Glasgow Mop-Up Post

As you all have probably come to know by now (and hopefully look forward to, but maybe dread, who knows?), any kind of holiday I take usually leads to a mop-up post so I can fit everything else in that I didn’t quite have enough to jabber on about for its own post. This is Glasgow’s.
  
First of all, I finally got to meet Anabel from the Glasgow Gallivanter (and her husband John) in person, after following each other’s blogs for a number of years. They kindly treated us to lunch at the cafe in the Lighthouse, Scotland’s centre for design and architecture, and we looked around the galleries a bit afterwards. We even climbed the Mackintosh tower, which gave lovely (albeit chilly!) views of the city, though I don’t think any of us quite got Louise Harris’s installation “Visaurihelix” which was in the tower at the time of our visit (loved the man playing “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” on the piano in the viewing deck though). Afterwards, Anabel and John took us to the Billy Connolly murals we hadn’t seen yet (we’d stumbled on one en route to the People’s Palace, but there were still two more to see), and for a quick drink before we had to dash off to the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre. Anabel is the first blogger I’ve met in person, and based on the lovely experience I had, I would definitely be open to meeting more bloggers in real life in the future (I’ve held off until now because I’m always scared people will hate me in person, since I’m kind of the worst)!
  
Secondly, inspired by Kev’s post on Walking Talking, another Glasgow blog, we went to the Necropolis, which is a fabulous old cemetery on a hill that overlooks the city (and is opposite the Tennant’s brewery, though we didn’t have time to visit that (fortunately)). I have to admit that I wasn’t super enthusiastic about the climb (massive understatement), but I’m glad I persevered, because it really is very cool up there, as you can probably see.
  
After the Necropolis, we got a train straight out to the Kelvingrove (well, the nearest train station to it, which really wasn’t all that close). By rights, we should have spent much more time here (as they say on their website, “If you only have one day in Glasgow, Kelvingrove is a must see!”), but we just didn’t really have time to fit it in on any other day, and I certainly wouldn’t have missed the Hunterian for it. It is a sort of everything museum – art, natural history, archaeology, etc, but it feels rather more elegant and modern than the Hunterian (which is definitely not a dig at the Hunterian. I love old-fashioned museums). Since I’m not the biggest art fan, we skipped most of that and just looked around the Glasgow-centric galleries, like the one on Mackintosh and the small social history gallery.
 
Because I only spent about an hour there, and thus only had time to visit the ground floor galleries, I’m just sticking the Kelvingrove in here rather than giving it a full post of its own, as it would otherwise deserve. I do want to show you the stuffed haggis though, as it was one of the funniest things we saw in Glasgow.
  
Our final stop on our last day there (other than swinging by the Christmas market so I could buy an enormous variation on the empire biscuit. I was intrigued since we don’t have empire biscuits down south, and they are really good but one of the sweetest things I’ve ever eaten, particularly when topped with caramel AND icing, as this one was) was Pollok Country Park, solely so I could see the Highland Coos (cows). I felt cheated that I never saw any when we were actually in the Highlands, so I definitely wanted to make sure I saw some on this trip. Pollok Park, which also had a stately home in the middle of it, has a herd, so we literally tramped through the mud to get to their enclosure, spent a nice chunk of time gazing at the cows, and walked straight back out of the park to the train back to central Glasgow so we could catch our train home. I think you’ll agree that it was worth the detour!
   
There are still plenty of things I’d like to see in Glasgow (like the Police Museum, the Anatomical and Zoological Hunterians, and the Tunnock’s factory (we were staying in a pretty fancy hotel since it was our anniversary, and everything in the minibar was free, so I got hooked on Tunnock’s Caramel Logs, which are unfortunately not so easily available outside of Scotland, unlike the more common Caramel Wafers, which I don’t like nearly as much), and I’d like to be able to spend more time at the Kelvingrove and the Lighthouse), so I’m sure I’ll be back someday, but I think we managed to cram quite a lot into our long weekend. I probably ate my own body weight in sugar (of course I had to have a deep fried Mars bar too!) for which I only have myself to blame (Glasgow has many lovely restaurants – I just really like sweets!). I always enjoy getting to travel up to Scotland (well, not so much the train journey the last time we went to Edinburgh, but there were no issues this time), and Glasgow was no exception.

