Glasgow, Scotland

On our third and final night in Scotland, we checked into a hostel in Glasgow, called the Bluesky Hostel. This time, we got 15 beds so none of us slept in the car.

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I loved this hostel. I mean, it wasn’t like I have lots of experience, as this was my first experience sleeping inside a backpackers’ hostel. But my experience was nice, so…

The hostel is kind of like a hipster hostel or something. You can basically see hipster art on the doors and the walls all over the hostel. The beds were clean, the toilets were clean, and they even have a few PCs near the reception area for us to go online.

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JULY 9th, 2007 [Monday]

But the thing that clinched the deal was breakfast the next morning. You see, we paid £12 per person for a bed and a breakfast. The official breakfast time was 8 – 10 AM in the morning. Basically what normally happened was every morning at 8 AM, the hostel staff would unlock the food cabinet in the kitchen, and then everyone staying in the hostel were free to help themselves to anything that was available in the cabinet.

So, me and two of the girls woke up at 7.30 AM. We couldn’t get back to sleep, so we decided to go sit in the kitchen and wait for breakfast time. We were the only ones there, everyone else including other backpackers were sleeping. The lovely lady staff sitting at the reception counter saw us. So she came over and after learning that we couldn’t sleep anymore, smiled at us and said: “You know what? I’m going to break the rules for once and open the food cabinet for you now.

So, we got to have breakfast half an hour earlier than everyone else. The food itself weren’t any expensive stuff. Basically we got loaves of bread with butter, peanut butter and jam. We also got boxes of corn flakes and Weetabix cereal biscuits. We also got milk, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. We also got… no, that’s basically it. All basic and cheap stuff. But then, it was a eat-all-you-can affair. They had a cabinet of food, and we were allowed to just help ourselves to anything and have as much as we wanted to.

Me and the two girls, we stuffed ourselves silly. It was all simple food, but we thought it was the most delicious breakfast that we have ever had. It was probably because the food were infused with the kindness flavor by that lovely lady staff. We were done by the time every one else woke up and joined us in the kitchen. And then it was their turn to stuff themselves silly. Actually it was only my gang that did that jakun thing of eating like crazy dogs. The other British/European backpackers had normal portions. I noticed the lady staff watched my friends in equal amount of frustration and amusement. We created history by being the first group of people who polished everything in their food cabinet

Anyway, why am I writing so much about the hostel? I should be telling you about the city. Gosh… okay, Glasgow city…

We had no plans on what to do in Glasgow. Actually the plan was to leave Glasgow immediately without exploring it. All our seniors said “there’s nothing in Glasgow, don’t waste your time there”, so I thought we should drive back down south and visit the Hadrian’s Wall at the Scotland-England border instead. Hadrian’s Wall is like the British version of the Great Wall of China. It was built by the Romans in England to block the attacks from the northern Scots.

But on that morning itself, no one were actually in any mood to see more ruins. So we just decided on a whim to stay in Glasgow and wander around. We didn’t do much, because we didn’t know what to do. And as a general rule, when we don’t know what to do, the best thing to do is to go shopping. So we left the cars near the hostel and walked our way to Glasgow’s High Street, stopping along the way for photos at almost every junction.

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We made it to the High Street after probably an hour of walking and stopping and walking and stopping. Maybe it was a weekday but the street seemed quite deserted. It reminded me of the shopping streets of Liverpool.

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There was one thing though, that Glasgow had but Liverpool did not have in July 2007. That thing is called, Primark. I have seen this store before when I went on a solo trip to visit a friend in Wolverhampton a month before (oh yes, this solo trip is what I will write about next!) and the friend introduced this amazing departmental store to me. So when I saw that Primark building, I got excited and told all my mates that they absolutely must go inside and see for themselves.

For those of you who used to hang around in the UK, you would know why we should be happy to see Primark. For those of you who don’t, well… Primark is basically a big ass departmental store that sells a wide range of interesting but not-so-good quality products, at a super duper dirt cheap price.

