If Edinburgh is a posh art student, then Glasgow is her worldly-wise big brother.
Glasgow is rugged with beautiful buildings, and high-streets that appeared to have been renovated recently.
As my boyfriend and I walked from the train station to our hotel for the weekend, I immediately noticed the warmer temperature. The sun was out and scarves were off! “This never happens,” my boyfriend quickly remarked.
Although a friend of mine did tell me that Edinburgh is particularly bitter in comparison due to being nearer the sea, and its curvy streets that channel the breeze.
Opening the door to our room in the modest hotel, we were confronted by a glass box and a double bed, with little room for much else.
Glass box? Yes, this was the bathroom. The toilet and shower were not even trying to hide! This was despite the almost-frosted strip of glass that wrapped around it, teasing at an attempt to provide some privacy.
We quickly realised we were going to get to know each other rather well. Perhaps accepting our fate, we decided to go to a hot ‘n’ spicy Mexican restaurant…
Which, happened to be incredibly delicious, and fairly priced.
The place was called Topolabamba (or referred to by me as simply, ‘the Mexican restaurant’) where we dined twice over our three days in the city.
We sought refuge at Topolabamba the second time due to a rather intimidating waitress who scared us out of an afternoon tea room nearby…
With unwavering eye-contact, the tearoom waitress gave us a choice of any table we wanted – despite there being only one table available, stuffed into a dark corner.
(In this moment, the Henry Ford quote “you can have any colour you want as long as it’s black” came to mind.)
After being sat down, we hid behind the skimpy menu, which had very little in the way of food. We discussed our plan – do we stay to be polite in this dingy corner table surrounded by floral-curtain-dressed women… Or do we ditch?
On the count of three, we left our table spinning as we bailed out the door!
Hence, our second visit to our wonderful Mexican restaurant.
(Great story, Jodie.)
The sun was out all weekend, to the point where we relaxed on a bench in the city’s square in merely two layers of clothing, like a chic city couple. We watched the world go by – and two American tourists dashing for a double-decker bus in their bum-bags, complimentary t-shirts and peaked hats.
Going for our city strolls, we decided we should understand the culture, and delved into an art gallery.
We walked into the main display room. It appeared to be under construction as my boyfriend remarked at the waist-high, scrunched cellophane mountain leaning against a pillar… We came across a video being screened of a boy holding his breath in the back of a car while being driven through a tunnel… We also saw several cylinders in the middle of the room…
We were left, baffled, speechless and in fits of giggles – perhaps we weren’t as cultured or creative as first expected.
Once I have learned to speak the local lingo, I think I’d be quite happy staying in the generally no-nonsense city. But as far as I was concerned, Glaswegians speak a different language entirely. Embarrassingly for me, I couldn’t understand a word and relied on my other-half to translate in restaurants and shops.
Glasgow was magnificent, nevertheless. I strongly recommend a visit – but wear your best shoes and coat if wandering down the high street. Or else you may find yourself rather self-conscious and make impulse-purchases in high-end retailers.