I unexpectedly found myself stranded in Glasgow City Centre today.I had planned quite meticulously to go into Glasgow for some souvenir shopping and just to enjoy the sights and avoid the VAT increase (which is on the 4th January).
- List of every possible route to Glasgow and back here to Lesmahagow – check
- List of all bus running times both normal and weekend times – check
- Checked to make sure it was right with 2 of my hosts – check
- Fully charged up phone as well as USB charger in bag – check
- Bus ticket price checked & money set aside for – check
So my journey to Glasgow began. The X74 Stagecoach bus is a direct link and has maximum of 3 stops and is only £7.20 return. So I hopped on the bus, nice and warm, arrived in Glasgow in record time – little did I know my return journey would not be nearly as easy. I met up with a great friend, it was fun to catch up. I then went souvenir shopping and upon reaching the counter tried to pay with my card to no avail. I then asked for the nearest RBS, only to discover upon my arrival that it was shut. I then returned back to the store and they advised it was a bank holiday which I didn’t know! I can only withdraw money in a branch! So that scuppered that. I went back to the station to confirm the next coach leaving was at 6pm (it was 3pm at this point) and one of the guys advised that the 6pm one was cancelled and they were running a Sunday service so only the 8.15pm one was running. I didn’t believe him, as that is not the timetable I had written down from the live journey planner on the Traveline Scotland website. So I went back into the queue and ended up with a different person, a lady and she said the same thing. There were only 3 people serving at the kiosk, 2 guys and one woman.
So I had to find some way to spend the next 5 hours or so. So I went back into town and I set aside money for another bus (just in case the 8.15pm didn’t turn up). So with the rest of the money, I found ridiculously cheap deals and major discounts as I was just wandering from shop to shop. With souvenir shopping done at 5.30pm, I went back to the bus station just to check there really wasn’t a 6pm bus. I asked at the counter again (got another guy this time) and he definitely confirmed that there was no 6pm bus coming and for my own peace of mind, I checked the departures board to see if it was on there and it wasn’t! So now, assured of no possible 6pm bus and instead leaving nearly 2hrs 30 minutes later, I went to Starbucks down the road. It turns out you can’t just sit in Starbucks so I bought a drink – attempted my card but it had been playing up all day! Card declined and with a hot chocolate already made (it wasn’t that busy) I had to pay by cash. I wasn’t worried though as I did have my return ticket for the x74 anyway.
Cutting a long story short, the bus didn’t turn up. I waited nearly 1 hour and still nothing. I went to the security guard office and they contacted Traveline who insisted that there was a 6pm one and NOT an 8.15pm one. To say I was fuming is an understatement. Here I was, stranded in a city I didn’t know with no one to call because as luck would have it my phone decided to die :'(. They allowed me to use their office line and I repeatedly called my friend whose number I had memorised but unfortunately got no response. The security guard offered to Facebook one of the people I am staying with, and luckily I have friends who constantly check FB. I asked if the security guard who was helping me out had an HTC or Motorola charger but he didn’t, he did however radio around asking if anybody did. It turns somebody did. So with my phone charged up, I contacted my host family. They arranged to come pick me up from their nearest city (Hamilton) as there were no other buses to Lesmahagow at this point. The security guard who had lent me his charger paid for my bus fare too.
I think a complaint to Stagecoach is definitely in order or some kind of compensation as I have to go back into Glasgow again tomorrow to pick up all that shopping they put aside for me! (which apparently they don’t usually do) and to sort out where my coach back to Bradford is leaving from.
So that explains why I missed my daily blogging promise – I didn’t arrive back until after midnight.
Today started off great but then quickly deteriorated but one thing I have to say is I definitely have uncommon favour. It is what my name means after all. To be able to say I had all the security guards in Buchanan Bus Station trying to figure out how to get me back home is something that apparently doesn’t happen often, to have someone who just happens to have the same charger as me, to have shops be willing to put things aside for you in a sale and with no guarantee you’ll return (no deposit necessary), to have a bus driver pay for your bus fare and then have your host family be willing to come such a distance to get you! Well, thank you GOD is all I have to say!!
So I bid you goodnight world! Let’s hope my journey to Glasgow tomorrow (technically later today) is nowhere near as eventful, eh?