of the Scottish highlands. Did I immediately commence serenading the Awesomeface with old Scottish ballads learned in my youth and savored up for just such a moment? Dudes, we were in Scotland. Of course I did.

"Oh ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland afore ye!"

Did somebody say Loch Lomand? Oh darlings, that's totally coming up next.

Oh bonny Portmore, I'm sorry to see 
such a woeful destruction of your ornament tree
For it stood on your shores for many's the long day
till the long boats from Antrim came to float it away.
And the birds in the forest, they bitterly weep
sayin' "Where shall we shelter? Where shall we sleep?"...

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone
say could that lad be I?
Merry of soul he sailed on a day
Over the sea to Sky...

Twas there that we parted 
in yon shady glen
on the steep, steep side of Ben Lomand
where in purple hue
the highland hills we view
and the moon comin' out in the gloaming...

Why yes, I do know several verses to these songs, and a few more ballads besides. Stop looking at me like that.

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