Part eight of my diary/travelogue/waytorememberitinyearstocome, recording a couple of weeks spent travelling around Europe, shooting mostly black and white film.
Previous instalments are here:
Part 1 – Cossington, UK – Wioska, PL – Bratislava, SK
Part 2 – Bratislava, SK – Orosháza, HU – Szeged, HU – Cossington, UK
Part 3 – Cossington – Newcastle
Part 4 – Newcastle to Perth
Part 5 – Perth to Dundee
Part 6 – Unprecedented Concrete
Part 7 – Ullapool to Ullapool
With inevitable sadness, we checked out of the bunkhouse and began our return south, but not before a slow stroll around Ullapool’s port, coinciding with the CalMac ferry’s arrival from Stornaway in the Outer Hebrides. A bohemian band of travellers disembarked and also hit the road to less magnificent places.
It was an easy drive south on the A853, stopping only for the odd photo opportunity.
These stops included one at the Alvie Bridge. It crosses the small Allt Dibheach as it leaves Loch Alvie a couple of miles or so south west of Aviemore. It’s another built to the design of Owen Williams and is constructed of concrete, with two arches across the small stream.
The abutments and central pier stick out significantly from the deck, like the legs of some crouching insect trying to stay afloat in the shallow water. Once again, it’s a charming structure, blending in with nature as it ages and yet, the shapes and angles employed are entirely man-made and show the mark of a designer enjoying himself.
From the road the only sign of anything to mark the bridge as something special is the triangular refuge over the central pier.
Glasgow is a place that I’ve avoided in the past, but I’m not really sure why. As a wide-eyed youngster, I knew a couple of ‘squaddies’ from Glasgow and they were hard-as-nails, boozy, sweary, straight-talkers. I’d always had a feeling that the city was just like them. Now, having visited, I realise that was probably only half-right.
We arrived via the frankly ludicrous central motorway and checked in to our budget guesthouse. The sound of Russian voices bellowing through the wall during what seemed like a prolonged argument didn’t bode well.
We headed straight out and stopped in for a curry on Sauchiehall Street that seemed to be gearing up for a big night. As we read the menus, we tried to ignore the fact that we were in the Kama Sutra.
Next up were an old fashioned whisky bar and then a couple of craft beer places – even early on, Glasgow on a Friday night was busy and full of animated, attractive hipsters. It felt a world away from little old Leicester.
As we staggered back to McClay’s, we found ourselves in the tangle of footbridges and flyovers of the urban motorway that strangles the city. We’d see a lot more of the same tomorrow…