I’m what might be termed a repeat traveler. Not sure if it’s fate or (un)intentional acts on my part, but I seem to return to the same places over & over. Whether for work or play, I always go back for more.
Guess my underlying belief is that there is always more to see, & after returning home & researching, I usually find something else that merits another visit. A little over a year had passed since my first visit to Glasgow, so when Darío spoke at the 46th IATEFL Conference in 2012 the opportunity proved irresistible. I even saw the sun in Scotland!
No jetlag to overcome arriving from Lisbon, so I spent most of the day walking… covering familiar territory, doing some shopping & checking out a few buildings seen from afar on my last trip. Not many pics because it was grey & dark for most of the day. Found a number of hand-made Afghanistan war memorials though in Kelvingrove Park, this one to Captain David Hicks.
I truly regretted not dining at Two Fat Ladies in 2010. But after a couple pints of Weihenstephan at a local pub (Ursula had one too many it seems), we had one of the best meals of either trip. Darío ordered local, grass-fed beef, & I had a chorizo-scallop dish that packed in some powerful flavor. Wonderful service, fantastic food & being the last to leave, we had a nice chat with the staff. More than highly recommended.
Buchanan St called out again for some quick shopping, but later I ended up exploring more of the West End & Kelvingrove. The Gothic Revival University of Glasgow attracts lots of attention, & the Hunterian Museum inside, with its mish-mash of topics & exhibits, turned out to be an unexpected highlight. Beautiful space + a 1674 world map by Ferdinand Verbiest, one of the few Jesuits at the Chinese court. Couldn’t resist a snapshot of my home:
Ursula wanted to enjoy the sun, so we opted for picnic in the park. What a great lunch option… find a place that offers take-away for local businesses, pick from their recently prepared items & save some cash. Chicken curry & ginger beer hit the spot.
Wandering around the monuments & spring blossoms of Kelvingrove Park, the Stewart memorial fountain stands out. Built in 1872 by James Sellars, the fountain commemorates Stewart’s work in establishing a permanent water supply for the city. Sellars took Sir Walter Scott’s poem “The Lady of the Lake” as inspiration… marvellous.
Ursula & I headed up the hill to Park Circle & Trinity College for some fantastic views plus a look at what was once an elite residential neighborhood. From there, it was a quick walk down to some of the most amazing red sandstone apartments I’d seen: St. George’s Mansions & Charing Cross Mansions. Plus a fountain dedicated to Sir Charles Cameron & Mitchell Library donated by Andrew Carnegie in 1907:
How could I not return to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum? Twist my arm. Besides, Alice Kiai from Kenya, also studying at the University of Warwick with Darío, had never been. We had a great morning looking at the exhibits, & I even found a Dalí not seen on my previous visit. How had I missed that?!
The sun came out again, so Alice & Darío joined me for another picnic lunch. Later while wandering, I came upon the Kelvin Walkway… a narrow path following the River Kelvin. Magical. In what was once the second city of the UK & an industrial powerhouse, this nature stroll should not exist. Seemed like I had the walkway all to myself at times, with stunning views of the Kelvin Stevenson Memorial Parish Church & the North Woodside Flint Mill nearby.
After such a fantastic trip, the last dinner had to be something special. I’d read somewhere about Crabshakk being one of the more upscale places to dine & we made a reservation. Unfortunately it didn’t quite make the grade. We had a great table, service was fine but there was something stuffy & uptight about the experience… & the food was very good but not out of this world. Perhaps we expected too much.
Even if that last meal wasn’t all I’d hoped, Glasgow remains special to me. Somehow I knew I’d love the city even before my first visit. There’s still a lot to see: social housing projects, a trip down the River Clyde in summertime… I can’t wait to go back. Besides, Billy Boyd (Pippin of LOTR) sat next to us at Chippy Doon the Lane for lunch one day. I didn’t recognize him immediately, but Darío tipped me off. Why didn’t I get a photo?!
See ye efter, Glasgow!