Hello! Happy Tuesday friends! Today is finally here, the day where I start sharing my photos from my trip! In today’s post I’m going be diving into the things we did, the places we ate, and anything else I can think to add. Enjoy! 😀
To start off, I arrived in Glasgow on Friday, June 7 where my flight was just over 6 hours long, and I was lucky to have no one sit next to me! 😄 The bad thing though… I sat next to where the restroom was, so sometimes I’d wake up to someone standing beside me… I had this one guy creepily staring at me once, talk about weird. But overall, it was a smooth flight. I watched A Star is Born, they fed me pasta, a free glass of wine, and later as a breakfast, a slice of marble cake and juice. I can’t complain.
Entering the airport was really simple, it’s a small airport. As soon as I went through their customs, which was literally scanning my passport through this machine and walking through a set of doors, bam, there was baggage claim. No long walks, and dealing with people, officers, border control. So seamless!
Although, I do have to say, before I went through customs I got stopped by a cop asking if I was traveling alone, where I was from, why I was traveling to Glasgow, when I mentioned my friend, where is she from, what is she studying. It was a little intimidating after I’d just been flying for some time, and by myself for the first time too. But I think I handled it like a pro. 👍🏼
Once I was reunited with my luggage, which felt like it was the last one off the plane, I got worried it got lost for a split second, I got a taxi and headed to my hotel. One thing I didn’t know before going was that the UK don’t tip. I wish I would have known that because I think I lost close to 15 £ tipping the guy. Oh well, nothing I can do about it now. I mentioned this to my dad after saying ‘I lost 15 pounds’ my dad went, ‘oh doesn’t look it’ 🙄
I reunited with my friend who I haven’t seen since January, and we went exploring. So for that whole day I didn’t take a single photo because I was still getting used to what time zone I was in, where I was, it’s a lot to take in.
We did go to TGI Fridays for lunch. We also went to The Hard Rock Cafe where my friend had the strangest nachos, like there were baked beans that just didn’t belong, my friend barely ate it. We made it a thing of hitting all the Hard Rocks we could, because I don’t know where it started, but I’ve collected a t-shirt for my dad from all the ones I’ve been, so that was fun to do.
Aside from eating (which we did quite a bit of) we walked around the Royal Exchange Square, and down all the way to the River Clyde.
Our hotel was interesting. We stayed at the Point A Hotel, and well, for one it didn’t have windows, our bathroom was circular so it felt like a spaceship, and to top it all off, the lights had this weird option where they flashed like you were at a club. When I first accidentally did it, I had no idea, first of all how I did it, but how to turn it off. I have no idea why that was an option, but we made sure not to hit that button.
The next day, Saturday June 8 was the first day of our Hop on Hop off tour so we made sure to get up and be ready to make it for the first bus. This is where we had our first experience with Greggs. Now, Greggs is what I call Tim Hortons of the UK (you’ll find I relate things back to Canada and what I’m familiar with) because there is one on every corner and it’s a coffee shop that sells sweets and sandwiches.
Anyways, we go, and all I want is a regular coffee, so that’s what I ask for, and the lady behind the counter asks me ‘a white coffee?’ I agree, unsure of what I’m agreeing to. My friend doesn’t know either, so I politely ask her what exactly a ‘white coffee’ is, she looks at me like I’m an idiot and says it’s a coffee with milk. I like my coffee black, so I tell her if I can get a black coffee instead. Man, the look on her face that she had to dispose of this coffee was incredible. If looks could kill. I learned really quickly I always have to ask for a ‘black coffee’.
Me and my friend were talking about it after, and we thought she was very rude about it because you can tell I’m foreign and everywhere has different customs, that’s like (again) going into a Tim Hortons and getting mad at someone for not knowing what a Double Double is. (for those who don’t know a DD is a coffee with 2 sugar 2 cream).
We got on our bus, front row seats on the top (which was great because it was raining). We rode around for a while, but we decided we wanted to stop at one of the museums.
We went to the Riverside Museum. This museum was massive and just a lot of fun. This was Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel, so we saw the evolution of cars, trains, bikes, you name it. There was so much to look at, and do. There was even this replica street with shops from between 1895-1930, that was really cool to see. Then if you walk a little farther there are shop replicas from 1930-1980, and you feel like you’re actually going into stores. There is also the second oldest Rolls Royce, which is pretty cool. There was also an outside ship, The Tall Ship, that we could tour.
This was a free museum that runs on donations, like a lot of their museums, which I think is pretty amazing.
After spending a couple hours, I swear you could spend a whole day there, but we’re on a limited schedule, so we hopped back on the bus to get off at the Botanic Gardens.
