Portugal, Pounds and Pence – Where Are We Now?

A lot of change can come about in one week!

Last Sunday found us celebrating our wedding anniversary in sunny Lagos, Portugal where we found a calm little swimming beach and dined at a sidewalk cafe.

The water was clear, and deep – the waves gentle, a perfect place for swimming.

Early Monday morning found us driving to the Faro, Portugal airport for a Ryanair flight to Prestwick (Glasgow, Scotland) airport. From hot to cold – or 80 degrees to 50 degrees.  I was wishing I had the winter clothes I left behind in Portland.

We left our guesthouse before breakfast and joined the working men getting their morning coffee – real espresso – at the gas station counter.


Check out the little espresso cups accumulating on the top of the icebox.


Arriving in Scotland was easy. We made an ATM withdrawal and shared a Starbucks coffee before catching the train to Glasgow Central Station and hailing a taxi to deliver us to our new assignment: dogsitting a wee schnauzer named Chill.  His owner showed us how to get around to the West End and where to find good coffee shops, the fishmonger and green grocer before leaving for her holiday.

Traveling can make you appreciate “home” or the conveniences of home.  We love having a bedroom, a recliner in the living room, a beautifully outfitted  kitchen with French press for coffee making, electric kettle, dishwasher and juicer! It is much more relaxing to have coffee in pjs and to eat our meals in.


The condo’s large windows and balcony overlook a canal where we’ve seen kayakers, swans and barges gliding by.


The paved towpath is popular with bicyclists, joggers, and walkers. .

I have enjoyed walking the dog along the canal; the blooming wildflowers and birdsong make it much more pleasureable than walking down the busy streets.

The Forth and Clyde canal was constructed in the 1700s and horses pulled the boats along the towpaths. Today the 66 mile long footpath and cycleway runs across Scotland, between Bowling, near the coast, west of Glasgow, and Edinburgh Quay. Sometimes the canals cross over roads and near us is an aqueduct that bridges the canal over the Kelvin River.  

There’s a series of 7 locks. I haven’t seen them in action yet.


Yesterday Chill led us the 2.5 miles to Speir’s Wharf, Glasgow City Center

 Just a few observations…
We may think we speak the same language – not! I wonder if we understand even 25-40% of what we hear.
There is no sign of a drought nor a heat spell here. It’s been cool and rainy.

I find it strange how most of the folks we pass on our walks don’t look at us; they keep their eyes averted. That isn’t to say that Glasgowians are unfriendly, we’ve struck up many conversations.  They know we are Americans once the first syllable departs our mouths.


Glasgow is a very expensive city. The pound (GP£) is worth approximately USD$1.60. A bus ride costs £2. One of our stops for a little something (coffee and scones) cost $14.

 We still have lots of exploring to do in Glasgow, Edinburgh, the Highlands and beyond. Thanks for joining me on the journey!

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