Monday 07/05/07

Mayday Bank Holiday, and day 1,000 of Northern Trip.

The weather has taken a turn for the worse, and we hurriedly hare down the M8 towards Wemyss Bay to catch the 11 am ferry to Rothesay. We make it in the nick of time. The journey down the M8/A8 is uninteresting, apart from the views across the River Clyde. The brand new Rothesay ferry, MV Argyle, takes us to Bute in 35 minutes. On the way over, it starts to rain. The Argyle sails past Toward Lighthouse, with views down the Ayrshire coast – adorned with wind turbines. Heavy showers obscure the views to Loch Striven in the north and Arran in the west. We dock at Rothesay at 11.40. We drive up to Rothesay Castle, where we visit an art gallery. Right. After that, we head down to Kilchattan in pouring rain. Lunch is taken at the hotel, but it charges exorbitant prices, such as £3.50 for a bowl of soup or a cheese sandwich, or £7 for fish and chips. By 2.45, the clouds break and the sun comes out. Alison takes us round some of the sights in the south of Bute, but it’s not as impressive as Arran, some miles to the west. Return to Rothesay at 4.20, where we’re left to our own devices for 40 minutes. Mrs B buys a new mobile. We rejoin A at the Discovery Centre (Tourist Information Office). She takes us to her flat on the outskirts of Rothesay to meet her mum, aged 87. A’s flat is adorned by severely paled furniture, scratched by a cat. Have some fun playing the piano and accompanying our hostess as she sings. Leave for the ferry at 6.30, a bit shocked at the pokey wee rooms. Sad. The ferry, MV Isle of Bute, departs at 7pm, leaving behind a town that used to be a well-known holiday haunt for Glaswegians in days gone by. Rothesay boasts of its glorious past, but only has a pallid reflection of that past left. Return to Wemyss Bay at 7.40, race for the train (£5 single to Glasgow) which takes us back to the city in an hour. Train stops at every post. Weather remains wet. A very sickly looking sun sets over the Clyde at 8.45. We have dinner at an Indian restaurant on Park Road. I have a huge korma. Upon reemerging into the street, a vile stench fills the street. We nip into the pub, but I have to decline any drinks – I’m stuffed. Meet some more of Mrs B’s grandsons.

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