The Botanic Gardens were really pretty! They had decades of different types of plants. We weren’t allowed to take photos to preserve the plants… kinda like being in a museum.
They had two buildings, the white domed building told us we couldn’t take photos, but the brown building didn’t mention it so I took some quick photos with my phone. It was really interesting and fun to walk through it all.
From there we walked around the area. Glasgow University is in the area and it’s all so victorian looking with the architecture. We found a book shop… do you need to say book shop twice to a book lover? The answer is always no. 😂I found out on this trip how much my friend loves books. I knew she did, but like not to the same extent as me, so it was so much fun to go book shopping with someone who is just as enthusiastic as me!
We hit a Waterstones (which is like Chapters here in Canada, Barnes and Nobel in America… which I’m sure you’re all very aware of and didn’t need me to explain 😝) This is where I bought my first book of the trip! Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. And yes, if you’ve been following me for some time and know about my Stephen King project, will know I won’t be getting to this book for quite some time. Still it’s incredibly fun to collect.
After the detour, we got back on the bus. Got off at stop one, and walked around. We made our way to the Gallery of Modern Art, where a couple were talking their wedding photos… I didn’t realize until after I took my photos.. oops 😂. We went in, because again they run on donations and it’s free to go in.
It’s an interesting look at art, we enjoyed looking around and seeing what constitutes as art.
Through one of the stained glass windows I noticed a book store across the street… I got really good at seeing them 😝and so it felt like we raced over. It was a little shop, but I restrained and did not buy anything.
At this point we were kinda drained so we went back to the hotel for a bit, then decided to go out for some dinner. I was really craving dessert and we found this place called Patisserie Valerie, it’s a chain that I would totally recommend. They have more than just dessert, they are known for their cakes, they have all day breakfasts and sandwiches. Some locations have a dinner menu.
If I’m being honest I can’t really remember what I had… it could have possibly been an omelette. What I do remember is the mocha I had was delicious and the cake I chose (which I wish I remembered their name… their website doesn’t list all of their cakes) had fruit in it… cantaloupe, I was not prepared for that. It was still good, just wasn’t ready for it. 😂
That pretty much concludes Day 2.
On Sunday, June 9 we relaxed a bit and didn’t get up as early. We still managed to get the first bus on our tour (as it was a 2-day hop on tour). One thing I remember from the tour was where the term ‘Scott Free’ comes from. In Scotland there are three judgements: guilty, not guilty, and guilty but they don’t have enough evidence to convict the person, hence getting off Scott Free. I thought that was pretty clever.
She also asked if there were any Canadians on the bus, she wanted to point out where James McGill was born. James McGill is known for the University in Montreal. She was a great tour guide.
We got off to go to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, but it wasn’t open yet so we went off to try and find somewhere to eat. It almost came down to grabbing a Tesco sandwich, but I saw a sign for a place called The Brunch Club, and thank goodness I did because yum! I got my favourite flat white. It’s like a latte, but smaller. A shot of expresso with foam, but there’s more coffee than foam. Just what I like. I’m pretty sure I had some sort of egg breakfast, I didn’t take a photo of it.
Once we fuelled up, we hit the museum. One thing you learn about museums once you’ve been to a few, most of them are the same, things get a little repetitive, but they’re still worth checking out. Since this was our first museum on the trip it was cool to see the evolution of different cultures, the medieval room, animals.
After spending some time there we just took it slow and just tried to see as much as we could before we had to leave that night.
We hoped on the bus and took it back to stop one, George Square. It’s actually a very pretty square. I took some photos, and we just walked around from there. We walked to a place called The Lighthouse, which we were told has a beautiful view. So we walked, you have to take an elevator to get to the top, and it’s a very small viewing platform so not many people can be up at one time, and the view is pretty nice.
We aimlessly walked around trying to kill time until our train at 9. Since I had a Britpass, which I totally recommend to anyone (who isn’t from the UK, sorry). You can get different types, mine was called the BritPass and I had access to all the trains in Scotland, England, London area and Wales. It was so convenient, you show it and you hop on any train. My friend had to buy tickets and that can get quite expensive. Luckily she was able to get her train changed to a 7pm train so we didn’t have to wait so long.
We had dinner at Patisserie Valerie once more, where I had a lovely croissant sandwich.
That was Glasgow. It was such a pretty spot to start our tour. The weather could have been a little better, but I can’t complain I’m on vacation. I also wish we’d seen more of the Glasgow Cathedral, but perhaps another time.
The train ride from Glasgow to Edinburgh was only an hour so it was perfect.
Next stop: Edinburgh.
Look out for my Glasgow photo blog Friday!