I was in Dublin, Ireland recently for a work trip, and couldn’t resist the urge to also visit Scotland for the first time!
My coworker and good friend, Steve, lives in Glasgow, so I decided to head to Glasgow for a couple of nights before my journey home.
The flight from Dublin to Glasgow is less an hour on Aer Lingus. They have these neat little planes, that require you to board and exit from the rear door. The passengers in the first 10 rows or so are required to stay in their seats while the rear rows depart. I wonder if they are afraid it’ll tip over if everyone rushes to the rear? They also take you from your gate in the airport on a bus out to the tarmac where you get on your plane.
Soon after arriving, I met up with Steve and his wife Grace and we went to get some lunch.
Of course it was deemed mandatory that I try haggis. Jeff had warned me it was so awful that I would hate it for sure.
I had my guard way up:
But it was actually quite good! The texture was a bit weird, but it tasted so good I’d have that again for sure! I tasted black pudding too!
After lunch, Steve and friend and I went to see where Steve when to University.
I still can’t believe the age of this place. Glasgow University was founded in 1451 ! When was Lakehead founded, in the 1970’s??
The bricks, the windows, the doors! And so many little details , like the figure pictured above.
Afterwords, we finished some of Glasgow’s finest drinking establishments, and I even had a fruity rum punch in a tea pot:
My plan had been to bring a bottle of Scottish whisky back home to Jeff. Steve had a couple good suggestions, but what better way to know I was bringing home the right bottle, than to go drink some?
And where better to drink whisky than in an old church!
I stayed at the Merchant Inn, which was in a great central location. I’ve never stayed at a hotel like this. We are so used to modern motels in North America, which are all essentially the same thing. This one had some serious character! The room was just small, with a small bed, but it had everything – a washroom, shower stall, amazing water pressure, really high, tall ceiling, TV with lots of channels, and a big window that opened for fresh air.
Some of the firedoors in the hallway were so skinny I had to turn sideways to go through the door. Accessibility is just different in older places. I didn’t see many elevators (“lifts”) in Dublin and Ireland. And this hotel was no exception.
See this round tower? That is the staircase.
The stair case you have to haul your luggage up.
Back to the buildings of Glasgow, I feel like I spent so much time just wandering around looking up at them. Look at all the detail! Can you see the faces above those lower windows? The buildings are like this for blocks upon blocks!
Who built all these buildings? Why so much detail? Where did all the stone blocks come from? I’m so used to utilitarian buildings and found the buildings of Glasgow fascinating.
Here are some more:
I saw a lot of reference to “People make Glasgow”. Overall, I found the spirit of the town was right in line with the character of Steve, who was raised there. Proud, willing to fight for what is right, fun, spirited, and willing to question authority.
For instance, here are a couple stickers I found on the same post in George Square:
The first indicating that the city was corrupt, and the second criticizing the city council:
Or perhaps the Dude of Wellington statue that always has a traffic cone on his head, and sometimes the horse even has one!
The city of Glasgow seems to spend quite a bit of money to stop people from doing this, yet the statue still has a cone on his head.
On my second day, Steve and co-worked at Brewdog. They had great wifi and had many interesting beers to taste!
For supper, Steve and Grace took me to an amazing curry restaurant. It was sooooo good. I don’t have curry or Indian food very often, since it usually just isn’t an option where I’ve lived, but I will admit this restaurant in Glasgow was significantly better than the curry restaurant I ate at in Dublin the week earlier.
Here are a few more pictures of buildings in Glasgow:
Also, I’ll fully admit I didn’t know a Police Box was a thing, and not just on Doctor Who. See this is why travel is good 🙂 I learn so much!
The air in Glasgow feels like Dublin and Nova Scotia. Very moist, humid, damp. Turns my hair into a wild homeless person’s hair. The locals told me they expect sun about twice a year. I saw it a bit on my first day, but it was drizzly for the rest of my visit.
But, despite the drizzle, the blossoms were out! So pretty!
Curious what old, closed schools look like in Glasgow? I know you are! Here are a couple!
Oh! I bet you are still on the edge of your chair, wondering what whisky travelled the 5 flights back to Dawson City with me!
I choose Laphroaig! It isn’t the rarest, nor the most expensive, and actually exports to Canada so I could probably find the same bottle here. It is a really smokey one. The barley is dried over a peat fire. On first sip, it was so crazy weird. I wouldn’t have said I even liked it. But by testing a bunch of other ones, I found myself going back over and over for more Laphroaig. It tastes like you just pulled a log out of your campfire and started knawing on it. Or maybe even you just licked out an ashy ash tray. It is so crazy good though!
So that concludes my quick adventure to Scotland. I will be back some day to see more of Ireland and Scotland. And Jeff will be coming with me!