GreatScot! Sunshine and Smiles – 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 10

We woke up after a lovely night’s sleep and leisurely made our way to breakfast in the hotel where Summer had her first opportunity to try haggis. I think she actually liked it! After breakfast, we headed out to spend some time walking around Glasgow on such a warm and sunny day!

After a bit of a walk, Summer decided she couldn’t go another step without coffee and I am a sucker for anywhere that says patisserie, so we stopped into Valerie’s and had both!


Refueled, we spent the next several hours wandering along Buchanan and Sauchiehall streets enjoying the glorious weather, stopping into Boots for some items and enjoying all the buskers out entertaining.

We managed to spend a few moments catching up with Susan, who was just getting ready to head out on another tour. It was funny to see the Americans traveling light and the local dragging a big suitcase behind her for a change. 😉

Meetups being the order of the day, we also had a chance to catch up with a bonny lad by the name of Richard Rankin. Even funnier, when we were scoping out a good place for the visit, we ran into Clanadonia, a local Celtic music group grabbing coffee before more hit and run performing.

No sooner did Richard have to run, than we heard from another local friend wanting to know if we were free for dinner. They were at a local restaurant called Mussel Inn. Those of you who know me well, know that I was all in as soon as the word mussel was mentioned! We walked the 2 blocks over and then spent the next couple of hours eating delicious food, enjoying great conversation and pretty much laughing our heads off. Thanks so much Eilidh and Peter!

After bidding Eilidh and Peter a fond farewell (or at least a see you later), we walked back to the hotel in a light mist (rain is never far away in Scotland) and piled into the car for the drive north. Even though the hour was a bit late, we made it to Pitlochry with no problems.

Our last thing for the day was a midnight online hangout between Outlander Podcast and Great Scot blog. We had a blast doing a video hangout and chatting with people online about their favorite parts of the Outlander season, so far. So I guess I have now made my Internet debut. I blame the lateness of the hour or I probably would never have done it in my right mind. 😉

Finally, it was time to drop exhausted into bed. Stay tuned to see what we can get into next!

Slàn leat an-dràsta!

GreatScot! Travels, Tunes and Tales – 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 9


Well, hello again! You may have noticed but I took a day off. Kind of used Thursday as a bit of a rest day before gearing up for the last 10 days of the trip. I just drove up to Pitlochry for lunch with my friend Susan. She had just come off a long tour and was getting ready to head out again, but there was no way I was going to miss some time to chat and catch up, even if she is much in demand as a blue-badge tour guide for Eyes on Scotland and Outlander Tours!

After that, it was back to Glasgow for dinner with Maggie (and there might have been a glass or two of wine involved). Then it was just one more sleep until Ginger and Summer arrive and the mad rush of Outlander touring begins.

Friday morning, I packed up my stuff in preparation for our relocation north, and then it was FINALLY time to head to the airport. It was then that I discovered that a flight from Dublin is not considered an international flight. (I wonder how the Irish feel about that!) I quickly relocated from international arrivals to the Starbucks across from domestic arrivals. Seeing that no green tea was available, I bought some water and settled in to wait.

Once they arrived, we hopped in the car to head back into Glasgow for the night. However, it is bank holiday weekend in the UK and I have to say that the traffic on holiday weekend Friday in Glasgow has much in common with Atlanta. Eventually, thought, we passed the stalled car and things cleared up. At the hotel, the girls took a quick shower (OK. Summer insists hers was sexier than that, not that G and I were watching) and then it was time for dinner.

Based on my experience last time in Glasgow, I had booked us a table at Mother India in the West End. As last time, the food was fantastic. We started with vegetable pakora and then Ginger had a paneer dish, Summer had Chicken Tikka and I had lamb with leeks. (Yes, Mom. The lambs are still cute, but someone told me they are as large as their mothers by the time they are food.)

