This summer, on my 6 week tour of Europe, I had the opportunity to visit Scotland. Land of the Highlands, Haggis and Nessie, was more interesting than I expected. First of all, the people are unbelievable nice. Well, the people in non-authoritative positions are nice. Let’s clarify. The city, when sunlit, is gorgeous. Filled with untouched greenery, still standing upstairs/downstairs housing, and architecture so magnificent and well taken care of, you could spend hours dissecting every nook and cranny. So on this edition of “When In…” I’ll tell you my favorite places to visit, do, and why, while in Glasgow, Scotland.
Hop On-Hop Off Glasgow
Almost every city around the world operates tours with Hop On-Hop Off or something similar. The reason I think it’s worth it is you get to see parts of Glasgow from open air, heightened perspective. As your taken throughout the city, you have a guide, mine was Lindsay, telling you interesting facts about the stops, history of buildings near the stops, places natives frequent (for those looking for the most authentic visit), and humorous stories about the area. Plus, you can stop at each place, tour the stop at your leisure and meet at the stop for another bus to pick you.
Tickets are valid for a whole 24 hour period, and though you may not want to visit every stop, certain locations may take up more time than expected. Leaving you another day to finish off the tour.
Places to stop: Riverside Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow Cathedral.
The Glasgow School of Art, City Walking Tours “Glasgow Style”
If you’re not inclined for cold weather, make sure to wear more than a sweatshirt. I’m not sure the difference between the tour options, but I do know the tour I took was very intense, had two guides who were prepared for every questions thrown at them, and patient
Why I liked the tour. First of all, there’s always something special about tours that are given by current students. The amount of knowledge spewed from Rosie and Melanie was like an engaging Ted Talk, not only giving you insight of the current city life, history and art scene, but took you back to a place of staunch tradition; focusing on the legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Things to take note of: Victorian buildings were completely knocked down to later construct Georgian style walls. As you walk through, imagine how what was previously there and see if you notice any half-assed Victorian to Georgian style jobs; Glasgow Ladies Artists Clubs still stands left a 5 minute walk from men’s only Glasgow Art Club. Though on Georgian style architecture, the facades are adorned with variable art genres including Roman and Mythological characters.
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut
This is the place for any music lover. Have you ever wondered how some of the greatest of greats from Radiohead, No Doubt, Alabama Shakes, Florence + The Machine, Snow Patrol, The Roots, and everyone, literally, in between got their start? Ok… they didn’t get their big breaks here – except Oasis, whom were actually signed by Alan McGee at the venue – but there performances at King Tut’s were noted. Performing at King Tut’s is like saying, “they’re going to be famous someday”. The sound was brash and deafening at times, the drinks were great, and the crowd was the best part of it all. To be in a place where people are all joining to hear music, not pick up some random by pretending you’ve been following the group for years. It’s refreshing.
Things to note: The stairwell up to the stage. You’ll be taken aback to see the who’s who plastered on your walk up. Also, sloppy drunks not allowed. Take that irresponsibility elsewhere as they don’t put up with it.
For more information on Glasgow, please visit VisitScotland. For information on the entirety of The United Kingdom, visit VisitBritain.
Photos taken with Ricoh’s Pentax K-50.