What to do with the four-day Easter weekend? Go to Scotland!
In a fit of unreason I booked a 7am flight from Gatwick to Glasgow, which meant I had to get up at 3am to get to the airport on time. Since with work and packing and watching Fleabag I didn’t get to bed until well after midnight, this was basically torture.
But I was in Glasgow before 9am and had the full day to explore! Naturally I had selected my hotel in the basis of proximity to the Botanic Gardens, so I started there. The weather was gorgeous and the lawns were bound to be packed later, but it was still serenely empty when I walked through.
The outdoor gardens were still shaking off winter, but the greenhouses were delightful. A pond with a giant catfish that delighted small children . . .
. . . an elegant palm house with marbles and wonderful leaves . . .
. . . adorably fizzy cacti . . .
. . . and an orchid house that proved yet again that there will always be some surprising new version of orchid that you’ve never seen before.
On leaving the gardens it was only 11 but I was already hungry for lunch, having eaten breakfast so early, so I stopped for a “full Scottish” which is basically a full English but with haggis.
This fortified I went to the Hunterian Museum to see the famous MacKintosh House. Rennie MacKintosh was a leading architect and designer in Scotland at the turn of the last century. I think he gets classed as in the Art Nouveau movement, but I found him to be quite unlike Victor Horta and the other Continental Art Nouveau practitioners. His overall aesthetic was simpler and felt more timeless to me. The interior of the house was stunning.
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to see his more famous School of Art because it is being reconstructed after being gutted in a fire in 2014, but the house alone was enough to convince me of the hype.
I walked back to the hotel, taking the scenic path by the river enjoying what was certainly the warmest day we’ve had this year.
Once checked into my room, I changed into more weather appropriate clothes, and then promptly took a glorious nap before heading out to see more of the city center.
This is when I discovered that the Mackintosh school was not visitable, so I consoled myself with a stroll to the soot-covered 13th Century cathedral . . .
. . . and the nearby atmospheric Victorian Necropolis.
From there I walked back through the commercial center with its busy shopping streets . . .
. . . before catching the subway (the second oldest in Europe, with adorably tiny and tubelike cars) back to the hotel.
After another nap (this is what happens when you travel on no sleep!) I went out for a delicious dinner at the aptly named Wee Curry Shop, where the mushroom pakoras were served piping hot and mouth-wateringly good.
Feeling full, and knowing that I had every intention of stopping for churros in the way back, I sat on the steps of a nearby church to digest and write this post. (A kindly old lady asked if I wanted to join the AA meeting that was starting inside. I declined.)
Soon off to bed for some well needed sleep, and the onward into more of Scotland tomorrow!