With Thom’s back still needing rest after a long train travel day from Edinburgh to Glasgow (delays due to rain on tracks causing us to exit trains twice and eventually hire a cab to finish the journey), I left him resting up at the hotel and booked a Hop On Hop Off bus through my TripAdvisor app (save 10%) for about $15 US. The first stop on their loop around Glasgow was close to our hotel and I walked right up and on and off I went. Make sure to book the tour for English or multi language, whichever suits you. Some of my trip was with a pre-recorded tour guide on headphones and then later with a live guide over the speakers. Both are fine if you just want to see the sites and get a brief history lesson. Since I was alone in a new city, I felt more comfortable taking this kind of tour vs. just walking around town by myself to get the lay of the land and see the charming Gothic and Victorian architecture.
You can ride all day on the bus (usually 10 am to 5 pm) but I needed to get back to the hotel to check in on Thom and plus I had forgotten my backup battery pack for my phone, and it was dying fast (TIP: ALWAYS CARRY POWER!) so I only hopped off once to visit the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, no ticket needed and free entry. The majestic entry halls are filled with various objects: hanging heads and a WWII plane as well as a huge organ, where they give free concerts every day at 1 pm. There are several floors with paintings, historical items like knight’s armor, etc. You could spend all day here in order to see everything. The grounds around the museum are lovely and a path leads over to University of Glasgow. If I had more time, I would have taken a long walk there, as friends recommended it. JK Rowling used University of Glasgow as inspiration for some Harry Potter scenes. I could tell from a distance that the historical buildings were beautiful and a small stream meanders through it. Next time!
Luckily by the next morning, Thom was feeling better, and we went for a morning stroll to nearby Glasgow Cathedral. Again, free to enter and gorgeous stained-glass windows, St. Mungo’s tomb and typical religious grandeur of European cathedrals. You can just imagine the knights riding on their huge horses onto the stone floors to receive a blessing prior to battles.
We didn’t get a chance to check out the food scene in Glasgow, but I did score a street hot dog with gherkins and crispy onions to take back to the hotel for Thom. He’s a New York born and bred connoisseur of street dogs so when he said it passed the “test”, that was high praise indeed! Thom also appreciated the Dr. Who Tardis, masquerading as a coffee hut near Glasgow Cathedral, especially as our next stop on the UK train trip was Liverpool where we planned to see the Dr. Who exhibit. Thom has a tattoo of a Tardis on his upper arm and loves to show it off to fellow Dr. Who fans, who are always impressed by this permanent tribute to his favorite show, an enduring UK classic.
When I did go out for a quick stroll around the neighborhood by our hotel to get some snacks for our next train ride, I stumbled upon a mystical potions shop and some unbelievable street art. I’m hoping for a return trip to Glasgow when Thom is feeling better, and we can explore this fascinating city together. Cheers!
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Oh, now it seems like we missed something by skipping Glasgow on our last trip to Edinburgh! Off to convince the husband to go on another Scotland trip…