Trips around Scotland so far – part 3

I’d been to Glasgow several times for work, but just to the data center, I hadn’t really had a chance to look around the town, so I decided it was worth making a visit. Only £6.50 return with megabus, pretty outstanding really. Glasgow was not really what I expected – I was expecting a much grimmer place, but it was actually really nice – I was even struggling to find large numbers of neds. I did notice a disturbing number of people obsessed with wearing their Celtic shirt to all social occasions though. My particular favourite was the man who was too hot to wear a shirt (another disturbing British tradition, that of taking your shirt off at the first sign of sun), but stil had his Celtic shirt over his shoulder, just so you would know who he supported. Overall a nice place, and I met some interesting people, who I’ll probably run into again a few more times.

Blair was travelling through Scotland, and stopped in here for a couple of nights. We went up to the Orkneys for a day trip, which meant a pretty long day, but it was well worth the admission. There’s something not quite right about an island that only has about 7 trees on it, and none of those over 5m. We were very lucky with the weather though, and it was really quite a nice day. There are a huge number of prehistoric (or perhaps neolithic is a better term) monuments on the island, not least of which was Skara Brae – a cluster of dwellings inhabited 5,000 years ago, then covered up until about 150 years ago. You have to figure the climate was different then though, I’m not sure I would have settled there.

The highlight of the day though was probably stopping at some Cairns on the way home – they had been partially rebuilt, so that they were closed in. You could scramble through a narrow tunnel, then it opened out into the central part. The road wasn’t really suitable for tour buses, so no-one seemed to go there. It was just getting dark as we got there, which made it a bit spookier. Here’s a photo of me inside one of them:

The other travelling so far has been some touring around St Andrews – nice town, ruined cathedral, castle, golf courses, lovely houses, students spewing in the gutter, it’s got it all – and the Angus region. I went up to Dunnottar castle, which was great – really dramatic, must be pretty mean there during a big storm. Places like the Whig Vault were a bit spooky – must have been terrible with 160 people imprisoned in there.