2 weeks in Scotland – Part 2 : Glasgow

Hello sweeties,

Sorry for the delay, I was pretty sick these last days, so I wasn’t very productive about the blog and the other things I had to do *sigh*. But today we are beginning the adventures! And our first destination is Glasgow.

Ok, imagine. You arrive on sunday at about 10:00 pm at Glasgow international airport. The airport is empty. Almost all the staff have left, the information desk is open, but there’s no one.  No worries, you’ll figure out how to get to the center. You’ve read during your trip preparation researches that there was a train linking the airport and the center.
 You go outside the airport and the signs don’t indicate any train station. Alright. No problem, there are buses apparently. You walk through all the bus stances and it’s never-ending. The tiredness and the rain (there, this is Scotland!) not helping, you stop your wandering and finally ask to someone from the security staff. Yes, there’s a shuttle going right to the center! And it’s passing in front of you! And the shuttle stops at its station, at the very end of the stance! So you run, you run, you run… And you catch it.

This is how it started.

So now, you guys listen to me : if you land at Glasgow in the middle of the night, just take the shuttle (or call a taxi). It operates every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, so don’t try to find a train station or which bus to take. The service number is 500, you have to take it at the stance n°1 and a single fare costs £6 per person.
To find the shuttle stance : go outside the airport and walk to the left, it’s at the very end of the way.

Once arrived at Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station, we had to get to the hotel. As we didn’t want to get lost, we took a taxi. The taxi driver was really funny (and had that Scottish accent, so cool)(yes, I’m part of the pro-Scottish accent, I love it, even if I understand only half of what is said), that really was a great first contact with Scottish people.

Glasgow night WinaGlasgow at night

We stayed at the Ibis Budget only for a night. When we opened the door of our room… There was someone inside. A man. Half naked. Hum. And he wasn’t alone. HUM. We went back at the reception and we had another room. This one was empty haha.
I guess Ibis Budget is okay. The room was quite small and the shower was in the sleeping room (I mean, it was private, but there was no real bathroom). If you consider that you stay at the hotel only for sleeping and taking your shower, then it’s okay.

Day 1

On our first day in Glasgow, we had breakfast at Willow Tea Room on Buchanan Street. There are 2 Willow Tea Rooms at Glasgow, the other (and original) one is on Sauchiehall Street. The Tea Rooms were designed by Machintosh himself and it’s quite impressive to have a seat in Machintosh chairs replicas. Having breakfast there is a great introduction to the most famous Scottish architect’s work.
I had a Scottish Breakfast (black pudding, sausage, fried egg, potatoe scone, toasts and baked beans) and boyfriend had some porridge (meh). It was quite affordable, I can’t really remember the price, but the total was under £12 I think.

Scottish Breakfast Willow Tea Room WinaScottish breakfast at Willow Tea Room

After that, we had a walk on Buchanan Street and found a T.A.R.D.I.S.! Okay, maybe not, it’s just an *ordinary* police box, but my heart jumped when I saw it.Glasgow Police Box WinaFirst day wasn’t very exciting, we walked a lot (A LOT) around Merchant City and did a little shopping. I now know Buchanan, Sauchiehall and Argyle Streets by heart haha.

In the middle of the day, we met Seimi and Imogen, the adorable Couchsurfing couple that hosted us for 2 nights. The evening, they brought us in at the Hillhead Bookclub. It’s very very cool venue built on 2 floors. The place is huge, the drinks are cheap, the seats are comfortable, the atmosphere is super nice. And there’s a ping pong table! We played a little and it was very fun. It’s definitely a place you should go to if you want to have a drink (we didn’t try the food, but I read great reviews about it).

Day 2

The second day, we first went to the Botanics. In a matter of moments, you don’t feel like in Scotland and you’re in the middle of exotic plants.

Glasgow Botanics WinaTo gently come back to the Scottish greyness, you can have a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the Botanics tea room.

Botanics Tea Room WinaBefore leaving the park, take attention to the seats in it. There are golden plaques on the seats back. You can read sweet messages from people who lost someone close who liked the park. Beautiful and heartbreaking.

After the Botanics, we went to Glasgow School of Art to know more about Machintosh’s work. It’s fascinating, I highly recommend this tour. Best part was the tour of the library, the room is absolutely stunning.

We carried on our visiting with the Light House. It’s a tall building from which you’re supposed to have a great view on the city. But we were quite disappointed : there was a meeting on the plateform that day, so we couldn’t see anything. How sad!

Our day ended by walking around Glasgow Necropolis, at dusk. FEEL THE ATMOSPHERE.

Glasgow Necropolis Wina

I personally like this kind of atmosphere. It’s quiet, mystical and intimate somehow. The view from the top of the Necropolis is really cool. It’s near Glasgow Cathedrale, so if you don’t have the time to visit it, at least you have a great view.

Glasgow Cathedral WinaGlasgow Cathedrale

Well, this isn’t really the end. Before going back to our hosters home, we ate fish & chips and haggis balls at Gandolfi Café. This is a great address if you want a take away, the fish tastes fresh and savoury.

We spent our last night at Glasgow with Seimi and Imogen. When we came back, they were rehearsing songs. Boyfriend and I went in our room, started talking about tomorrow’s planning and they were playing guitar and singing in the background. It was so lovely.
 Before going to bed, we had diner with them (they cooked home made vegetarian curry, yummy!) and talked about politics (that was very interesting, I learned a lot about Scotland) and other things. I keep a really good memory of the time we spent with them. So, if you guys are reading this someday, thank you for everything!

Now it’s time to sleep, because next, we’re going to the Highlands!

N.B.: At the end of the Scotland trip articles series, I’ll post a list of all the places we’ve been to for spleeping, eating, visiting and shopping, so that it’ll be easier for those of you who want to go to Scotland!
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