Three weeks ago today, I left San Francisco on a 747 and set out on the biggest adventure of my life. A week from tomorrow, I’ll leave London on another 747 and begin my journey home, with one more exciting stop along the way.
Today was a pretty low-key day, but that’s okay since, three weeks in, I’m starting to feel the fast pace that I set for my trip. Luckily, I scheduled this stop in Paisley as a sort of rest period, a chance to relax a bit and catch up on sleep before I head south and make my way back to London. I slept in a bit and skipped breakfast, but once I got myself moving and presentable, I walked the few blocks to Paisley Gilmour Street station to catch the train to Glasgow Central. It’s actually quite a beautiful station, with a big glass canopy that lets in lots of light and interesting architectural details (although the toilets cost 40p). Once there, I grabbed a bite of breakfast and headed to the travel center to reserve my train seats to Oxford on Wednesday morning. I’ll take the train from Paisley to Glasgow Central, from Glasgow Central to Wolverhampton, and from Wolverhampton to Oxford for a total travel time of 5 hours, 40 minutes, but I’ll still get into Oxford mid-afternoon. After securing my reservation, I walked south two blocks and wandered along the River Clyde for a couple of hours, watched the seagulls duck and dive, and enjoyed the sun …until the wind caused a dry-eye flare up and I couldn’t see for the constant watering.
Eventually, I made my way back to the station, picked up some water and grapes from M&S Simply Food, and caught the train back to Paisley, which has considerably more life on a sunny Monday afternoon than it does on a dreary Sunday evening. I made my way down to the high street and wandered into Paisley Abbey, where a very nice woman named Evelyn gave me an interesting and concise history of the building. Like Selby Abbey in Yorkshire, it’s still used as the parish kirk, and like Selby Abbey, has a connection to the American Revolution with congressional delegate and Declaration of Independence signer Rev. John Witherspoon serving as minister of Laigh Kirk, Paisley before emigrating to New Jersey 1768.
Once I left the Abbey, I made my way back to the hotel and took a nap, after which I headed downstairs to the dining room for a dinner of salmon, potatoes, and veg…and splurged on a helping of apple crumble. It was delicious. Tomorrow is forecasted to have almost constant rain, so I’m planning on staying in all day, relaxing and reading.