10 Hours in Glasgow
Two weeks ago, Karen, Morgan, and I spent the day in Glasgow. It’s actually quite cheap and easy to get to – the ride is about 90 minutes, and a round trip ticket only costs about £5.50. The bus arrived in Glasgow at approximately 10:30 AM, and the tone of the day was set when, on our way to find some breakfast, we walked by a man who opened his front door and exclaimed, ‘Oh, what a beautiful day in Glasgow!” We stopped at a Pret A Manger to grab some coffee and consult the guidebooks, mapping out the next few hours. After breakfast, our first two stops were The Willow Tea Rooms and the Glasgow School of Art, both of which turned out to be vaguely disappointing, or at least less exciting than we had come to believe. Willow Tea Rooms, though designed by the famed architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, was just an actual tea room, when we had assumed it was some kind of museum. The school of art, while also impressive on the outside, was not open to the public unless you paid to join an hour-long tour.
From there, we regrouped and hopped on the subway to go to Kelvingrove. The Glasgow subway system is fantastic. It’s literally just one circle, so even if you do somehow get on the wrong train, you’ll eventually end up where you need to go. Before heading to the museum, we walked through the University of Glasgow campus for a wee bit and took a detour through a park. It was absolutely gorgeous weather, and we were feeling great. The Kelvingrove Museum was also really impressive. It didn’t seem to be organized in any specific way, at least to an untrained eye, and had everything from great works of art to history to natural science. It was absolutely worth the trip and while the museum had a lot to offer, it wasn’t unmanageably huge, so we were able to see most of it in about two hours.
After Kelvingrove, we made our way towards St. Mungo’s Cathedral, a stunning building which, according to the guidebook, provides visitors with a “vague Gothic thrill.” Unfortunately, by the time we got to the cathedral, it was closed, so we just admired it from the outside. We then walked back toward the city center to find dinner (we ended up eating at Rumours, a great Malaysian restaurant) and catch the 8PM bus back to Edinburgh.
Though I thoroughly enjoyed Glasgow, I am glad that I chose Edinburgh as my study abroad destination. Glasgow is much larger than Edinburgh and has a significantly more city/industrial feel to it. Unlike Edinburgh, where you can walk pretty much anywhere in less than 30 minutes and streets and buildings are all distinct, Glasgow was kind of difficult and disorienting to navigate. I would absolutely go back and the city has a ton to offer, but the trip also confirmed that Edinburgh is the place for me.