Even though my hostel was literally across the street from the city’s main train depot, or is it train station? At what point does it become a depot?
At any rate, I had all afternoon as it was a 1 hour train ride so I had to kill some time due to the late afternoon check in.
I had talked with one of my friends about a beer that we felt should have been easy to obtain in Scotland: McEwan’s Scotch Ale. Turns out it is made by an English brewery.
Using a beer finder app, I located a bar that a user reported had McEwan’s beer, plus they served breakfast. I’d need both things before heading to Glasgow.
I packed up my bags and headed into the overcast day. A few turns and I was at the Black Rose Tavern.
This was the pub I should’ve gone to most nights, it was real Scottish pub/music venue!
They had an all day Scottish breakfast consisting of eggs, hashbrown toast, haggis, black and white pudding, fried tomato and mushrooms. It was sooo much food!
This was one of my favorite meals on my trip. It was the 1st of many UK style fry ups that I’d have in Scotland, Ireland and England.
This was my first encounter with pudding, aka blood sausage. It came in black and white options. I presumed the black was the one made with blood, while the white was just a regular breakfast sausage. Both are delicious especially when dragged through the runny yolk of a fried egg.
Again, haggis isn’t bad and I enjoyed having it again. A nice Scottish meal sendoff from Edinburgh!
I did get a McEwan’s but not their scotch ale, it was a draft lager. My group of friends back home discovered this beer and hounded the bar where we visited to carry it. That was years ago, the brewery stopped exporting it for some reason.
Making my way back to the train station was easy, the hard part was finding the right place to buy tickets, then finding the correct track.
Lucky for me, Scotland has an intern program so there were people all over the station desperate for someone to ask them a question.
Not only was I pointed to the right booth for tickets, I had enough time to get the next train to Glasgow.
I was quite fortunate with my trains, but soon enough, I’d stumble like we all do.
Only an hour trip which flew by as fast as the countryside. A lovely country, made me wish I went up to the Highlands to see more.
I’d selected a YMCA style hostel near the tracks, but I only elected to stay 1 night so I could check out the place and that part of the city.
It was about a half hour’s walk through the bustling downtown. I arrived with still time before my check in time so I elected to wash clothes until they would let me into my room.
After washing I was able to check in. My room was empty when I got into my bunk for a nap, then was completely full when I awoke.
I noticed that there seemed to be 1 person who never left their room. They would arrange their bed with a sheet door so they wouldn’t be disturbed.
Some would be on their phones chatting, skypeing or just playing games their entire stay, from what I saw. At least I would have some stories other than hey remember that time we talked when I was in Scotland? Yeah that was cool….
I got dressed and mapped out a route to the nearest brewery, Drygate Brewery.
My route took me through an industrial part of town with not many houses, but I soon faintly heard music.
I saw a pub across the road I was walking and they were blasting Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35. You know that song: Everybody must get stoned.
Well this was a karaoke version lead by a man with the most stereotypical Scottish brouge I’ve heard to this point.
He was also adding in lyrics in between Dylan’s so it went:
They’ll stone ya when yer walking down the street (tha bastards!)
They’ll stone you when you’re tryin’ to keep your seat (cunts!)
They’ll stone you when you’re walkin’ on the floor (wankers!)
This is what I heard all down the street, big grin on my face. What a welcome to the city!
After turning away from the loud pub, I was on a main thoroughfare with lots of shops, pubs and restaurants.
Another right hand turn and while I thought I was heading the wrong way, the empty lots and warehouses gave way to the brewery.
It was a 2 story building with several picnic benches on an outside patio.
I made my way through the large indoor bar. In the back was the store where you can buy beer to go.
This would never work in Texas. The current law, unchanged since Prohibition, requires a 3rd party distributor. You can brew beer but you cannot just sell it directly to a person.
Sparse crowd out tonight, a week night and early at that. I’d soon learn they closed early too.
I picked up my pint and opted to sit outside, there was another group of guys out there as well as a table of girls, maybe it was a mixed group.
The sun went down just like the beer in my pint glass.
I sauntered back to the bar where I was informed this would be my last beer, but I could buy 2 if I liked.
Opting to taste a couple beers, I selected my final pint and sat down inside.
A girl came in and ask me for a lighter which I lent her. I’d gotten into the habit when traveling of carrying a lighter as it is a good way to meet people, start a conversation.
“You from Glasgow?” I ventured.
“Have to run, thanks for the light, cheers!” Came the reply.
I returned to my beer. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don’t.
The walk back was a bit concerning due to the low light. They really needed to upgrade or install more lights, as several times I had to walk down a dark street.
No loud karaoke from the pub I’d passed before, just a group of people out front.
Once again I’m faced with McDonald’s as a late night option as there was 1 across the street from my hostel. Nah it isn’t real food.
I’d read this book and stopped eating fast food a few years ago. This trip was my ultimate test. Could I resist a taste of home? A taste of something familar, or ould I venture out and try some local restaurants, a taste local flavors?
Tonight I won the battle and still don’t know what McD’s tastes like overseas.
A good travel day, tomorrow I explore Glasgow!
Beer: Ax Man
Song: Belle & Sebastian Stars of Track and Field