Friday was my very last full day in Glasgow and Skippy - pal of Very Best Friend - organized a nice lunch for me so that I would get to try Scotland's traditional dish - Haggis!
VBF and I spent the morning in the city as I had yet to see Glasgow Cathedreal - the only religious structure to survive the Reformation fairly intact. Once again, I was just awestruck by the sheer magnificance and majesty of the place. Words can just barely describe the feeling of wonder I experienced as I walked around the cathedreal. Several memorials line the walls of the outter cathedreal in memory of soldiers and warriors who perished at home and abroad in defense of their country. The inner chapel is still in use as a Church with regular services. Below, we saw the tomb of St. Mungo - patron saint of Glasgow and to who the Cathedreal is named after. Several other smaller chapels and pray stations are randomly scattered around the Cathedreal making it not just one Church, but many churches in one.
Once we had thoroughly explored the Cathedreal, we made our way to the city centre to meet up with VBF's friends. Lunch had been pushed back an hour to 4 pm now, and I was starving!!! Killed time in a little underground bar on Sauchiehalls (sp?) street and once the troops had assembed, made our way to Hengler's Circus a bar/restaurant where I finally had my first Haggis meal. It was really quite delicious, as long as one can ignore HOW its made! Wasn't all that fussed about the turnips they serve it with though - could have done without 'em! One friend even showed up wearing his kilt so it was a Scottish meal, with Scottish folk in Scottish wear. Now, can one really ask for more?
The flight to London on Saturday was rather uneventful. Got to the airport real early as I was quite worried about my baggage situation, but thankfully thanks to me unloading a lot of items with VBF and also more creative packing, I didn't have to pay excess this time. The flight was a bit delayed, but had nothing to do with the weather so I finally got to London at around 2 pm and by the time I navigated the Tube system with my baggage, got to friend's home by 4:30 pm.
The girls had planned a Christmas party for that evening, so I barely had enough time to get changed and freshen up and appear half decent before their guests arrived; And when they did arrive, it was the first time in a long time that I was surrounded by Indians and it wasn't my family! Mallus everywhere!! Big ones, little ones, tall ones and short - I was quite submerged in a sea of Mallus! But it was great listening to the Indian accents all around - kinda like a prep for when I get to Bombay in two weeks.
Today, Christmmas eve was rather low key as we woke up pretty late and then since there are about 3 different denominations of Christians in the house we had to all figure out what service we were going to, and more importantly - how does one share 3 house keys between 4 people?? After some much complicated tube/bus/rail investigations we finally had a game plan that "seemed" viable. Let's hope it actually works in practice!
Spent the afternoon wandering around Greenwhich's the main street and Palace areas that's all pretty and decorated for Christmas. Met some more friends of friends of friends and had a couple o pints together at one of Greenwhich's oldest pubs - the Spanish Galleon.
There's enough time for us all to gather around the Christmas tree, listen to some carols and just relax and share a nice quite evening before we all leave for our respective Churches.
If there's anyone out there reading this, I wish you a Merry Christmas; but more importantly I wish you a peaceful Christmas, a safe Christmas and one filled with the company of loved ones around you.