Dinner complete, we headed just down the street to our final event for the day. And when I say final, I mean I knew we would be there until tomorrow. An Gealbhan never ends early. As we approached the Argyll hotel, a familiar figure came into view. Many hugs and greetings with exchanged with Àdhamh Ó Broin, our host for the evening. He explained that things might be a bit more chaotic than usual as the Sutherlands Bar was without a bartender for the evening! Shock…horror….a Gaelic evening without whisky would be a tragedy. Luckily, Àdhamh is multi-talented and was able to man the bar until help arrived.

As a special treat, Àdhamh had arranged for a couple of special guests for the evening. So after kicking off with a song of his own, he introduced the lovely and talented Tara Rankin who favored us with some Gaelic songs a capella, as well as some Cape Breton tunes played on the piano. I’ve been friends with Tara (and the rest of her family) for many years and I took the opportunity to deliver a hug from her Mom as requested. Later in the evening, we were also treated to a talk on Scottish weaponry by a friend of Àdhamh’s, Allan Sutherland. I have some longer videos that I will edit and post when I get back home.

We rounded out the night with some fabulous Gaelic stories. And no…I don’t think any of the Cape Breton ones had a happy ending. I think Tara was amused by how my face lit up every time I recognized a Gaelic word. It was twice as amusing to hear Tara and Àdhamh translate for each other. I’m pretty sure she picked up some new words.

Eventually though, it was time to call the night to an end. Our new friend Asifa gave us a lift back to the hotel so that we didn’t have to find a taxi in the West End after midnight and it was greatly appreciated. Back at the hotel, we all collapsed into bed to refresh ourselves for the next day’s adventure.

Slàn leat an-dràsta!

GreatScot! Sunshine and Palms…Wait! Am I Still in Scotland? 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 7

Today I woke up to a lovely sunny morning. My hotel room overlooks the River Clyde and the Glasgow Science Center.

After admiring the view, I set off with my companion for the days adventure. I had consulted with Susan Brown, tour guide extraordinaire, for the perfect day trip for a sunny Scottish day and she suggested Culzean Castle, so we jumped in the car and away we went. Culzean was just over an hour’s drive through motorways, highways and rural roads.

Arriving at the Castle, I again used my National Trust for Historic Preservation membership from the US to get into a National Trust for Scotland property. That is looking like the best $20 I ever spent as I have already saved about $36 in visits to just 2 properties. Once that was done, we made our way through the country park towards the Castle car park.

First up was tea and coffee. I have learned through my travels that any Castle is best tackled with plenty of caffeine, so we popped into the cafe at the visitor centre for a quick cuppa…and a scone. Thus fortified, we made our way back along the walking path, through throngs of small school children accompanied by teachers who are way braver than I am, to the Castle itself.

Culzean Castle is similar to many castles in Scotland in that it has been modernized several times during its history. Although foundations and parts are old, much of what you see is that 18th century creation of renowned architect Robert Adam and he did a simply stunning design. The house and  gardens are just spectacular.

After the more posh parts of the Castle, we descended the stairs into the nether regions and it was just like stepping into Downton Abbey as we entered the surprisingly bright kitchens.

Finished with the castle proper, we ventured outside to explore a bit of the grounds. Someone might have told me stories of climbing up the rocks on the back side of the Castle to get in as a child. 😉

Our visit complete, we hopped back in the car and returned to Glasgow, well pleased with our day in the country.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures.

Slàn leat an-dràsta!

GreatScot! Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round – 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 6

So today started a bit earlier today with a threesome for breakfast. During conversation, we decided that since we only had Lu for a bit longer we would spend the day playing tourist in Glasgow city centre. The best way to do that would utilize the Hop on/Hop Off city tour offered. My mom and I often use these kind of tours when we travel to new cities. It’s a great way to get your bearings in an unfamiliar city and figure out what sites to go back and visit. It also provides transportation between the sites.

