My Scottish memories: Glasgow
On the day of my husband’s birthday we left Edinburgh and went to Glasgow by bus. Upon arriving at Buchanan bus station we immediately took another bus that would take us close to the FC Celtic‘s stadium. Yep, with our suitcases! It wasn’t a short drive and we ended up far away from the center in a neighbourhood that didn’t look very inviting or tourist-friendly. The streets were almost empty and the people we did see gave us strange looks. However, we didn’t have to walk really far from the bus stop to the football stadium.
My husband was thrilled when we got to the stadium and we were lucky enough to see the team board their bus (they were obviously going to a match somewhere). My husband (then still my boyfriend) even took a photo of Celtic‘s manager! I was pretty much indifferent to the entire situation since the only reason we were there was his wish and my good-will 🙂 Then he went to the fan shop and got himself a football scarf. I was getting really hungry and when I’m hungry I’m not peachy to be around so we had early lunch at the first place we came across which was a rather small and dingy-looking establishment. I felt like I was in Lock, Stock and two smoking barrels movie. Also, I found it more difficult to understand English spoken in Glasgow than in Edinburgh.
After the lunch we caught our bus back to the main bus station. From there we walked to our hotel. We stayed at a hostel in Edinburgh but I found us a great deal for a night in Glasgow in one of Travelodge hotels. That room was far cheaper than our hostel room off Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Following a quick power nap we were ready to explore Glasgow. I wanted to see the Tenement house which was near our hotel but it was already closed. Pity! It shows the way of life in the early 20 th century so that would have been interesting to visit. Glasgow surprised me because I didn’t expect it to be so hilly. Furthermore, it looked very different from Edinburgh and it seemed like it was less visited by tourists. So we found our way to the center and Sauchiehall Street which is full of restaurants that are cheaper than in Edinburgh.
We walked down Sauchiehall Street and passed by the Willow Tea Room and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Princess Square ( a shopping center). Then we continued to the George square. You can see the Town Hall at the square and 12 statues of famous people associated with Glasgow. Since it was 2012, the year when the Olympics were held in London, we saw the Olympic circles at the square too. We also wandered around the so called Merchant city. And then it was uphill again towards the Cathedral street where you can find several notable landmarks.
Glasgow Cathedral or St. Mungo’s cathedral is the oldest building in Glasgow since it was built in the 12th century. Next to it is St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. And just across the cathedral is the Provand’s Lordship-the oldest house in Glasgow because it dates from the 15th century. There’s also a beautiful Victorian cemetery called the Glasgow Necropolis which we couldn’t also visit because it was closed too. We just got to see everything from the outside. I almost screamed with delight when I saw a small blue police station in the shape of a telephone box. It looked exactly like the one from Doctor Who! How awesome is that!
Since we had already walked for what had seemed miles and miles we rested for a bit in a pub. But our feet were not to have a long rest because we still had to go back to the center and then to find the Armadillo building along the river Clyde. Why? Because it looked very interesting in the guide book:). Sometimes I over plan or rely too much on walking because I had clearly misjudged the distance from the main street to the so called Armadillo (The Clyde Auditorium). We walked for ages along the river and it was already getting dark and we could have obviously taken a bus instead.
We saw some new modern bridges ( such as Clyde Arc) and condos and it seemed like this entire stretch along the river was going through a revitalization like it happened years ago with the London Docklands. But again there weren’t many people walking around which made me feel a bit unsafe. We finally arrived across the Armadillo and took some photos and went all the way back to the hotel. You can imagine how tired we were once we got back to the hotel.
The next day we planned to do some shopping before our return to Edinburgh. We had breakfast at a pub just across our hotel where it seemed that Keira Knightley ate or shot a film according to the photos on the wall. We had the English breakfast (in Scotland 🙂 ). The main shopping street-Argyle Street has got a lot of shops and I bought several things. You can find all the usual British high street brands there. Have you heard of Mackintosh? The architect, not the computer. He’s probably the most famous Glaswegian. We had tea & cakes in the Willow Tea Room which he designed. It still pretty much looks like it did back at the beginning of the 20 century.
There are a lot of interesting museums and art galleries in Glasgow ( Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum ) but we only spent a day and half there so there wasn’t really time to do it all. I think we did plenty! I was lucky that I didn’t get blisters from all the walking the previous day. Glasgow might not be to everyone’s taste like Edinburgh. But it is the largest city in Scotland. Also, it might seem a bit rough and it definitely lacks the old world charm of Edinburgh but I think it’s still worth the visit.
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