Leaving Ambleside early-ish, we take a scenic route north-east and, pretty-much straight up, the side of a mountain. It’s fairly busy and we decide that the 1:4 road has suffered at the hands of sat-nav. At the top of the pass there is a lovely inn half in the cloud.
From there we drive down the other side coasting on the clutch and break out of the cloud and into cloudless blue skies and sunshine. Ullswater proves to be a very long lake and takes us out of the steep mountains and into the lowland hills before we rejoin to the M6, pass Carlisle and leave both the Lake District and England behind us.
After about two and a half hours we enter the subhurbs of Glasgow via an increasing complexity of motorways – my first time driving in the big city. We find our hotel but also find that parking outside it for unloading purposes is impossible and so have to make our way from the fifth floor of the multi-story car park opposite, laiden like pack-horses with everything we have in the car (except for the two crates in the boot), to the eighth floor of the hotel.
Once in the room we avail ourselves of the air conditioner, lunch from our cool bag, and high speed internet access to look at wedding photos. As Emma takes an afternoon snooze, I download photos. Then we go out into the city in the late afternoon (but still sweltering heat) on part one of Emma’s Charles Renne Macintosh tour.
At the Lighthouse we start at the top with a viewing platform where we get a good view of the city skyline and of the chimney to the old Herald building – a grand thing itself which I mistake for the lighthouse itself. A few floors down and we find the exhibition about Macintosh and the entrance into The Lighthouse and the 135 spiral steps to the top and an even better view of the city.
We wander through the city centre in the early evening as the shops are shutting before seeking out an early dinner. ‘The Secret Garden’ in Merchant City proves to be not as tranquil in either temperature, volume or ambience as the name suggests. In the end we settle upon Cafe Gandalfi in the old cheese market – a red sandstone building with wood pannelling and chunky oak furniture. The Rough Guide recommends their black pudding so we have that, and follow it up with a seafood linguini that is delicious.
Still in early evening we head back to our hotel for an early night.