12 comments

  1. Excellent. Thanks for the mention too! Glasgow is one of those places that has lots of very interesting places that might not be on the tourist trail. Pollok Park is great. Despite it being quite near where I live, I haven’t been in ages. It is particularly lovely in the autumn.

    1. I know it does from reading your blog! I had a good peruse of it before we went on this trip to get ideas of everything I wanted to see, but there was only so much we could cram in. I’ll definitely be back though!

  2. Ooh, there we are! It was great meeting you – and woohoo I didn’t put you off meeting other bloggers in person 😉. You certainly packed a lot in to your weekend and i’m glad Glasgow passed your exacting tests. Haste ye back!

    1. I was more worried I’d put you off, to be honest! We always do cram a lot into holidays – it’s not that I don’t like relaxing, I love it, in fact, but I’d prefer to just do it at home. If I’m going to actually take time off work, I want to go somewhere and do things, but it does get tiring!

  3. I agree. I love to fill my time seeing (and eating) the things that make each place special. What’s the point of going someplace if all you do is laze about? I can do that at home for free. It drives my kids crazy, who claim that our trips are not “vacations” – more like marathons. I think their future adult vacations are all going to consist of sitting by a pool (or lying in a hotel bed) sleeping or staring at their phones. Glasgow sounds great. I appreciate the mop up posts. Some of the fun things that make a trip aren’t necessarily worth a whole blog post, but are definitely good to know.

    1. To be honest, I did hate how much stuff I always had to do on family vacations when I was a kid, but that’s mainly because it was stuff I had no interest in, like going hiking, visiting wine country, or on one particularly horrible vacation, the world’s largest furniture outlet store (and they didn’t even buy any furniture in the end). We also always stayed in gross motels, which didn’t help. I love doing lots of stuff of my own choosing though! And I stay in the nicest hotels I can afford!

  4. Holy cow, that first mural is incredible! I actually think they’re all pretty neat, but that lead one is something else.
    And it’s so great that you got to meet a long-time blogger pal! Like you, I think I’d be hesitant about meeting someone at first – it’d be a bit surreal and I’d be afraid I didn’t quite measure up in some way – but I’d probably be pretty happy for the chance. Also, your idea of you being “the worst”, is kinda my idea of being the best – so you’d always be good in my books.
    That haggis is pretty funny – I had no idea they had lore about them, beyond the food. Reminded me of the adorable Jackalopes we’d come across on our trips through Wyoming and other western states.
    Now I’ll be on the hunt for Empire biscuits and caramel logs.

    1. Well, I’d love to meet up if you’re ever in London. Or Cleveland, when I’m there. Or if I’m ever in Toronto! Though yeah, I’d still be totally worried that you’d hate me. I am a jerk.
      I found caramel logs in London at Poundland, of all places (a kind of gross dollar store type place), but I bought the last two packs they had, and I don’t think they sell them all the time (though I have to say I don’t exactly frequent Poundland). Might have been a Christmas special.

      1. I’d love that! And Ha! No chance I’d hate you. I bet we’d have lots of fun.
        We have a few British-goods sweet shops around – I’m going to hit one tonight and see if they’ve got any. There’s apparently a big snow storm coming this weekend and burrowing in my apartment with some caramel logs sounds pretty ideal right now.

      2. You’ll probably be more likely to find Tunnock’s caramel wafers, since they’re much more common. Caramel logs are the same thing, but with the addition of toasted coconut, which I know is not everyone’s cup of tea, though they are in fact best eaten with a cup of tea, like all biscuits. God, I’m becoming a Britisher.

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