Breakfast done, we got our discount vouchers from the concierge desk at the hotel and went down to the convenient bus stop to wait for the tour bus which arrived fairly quickly. With a quick glance up at the sky — it was more sunny than cloudy — we decided we would chance sitting upstairs in the uncovered portion of the double-decker bus. Taking our seats, the bus pulled away and we started our circuit.

After zipping past the first few stops such as the Glasgow Transportation Museum, we alighted at the Kelvingrove Art Museum. Entering and making a donation, we wandered through the galleries looking at the treasures within. We admired the works of the Glasgow Boys as well as Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dali. We also listened to a bit of the free organ concert performed on the grand pipe organ in the 2 story atrium.


I think the Kelvingrove needs to update!

After a quick stop in the Kelvingrove cafe for a cuppa, we made our way back out to the tour bus stop to find that it is now raining. However, sun is visible in the distance, so all is not lost. Back on the bus, I managed to snap some lovely pics of the bowls lawns next to the museum as well as a shot of the Kelvingrove and the University of Glasgow. We also made our way past the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the alma mater of one Sam Heughan.


We departed the bus once again at George Square to sneak a peek at another Outlander filming location. Lu and I posed in front of the same archway where Frank and Claire dashed through to get married at the Registry Office. That box ticked, we also made our way to the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art and I took some pics of the statue with the requisite orange cone on its head.

Unfortunately by this time, we needed to get Lu back to the hotel to grab her bag and make her way to the train station for the trip home. After some final hugs and farewells, Lu left and I settled in for a solo night. I passed the time eating dinner in the lounge bar and people watching. My steak and salad were excellent, but all to soon I was sleepy and headed up to bed.


Stay tuned for tomorrow’s adventures. I have no idea what they will be as I have not planned ahead at all.

Slàn leat an-dràsta!

GreatScot! Midnight and Two More Bottles of Wine – 2nd Outlandish Adventure Day 4

OK. This is a VERY short post. Yesterday was a travel day and not that much happened, but I’ll give a quick recap.

Finally got a chance to catch up on my sleep! I didn’t drag myself out of bed until about 11 am. Once up, I did some quick repacking of my suitcases so that I had everything I needed for the week in my smaller blue carry on. It was a beautiful morning with bright sunshine. I made a bet with myself for how long that would last.

Finally I headed out towards Crieff to pick up a partner in adventure for the next couple of days. Sure enough, by the time I reached the other end of Pitlochry the sun was disappearing and sprinkles were starting. By the time I was on the A822 halfway to Crieff, the bottom dropped out and it was tipping rain something fierce.

I arrived in Crieff at the house my friends were sharing and was warmly invited in out of the rain for a cozy cup of tea and a biscuit before heading out towards Glasgow. As we sat and share stories from the weekend and talked, the rain ended and it was bright sunshine again. You just gotta love Scottish weather.

Back in the car, we made the hour’s drive to Glasgow. My passenger paid me the highest compliment on my left hand driving when she said ‘I keep forgetting that I’m supposed to worry riding with you!’

Once in Glasgow, we were spoiled rotten by our local hostess. She’d already checked us into the hotel and had our room stocked to the gills with goodies. We took a quick walk along the river to clear our heads before returning to the hotel executive lounge for a wee dram before dinner.


I say wee dram, pretty sure I lost count after we started the second bottle. Eventually, we headed to dinner where I had yet more haggis, this time in the form of haggis spring rolls. I have to say either the quality of haggis has changed in the last few years or my palate has. All the haggis I’ve had so far this trip has been very good.

We ended the evening with a truly lovely dessert called Eton Mess and a martini. I think a certain someone took my saying that I had never been drunk as a personal challenge. Not sure I made it all the way to drunk, but I will admit to being slightly tipsy be evening’s end. Luckily I took some ibuprofen, drank some water and woke up this morning with no ill effects.

Stay tuned to see what we can get into today!

Slàn leat an-dràsta!