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2024, month two, trip two…..

Updated: Feb 25

         With a hiatus in our social calendar, Nadia and I jumped at the chance to give Iona another early season spin, so we decided to head south of our home town, Glasgow, for a week in late February. Our first stop was one of our growing favourites, the Hopetoun Arms Hotel in Leadhills, where we had a lovely meal in the bar and a pleasant chat with the owners, Rab and Rachael!

          The following day, after watching a momentous Scottish Premiership football match on the iPad in Iona, we hummed and hawed over our next stop. Thornhill and Moffat featured heavily on our radar. Ultimately, Moffat won, so we headed southeast rather than southwest and drove to the location of my primary school, which provided me with many emotions, but that is a much bigger story!

          After setting Iona up on the pleasant Moffat campsite, we took a walk around town, and I showed Nadia the exact window behind which I watched the ‘moon landing.’ In 1969 (I was eleven years old), on 20th July, we watched the “fools’ lantern”, as the headmaster referred to TV, as Apollo 11 nestled on the moon’s surface……..

          We then enjoyed an amble around town before finding the Star Bar, where we relaxed and sipped a few ales! After which, we tried the local Indian restaurant, Spice India, where Raj really looked after us and served us a lovely meal. We also enjoyed the musical accompaniment on the sound system by sisters Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle; they are true Indian classics!

          The following day, I trudged Nadia up to the top of Gallow Hill at the back of the town, and we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the hill, where I regularly ran as a child between the ages of 9 and 12 back in the late 60s!

Our Gallow Hill walk…..

          Once back in town, we had a pint in the Coachman Bar, and Nadia somehow managed to win two games of pool before we retired to Iona and settled in for another night. Oh, and it was an utter joy to hear the church bells on the hour all day; so anachronistic and delightful!

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