I’ve arrived in Glasgow many times but never before to waving, cheering crowds. The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games have brought people out in their thousands to watch events both ticketed and free – and to launch it all, on Saturday July 26th 250 boats sailed up the Clyde from Greenock to the Glasgow Science Centre.
I was lucky enough to be one of the guests onboard CalMac‘s MV Lochinvar, which led this flotilla – the largest ever seen on the Clyde – up the water from Greenock. The MV Lochinvar is CalMac’s newest vessel and was built at Ferguson’s Shipyard in Port Glasgow – which we would sail past on our voyage. It is also one of the ferry company’s two hybrid ferries, which use innovative technology, including battery banks that supply a minimum of 20% of the energy consumed on board.
We set out from Gourock to join the flotilla, departing from this scenic town at the mouth of the Clyde and making our way up the river that was once the heart of Scotland’s shipbuilding industry. I was expecting heavy industry but instead saw geological anomalies, such as Dumbarton Rock, a fortress that has a longer recorded history than any other in Britain, the grand neoclassical Custom House at Greenock quayside, and thousands of flag-waving locals lining the river’s banks.
Here are just some of the many pictures I took along the way.
On my trip to Edinburgh and Glasgow earlier this month I stayed in four different hotels.
All had very different characters, but all were undeniably Scottish. Yes, there was tartan; yes, my luggage was carried by a man in a kilt; and yes, there was complimentary whisky rather than a fruit basket.
But it was more than that; in Scotland, the welcome is everything and at every hotel the staff excelled at making me feel at home.
Appropriate then that this is the Year of Homecoming. Read more about this here. And visit my Triptease collection of Scottish hotel and restaurant reviews here.
I spent this week in Edinburgh and Glasgow, reviewing luxury hotels and checking out the best bars and restaurants. This year is a big one for Scotland and I wanted to be one of the first to find out what’s new in the country’s two best cities. Click here to see my Storify on what I discovered.