One of my favourite destinations is Glasgow, not only because of the friendly crowd but more so because of the flight time from Toronto. A short and sweet hop over and you will find yourself in the lap of nature ( of course, that is in case you decide to venture out of the city!).
The city itself has a lot to offer, almost free entry to points of interest, something that is so rare nowadays. Here is a compilation of places you can visit on a short trip over, this itself can be stretched over a period of 3 days which is what I did, explored the heck out of it.
Before you hit the road walking in your comfy gear and a back-pack, it is imperative you fill your tummy with some food and grab a bottle of water and don’t forget your umbrella, even if it sunny outside, it WILL rain at some point during the day. Here is all that I covered in a day.
Time spent walking ——–> 9 am to 11 pm
$ spent on visiting places of interest—> 0
Experience gained——-> priceless
Buchanan Street : One of the main shopping street, lined with shops/cafes/ tea houses. Glasgow queen street station is east of Buchanan street, it’s good to know for when you decide to venture out and visit Fort William ;). The famous Willow Tea Rooms is on Buchanan street, well worth a visit. Afternoon tea is only for £12.50, quite affordable for a place that has been open since 1903 and has a fantastic reputation, designed by renowned architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The Lighthouse:Contrary to what the name suggests, this building designed by Charles Mackintosh is a centre for design and architecture and hosts his works. Make sure to visit the Mackintosh tower, to gain uninterrupted view of Glasgow city. If you are feeling brave and have not squeezed in your morning run then head to the 3rd floor of the building to climb the 130+ steps to the tower but if you are lazy and short on time then feel free to take the lift from the 6th floor to the tower to be greeted by a very nice man playing you some very nice tunes on the piano upstairs.
GOMA: or the Gallery of Modern art. You cannot miss this building, it is obviously located in the center of Glasgow, a little north-east to the lighthouse but it’s distinct feature is a Statue of Duke of Wellington wearing a traffic cone. The traffic cone is the city’s addition to the structure, it has been removed several times by the authorities only to re-appear again. I doubt they even try to remove it anymore, what’s the point? The duke looks more respectable with a cone on his head if you ask me! GOMA hosts exhibitions and I was lucky to catch John Samsung’s work ( Scottish film-maker, didn’t know of him before that day) Dressing for Pleasure (1977) which explores the subject of fetishism in clothing. The film, which, despite its subject matter, remains playful and light, features cameos from Malcolm McLaren and punk icon Jordan, as well as a host of other curious characters.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum: It is one of the most visited art museums in the world – ranks at 60 globally, and the entry is FREE. Amazing. It is situated close to the main campus of the University of Glasgow. I am not really an art enthusiast, in the sense that I have not studied art but definitely do admire it in every form. I know a few people who will be thrilled to visit this rare gem. It has one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world and a vast natural history collection. The art collection includes many outstanding European artworks, including works by the Old Masters – Rembrandt, Jozef Israel,Renoir,Monet, Van Gogh and more. The walk over to Kelvingrove gallery through the Kelvinegrove park is beautiful. It’s not more than 30 minutes walk from the city centre.
The Necropolis : My area of interest, the graveyards! On any tour, anywhere in the world, if there is a graveyard, I am sure to visit it. It is amazing to see the respect shown towards our dead and the disrespect and hate towards those who are living. The Necropolis, however is one of the most beautiful graveyards with an equally impressive ornate entrance gate. A perfect place to enjoy the setting sun as the cemetery’s paths meander uphill towards the summit, where many of the larger monuments stand, clustered around the John Knox ( the founder of the Presbyterian church of Scotland) Monument . The cemetery, as most early Victorian cemeteries, is laid out as an informal park, lacking the formal grid layouts of later cemeteries. This layout is further enhanced by the complex topography.
The Glasgow Cathedral: located north of High Street and east of Cathedral Street, The building itself is in the ownership of the Crown ( :-O), is maintained by Historic Scotland, and is a popular destination for tourists. Technically, the building is no longer a cathedral, since it has not been the seat of a bishop since 1690. However, like many other pre-Reformation cathedrals in Scotland, it is still a place of active Christian worship, hosting a Church of Scotland congregation.
Scotland, remains one of my favourite destinations to visit. In my next post I will discuss its capital – Edinburgh and how to get the most of it in a single day. In 2015 we camped around Scotland, for those of you interested in exploring more of this wonderful country, here is the link