When the offer to go touring Glasgow landed in my inbox I nearly jumped out of my chair at work and gave myself a Hi 5. You see originally I’d intended to split my two year working holiday visa between Scotland and England. Alas plans changed so much that after 18 months abroad this was my first foray into the northern country.
Armed with a train ticket provided by Red Spotted Hanky, accommodation with thanks to Thistle Hotel Glasgow and three of my best travel blogging buddies from London the scene was set for an epic weekend sampling the Scottish lifestyle.
Many would argue that I should have visited Edinburgh for my first trip north, but to honest that’s almost to cliché as everybody says to go there (no offence Edinburgh). To me Glasgow doesn’t have that look at me feel like its neighbour, its more like a mate who’s always there to have a beer with you when you need it no matter your mood.
Still there are plenty of attractions for everyone to see, but again there is no attitude like you have with Paris and its plethora of famous landmarks. The grand old Glasgow Cathedral which at one point actually served as three churches stands its ground looking like it might have gone 3 rounds in a backyard fight and been dragged through the mud for added grittiness.
While on the other side of town you will find the Transport Museum saddled up next the River Clyde. If only that river could talk I’d imagine the stories it would tell of the great shipbuilding era would be some for the record books. After all, the city was such a leader in the heavy engineering industry for so long and it all happened right on that river.
As for the Transport Museum, well it’s like a boys toy store. With cars, motorbikes and trains stacked up the walls as high as the ceiling. I’ve long had a love for anything with a motor so any chance to swan around them and pretend I know more than I really do (in typical guy fashion) is always a hit.
The only tourist attraction I’d advise you to possibly hold off taking is the sightseeing bus, unless of course you’re a wooly mammoth because OMG does it get chilly sitting on a bus with no roof in Scotland. I’ve never ridden one of these bus’s before and while it’s a great way to see the city and snap a few photos, you’d want to be there in the middle of summer so as not to punish yourself like we did.
Luckily Glasgow has some of the most relaxed and on point pubs I’ve had the chance to visit in a while so had ample time to warm up. I won’t go into too much detail as Justin has captured my thoughts exactly over on his 48 Hour’s in Glasgow post. Just take it from this beer swilling Australian, you won’t struggle to find a pub with character.
My big takeaway from my stay in Glasgow was just how nice the people were to you. Be it entering or leaving a shop the person behind the counter always had a pleasant greeting for you. The Chef staff at our hotel on both mornings also made time to greet some of the guests during breakfast (which I have to say was what I’d call a proper full breakfast) and even people in the street felt genuinely friendly.
It didn’t matter that the weather was of the less than fantastic scale. The city just made me feel like it was a great old mate and while you have your ups and downs a good time is always guaranteed to provide a fun time.