Travel Diaries: Glasgow March 2017

Glasgow Botanical Gardens

It was my Birthday in March and before I went gallivanting off to Florida for Wrestlemania and other parts of the UK to see family I went to Glasgow for a weekend to celebrate turning 29. It was a chance to further explore Glasgow after a similar trip last year, this time focusing on finding as much food as possible and then working out whether I’m still hungry enough for ANOTHER doughnut. We got the train up from Euston after I finished work on the Friday night, getting some cans (of gin) in for the journey up, and some disappointing (as ever) food from Leon. This was the journey where I finally finished Pokemon Sun, steamrolling the elite 4 with my Salazzle taking center stage. This meant sitting through the ludicrously long post game cut scenes and credits which lasted approximately half of the 4-5 hour journey (this may be an exaggeration, but oh man were they long). Finally, upon arrival we had to drag our bags through the night streets of a Glasgow that was in full party mode, before checking in to our room at CitizenM. Having booked the trip relatively last minute, and only a few decent places still being left on AirBnB we opted for CitizenM as it’s ever reliable and those giant beds just make it ever so tempting.
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Travel Diaries: 48 hours in Oslo

Oslo

When our plane started to descend into Oslo airport the reality of Norway’s natural beauty became apparent. Visible out of the window as the plane banked into a sweeping turn was mile upon mile of lakes, mountains and trees all covered in a deep blanket of early winter snow; a sea of white broken by pockets of grey lakes and the dark spikes of conifer. The snow was unexpected, as when booking this trip for November we’d been told it was likely too early, but welcome. Even the airport, surrounded by snow dusted trees, was turned into something picturesque. Sat on the bus from the airport, which I’d recommend over the train as it’s significantly cheaper for a round trip and only takes 40 minutes, I took advantage of the free wifi to frantically do some googling for “Oslo’s best cinnamon bun“. The bun which really stood out was made by WB Samson, the Oslo institution. Each bun is baked in its own individual tin, knotted up rather than simply swirled and covered with cinnamon and a little salt. I could happily talk about this bun for the rest of this post, but as it was simply a pitstop we made between the bus terminal and our hotel, I should probably get going with the rest of the trip.

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Travel Diaries: Isle of Mull September 2016

Loch Beg in the rain

As alluded to in a couple of recipes recently, I went up to the Isle of Mull to see my parents in September. I have been many times, and every time try to do something different. This time included popping to the idyllic island of Iona (twice, due to poor weather stopping ferries the first time) as well as a walk from Loch Buie to Carsaig (which includes a using a rope to climb down some rocks) and a number of other shorter walks. The trip also featured a 3 day period where we had no running water, as my parent’s pump on their private supply broke. This meant we had to carry about 1000 litres of unfiltered water from the stream up to their house, and we could only really use that for flushing toilets and running a dishwasher. Fortunately we managed to get a pump sorted in a few days, but it was a harsh reminder of why living on an island isn’t necessarily for everyone. This was also the first time I got to meet my parent’s new dog; Meg. She will feature heavily here.

Pennyghael

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Travel Diaries: New York City Pt. 1

Manhattan at sunrise

Jet lag is a hell of a thing. When you find yourself sat on a balcony at 5.30am, already having been to a coffee shop, to watch the sun come up over the Williamsburg Bridge and you’ve not even considered going back to bed despite having a completely full day planned, you know its hit you. We’d landed the day before at about 11.30am New York time, after getting up at 4am UK time.Despite it taking 1.5 hours to get through passport control and lugging our bags across a hot & sweaty Manhattan, we pushed on, grabbing food at Tiny’s Giant Sandwiches while we waited to check in, and freshening up super quick so we could make the most of the afternoon. The buzz of arriving in New York helped us power through the tiredness that kept threatening to hit. We’d only found out a couple of weeks before that we’d even be doing this trip, having won it through the post I wrote on London’s food scene, and in a couple of short weeks we’d organised our flights & hotel and created a list longer than all of our arms combined of things to do and places to eat.

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Travel Diaries: Isle of Mull April 2016 pt.1

Travel Diaries Isle of Mull 16
At Easter of 2016 I took my girlfriend to meet my parents on the Isle of Mull. We’d spent a number of days in Glasgow and traveled up (incredibly early) on the Friday morning by train. We got the ferry across late that morning and I had my first chance to show the area off to Maddie. The weather was completely mixed for the whole trip, with it fluctuating from heavy rain to bright sunshine (the ferries later on the same day actually got cancelled and my sister had to stay in Oban for the night). This post shows images from our crossing and first couple of days on the island, including the ever changing and beautiful view from my parents house across to Ben More and a walk we did to Knockvologan and its beaches. Another thing to note was we paid a visit to the Isle of Mull Weavers at Ardalanish/Uisken and were talked through the whole process of weaving and design. If anything it made me want one of their pieces even more, and I’d recommend popping in if you’re ever on the island.

Oban to Mull Ferry
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