A working trip to Glasgow last Thursday was a good excuse for a couple of days exploring. Now I've been past Glasgow many times heading north but I've never been in the city centre which quite surprises me even as I'm a big fan of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
Here's the first thing I didn't know about Glasgow, it has an underground subway train system. I don't like the tubes in London, infact I don't have much desire to ever go down there again as big cities have started to freak me out so it was quite something for me to 'brave' Glasgow.
My first look at the subway and how cool is this Mackintosh-esque illustration.
I found the trains ok, it's not complicated as it's just an inner or outer circle around the city so you can't get lost and it wasn't that busy during the day so I quite liked it. It allowed much toing and froing from one part to another in the quest for artisan coffee shops.
However, first Mackintosh pilgrimage of the day was breakfast at the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street.
French toast with maple syrup and earl grey to wash it down.
Possibly not as large as I was expecting and not many waitresses in lacy aprons but it's something ticked off my bucket list.
Onwards to see the Glasgow School of Art following the fire in summer.
And some souvenirs from the school art shop.
There are some interesting steep streets in Glasgow.
The one below is quite untypical, doesn't it look like a Manhattan back alley in the 1970's.
The art tour was interspersed with a list of coffee shops to seek out, think we ticked 3 off the list, all different, all interesting. In no partic order Laboratorio Espresso, Artisan Roast, Avenue G.
Back to art and the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). A fabulous exhibition with cardboard buildings and churches as far as the eye could see.
Interesting art on the corridor walls too, most poignant the top one with the referendum tomorrow.
Hardly went in any shops as there was so much else to see but this one intrigued me with the window display. It was very hard to photograph but on every glass window it was floor to ceiling with vintage sewing machines. Looked a very expensive shop.
Some street art near to a bridge in the city centre and it was weird and like being in the countryside, a bubbling river running through, lots of trees, a park too.
A fabric shop on my to do list, Mandors, oh my it was packed with fabric, haberdashery, wool etc. I had to control myself and was very restrained with this one metre of atlas fabric.
That was Glasgow in a nutshell, I liked it, there was a good vibe and it felt very Scottish if you get my drift.
There was time for a quick visit to a coffee friends cafe in Dundee on the way back, Espress Oh! which was a very lovely place.
And we tried to visit The Kelpies but that was chaos on the parking side, or very little of it. The pictures were from the car, we couldn't get parked and had to queue in an unorganised state (even though there were car park workers who were next to useless) just to get out without even stopping.
If you go, plan to go early as it's next to a childrens theme playground with little parking.