We enjoyed an wonderful extended weekend in Scotland. For years we kept planing (and planning) to head to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Finally we found the time! We wanted to see the countryside so we flew into Manchester and picked up a rental car at the airport. This was our first experience “driving on the wrong side of the road.” Over and over in preparation I chanted – STAY LEFT – LOOK RIGHT… STAY LEFT – LOOK RIGHT!
“Thinking and worrying” about driving on the LEFT side of the road was actually more effort than just doing it. We headed north from the Manchester airport on multi-lane highways, adapting quickly. Eventually I caught on – until we pulled of the highway for a break. Then, I had my next big awakening. When you turn LEFT at an intersection, you have to make an IMMEDIATE LEFT and not cross over the road to the opposite lane. Fortunately, it only took one turn – and a lot of coaching from my wife – to understand the “new” physics of turning left.
Heading north on the A74(M)… which I guess used to be the M74… we entered Scotland. The further north we went, the greener and more hilly the terrain became. Above, you can see the ridges we would eventually work our way through. We were amazed at the slope and height of these “hills.”
Here you can see just how high these hills became. And way up on those hills, those little white dots are sheep! See the close-up photo below!
We arrived in Glasgow later in the evening and after stowing our car in a parking garage and checking in, we went for a walk-about. Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. Glasgow grew from a rural settlement on the River Clyde to become one of the largest seaports in Britain. With the establishment of the University of Glasgow in the 1400’s, it became a major center of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. Then, with the Industrial Revolution, Glasgow and the areas around it became one of the world’s pre-eminent centers of heavy engineering. Today Glasgow is one of Europe’s top ten financial centers.
We found it delightful! It does have the busy hum of a working city. In the early morning, streets are packed with pedestrians hurrying to work. We learned quite quickly that, while it may be illegal, everyone seems to jaywalk in Glasgow. They’re too busy to wait! Yes, we’ve lived in Rome for years, but this was worse. Here are a few late-night pictures of Glasgow.
We were surprised to find that Glasgow has more than 20 museums and art galleries, most offering free admission. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is Scotland’s most visited free attraction. And the most visited modern art gallery in Scotland, the Gallery of Modern Art, is also located in Glasgow. The iconic, new Riverside Museum is a stunning building. It’s located where the River Clyde and River Kelvin meet, in the heart of Glasgow Harbor.
My wife is a huge shopper and she was not disappointed in Glasglow. The Style Mile is a square mile of shopping in the very center of the city. Buchanan Street is a pedestrian boulevard which has been voted one of the world’s top retail destinations. Princes Square is one of Scotland’s leading speciality shopping centers, located just off Buchanan Street. Ingram Street runs from Royal Exchange Square right through to the heart of the Merchant City, and is the city’s most exclusive fashion boulevard. In a very concentrated area, you can find international designer shops side-by-side with local merchants.
And that’s just scratching the surface of what to see in Glasgow. You can also take a tour in a Whiskey distillery, ride a seaplane and see the “Lochs”, or visit castles in the Region. We ran out of time long before we ran out of options!
In Glasgow, stay at the Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens. This hotel is a member of Connoisseurs Scotland. It is set in a tree-lined Victorian terrace in the fashionable West End of Glasgow. This is a luxury boutique hotel with an enviable reputation for service and style. The hotel has forty-nine stunning bedrooms and suites, all newly enhanced by the Hotel du Vin trademarks of superb beds, luxurious Egyptian linen, serious showers and a unique, relaxed style of hospitality. Contact Ron Phillips Travel for more information on seeing Glasgow and staying at the beautiful Hotel du Vin at One Devonshire Gardens.
For more of our pictures of Glasgow, head to this Glasgow Pinterest board.
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