For example, the t-shirt that I was pointing at below, that was selling for £3.50. I bought another t-shirt for £2, or in other words, I bought a t-shirt for the price of a McDonald’s burger. I also bought a sling bag for £5.

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I left Primark with a few friends to visit another shop that looked rather promising. That shop is called Red5.

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What caught our attention to this shop was the life size replica of a xenomorph (watch Ridley Scott’s Alien movies) greeting us at the entrance…

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So we went inside and discovered that this is a shop that sold all sorts of creative and interesting but mostly useless gadgets. It was very interesting for window shopping purposes, but we did not buy anything here…

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We basically spent all our time in Glasgow in this manner, shopping and window shopping, until it was time to leave…

You might think my story will end here, but there is still one more story to tell. You see, the drive from Glasgow back to Liverpool was estimated to take three and a half hours. We had to return the cars before 5.30 PM, or else it would incur an extra day of car rental charges. So theoretically, we should be fine as long as we left Glasgow before 2 PM.

So we decided to leave Glasgow at 1 PM. We wanted to arrive earlier back in Liverpool so that we can drop all our stuff back at our accommodation halls before returning the cars to the car rental company. It was a good plan… except, we arrived on the outskirts of Liverpool city,
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only to be caught in a massive traffic jam. We were stuck for almost an hour, and in the end we had to forget dropping things off at our apartments, we had to drive straight to the car rental place. We made it in the nick of time, at 5.29 PM and was successful in preventing being charged an extra day of rental.

But we were left to carry heaps of things back to our apartments by foot.

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It was a very deflating end to our Scotland road trip…

But still, boy am I glad that we did it. It was one of the best travel experience that I’ve ever had so far…


 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the end of my Scotland road trip write up. End of another mini project…

 

10 Comments

  1. Ah, they had Weetbix over there at the hippie hostel. Never knew that was big in Glasgow too, and hoped you like it. Primark sounds like a version of Target of H&M. That sling bag looks good on you 😀

    • It is called Weetabix. But I think it is the same as Weetbix, maybe just of different brand. I don’t even know if it is big in Glasgow or not. For all I know, maybe it was just this particular hotel that served it LOL! 😀

      Yes, Primark is sort of like H&M (I mean the western version, in Malaysia H&M is high end departmental store >.< ), but Primark is even cheaper and even lower quality goods.

  2. this seem like a memorable trip, especially after 8 years & u still remembered every single details of how u guys made it on time to return the rented car. And such a nice lady to open the cabinet for u to enjoy the breakfast half an hour earlier! perhaps u should send her a ‘thank you’ postcard since u guys finished up the entire food in the cabinet, haha!

  3. Msians really made a name for themselves overseas by always sapu food at all-u-can-eat events. But you all are young people so sure to eat a lot. The lady is really kind to open the food cabinet early for you 3.

    Wah, cutting it close the timing for returning the cars. 1 minute before due time. But must max out the rental right?

    I also did not do much in Glasgow. Was there twice. Once just passing through on our Scotland long trip and another time stayed in my boss’s house in Glasgow on a work trip and we also just walked around Glasgow old town, near the Glasgow Central train station. The places you all walked around Glasgow does not seem like near that place.

    I don’t know primark. I only know pound stretcher shop where everything is one pound and argos where we buy from catalogue and collect at the counter, really affordable and ok goods. I am still using the glassware we bought there and shipped back to KL.

    • Strange that the places and shops that we know seem to be different. I don’t think I have ever seen Pound Stretcher before, but there are two similar shops that I know of, the 99p store and Poundland.

      Nope, we were quite far from the train station I think…

  4. You are definitely the only blogger that I know who has the most backpacking experience. You guys really roughed it out on many areas of board and lodging that made you appreciate the good and bad times. All have become sweetest memories to laugh it out when your Gang ever meet up again.
    So Glasgow is not a busy city as I had thought.

    • WTF… This Scotland trip is nowhere near a backpacking experience LOL! A true backpacking experience would not feature a car hahaha! 😀

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