Back in early October, we spent a long weekend in Scotland – our first trip back since getting married in Scotland nearly a decade ago!
I had to speak at a conference in Glasgow on a Thursday, so we decided to make a weekend of it. We took the train up after work on Wednesday evening, and Andy took the day off work on Thursday to hang out with Elodie while I was at my conference. Since I’m off on Fridays, I hung out with Elodie that day while Andy worked remotely.
The train ride up on Wednesday night took about 4.5 hours and it was kind of tough to be honest; it was evening, after a long day of nursery, and Elodie didn’t want to stay still. We used all our tricks: snacks, walking around, toys, sticker books…and eventually let her watch Paw Patrol after another dad offered it to her on his phone….
On Thursday Elodie and Daddy had a fun day involving some neat play areas and going out to lunch while I spoke at this event at Glagow City Chambers which was a very cool, historic venue.
That evening we tried to find a place we could have a dinner but it was kind of tough, most places in central Glasgow, where we were staying, weren’t very kid-friendly; it was mostly pubs and restaurants for the office crowd after work. We ended up at a pizza place that was pretty good. Our hotel was an Ibis City Styles, not fancy but perfectly nice and functional and had a good lounge area we could hang out and play with Elodie, and a perfectly serviceable Continental breakfast in the morning. I appreciate now with kids how helpful that is to have breakfast provided.
On Friday, it was mummy’s turn for a day alone with El!
It was a beautiful day and I love Glasgow, it’s such a cool city and has a gritty, industrial edge. It reminds me of Philly.
Elodie was pretty happy in the carrier! We walked around, did some shopping and went to the Kelvingrove musuem which I remembered and loved from the time Andy and I went there on our honeymoon. It is such a cool museum. Elodie was a little scared of the big taxidermied animals though.
We met Andy for lunch at Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery, an acclaimed Glasgow restaurant and the fanciest place we’ve ever taken Elodie. It was excellent! She did okay, all things considered…and the staff was very nice.
That afternoon, Elodie slept in the carrier with me while we walked around. It had been so long since we did a walking nap! It was great.
At the end of the day, we met Andy for the train ride north of Glasgow to the small village where we’d spend the next two nights, Arrochar. We chose this village because we wanted to go somewhere out of the city that was remote and good for hiking, yet was accessible by train.
The train only took about an hour but when we arrived, we felt very far away. The train station was in the middle of nowhere, several miles from the tiny village where we were staying. Our inn said online there would be taxis but there were none….things looked quite worrying until we walked into the one pub near the station to inquire about ringing a taxi. Apparently no one ran a taxi service in the area any longer, but a friendly local offered to give us a lift….with no other options, we took him up on it! It was an experience but we made it to our place, The Village Inn, just fine.
Arrochar is nestled at the foot of the Arrochar Alps, on the banks of Loch Lomond. We arrived at sunset and it was beautiful.
That night we ate dinner at the inn, which is basically a pub with rooms above and at the back. It was a lovely little cozy country inn.
The next morning was foggy and ultimately turned into a bright, perfect day. We had breakfast at the inn and then had some amazing views of the fog lifting over the lake.
We took a walk around the lake and set off for a hike, a shorter one than we would normally do, but we weren’t sure how long Elodie would last in the carrier. But we got in several miles in the fresh country air and it was wonderful.
On our way back into the village we stopped for lunch at Ben Arthur’s Bothy, an oddly named lovely pub on the lake. They had very friendly staff and gorgeous views across the lake! We returned to the inn where Elodie took a very late afternoon nap. We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening relaxing at the pub, reading and playing with Elodie. I took her to a nearby playground at sunset with incredible views!
We had dinner at the pub – again kind of stressful. Generally Elodie was happy on this trip but meals were not her favourite time, she just didn’t want to sit still. Oh well.
On Sunday morning I got to go for a run around the lake! Our travel back home was long though…involved a walk to the bus in the pouring rain, a long bus ride to Glasgow, a walk through the rain in Glasgow to the train station, a long train ride to London, then another train ride home. A long day for everyone….I felt so bad for Elodie, she was a trooper.
All in all a very worthwhile trip! A long journey but so lovely to be back in Scotland, and to get to see both Glasgow and get some quiet rural time. Next time, we have to go to Edinburgh!