Saturday, 6 June 2015


To the couple from New Zealand who I met on the train home and about to embark on a 6 week cycle tour from Lands End to John O' Groats, I wish you welcome to the Great British Isles and have an amazing journey. You must make your ride slow and include plenty of time for cream teas. To Dagmar, who is great cycling companion, I hope you arrive home ok. Did you say you went to the wrong airport in London?

To Glasgow on our final day in Scotland, what a welcome you gave us! You really are the Friendly City. If you say people make Glasgow, I completely agree
We arrived at Central Station at 1pm and we were told the best place to leave our bikes and panniers would be Queen Street Station, just 5 minutes away. We must have looked lost as we set off because, not one, but four people, came up to us to give directions with one saying "Follow me, I am going there but you must be quick as I have a train to catch". Another said that we should cycle, not walk, in the pedestrian area.
What a friendly welcome, especially from this girl who allowed us to take her photograph. We had half a day to walk around before we caught the Caledonian sleeper train to London.
Glasgow was life itself. I was ever so amazed. The pedestrianised city centre was full of people and we could hear bagpipes playing. The shops were a mixture of the old and new but never have I seen a city looking so vibrant. All the big chains were there but it was not hard to find proper Scottish shops. Dagmar had haggis, neaps and tatties for lunch while I had fish chowder. We both had steaks in the evening washed down by Caledonian ales.
Three ladies, obviously having a great night out, involved us in their happiness. We asked about our Scottish food and, so long as our steaks were Aberdeen Angus, they said we had done well. They then took some selfies of the five of us.
Earlier we had walked through the city centre and alongside the River Clyde. The sun was warm on our backs and we find lots of cyclists. This city is also cycle friendly. Our walk took us to the People's Palace. This museum told us briefly of Glasgow's history including its ever so recent tough times. It also had a splendid display of tropical plants and excellent coffee shop. There was simply not enough time to see other than a small sample of the city. These are a few images that I enjoyed:

I have now seen a second city on this journey that I knew nothing about, the first being Derry, and I have been ever so amazed. If this is what slow bike rides do, this will be the first of many more. Dagmar is now home in southern Germany and, maybe, we will do another slow bike ride together.
All the time "Badger" has been with us and never complained. "Badger" is Devon Wildlife Trust mascot who has been with us since our first journey in 2010 around the coastline of the North Sea. "Badger" seems most fitting this year as it is 30 Days Wild here in the UK. Dagmar's story is on her blog (don't forget to press your T key unless you speak German)

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