Glasgow Weekend

I was determined to get one last look at Scotland before I head south for my next adventure in Exeter. Glasgow is a big dirty city, but it has some shining highlights, mostly the older bits which I like. But despite missed trains, crummy weather, and being short on cash, it was a nice weekend away.

Half of the motivation in going to Glasgow was just to get out of the city into the  countryside of Scotland, so we took a coach tour to Stirling Castle, the Glengoyne Whisky Distillery, and other lovely places along the way. The strangest stop on our tour was to visit Scotland’s favorite Highland cow, Hamish. Apparently known for being extremely shy creatures, Hamish is the friendly exception, waiting to meet people at his road-side pen… Our tour guide had a lot to say about Scotland’s efforts at independence from the United Kingdom, and how he thinks his country would fare if they ever did become independent from the British Crown.

Our time in Glasgow was spent dodging the rain, and exploring the museums, parks, architecture and shops of the city center and West End. The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery and the nearby Kelvingrove Park were a highlight, as was our visit to the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Willow Tea Rooms! We  enjoyed tea with milk, and cake slices in Glasgow style before getting ready to board our train back to Leicester. Super-quick weekend, but enjoyable all the same.

The view from Stirling Castle, looking towards the William Wallace Monument.

Stirling Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at six days old.

Hamish the Highland cow, looking fairly happy.

Inside the Glengoyne Distillery, where single malt whisky is made.

The Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery, seen from the park.

The scene inside the Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery.

One of the many vintage clothes shops in the West End. Kilts!

Afternoon tea at the Willow Tea Rooms. ‘I’ll have the Signature Tea, and a slice of Victoria Sponge, please.’

We’re 2 months in!

Hello everyone,

It’s been 2 weeks so I thought it was time to update again. I’ve had a few more travels since we last talked, and we’re just getting into our 2nd  ‘module’, this one being more the practical running of a museum. I’ll try to give a brief rundown.

While I may not have had much class in the last few weeks, reading has been my main activity, exciting titles like ‘The Return of Cultural Treasures’, and ‘Museums and Source Communities’. We had the Director of Research at the British Museum come talk to us, and he was actually very charismatic and entertaining! We’ve also been given some teaser information on our internship placements next summer… who knows, I could be working at the Roman Baths Museum in the city of Bath!

That just happens to be where I visited last weekend! We went to Bath for the day, and the Roman baths were top on my list. The water is still steaming 2000 years later, but they wouldn’t let us jump in. The most intriguing part of the museum was the Roman metal prayer cards on display; they asked Minerva to severely punish whoever had stolen their bathing suit! Some of the other girls (also Museum Studies) were interested in the city for Jane Austen history as well, although truthfully Jane never liked Bath.

I also took a daytrip (again with Museum Studies girls) to Birmingham. We visited the art gallery, the Christmas markets, and the Cadbury World factory and museum. Cadbury World was the worst excuse for a Disney-fied museum, but made up for it by handing out chocolate samples at various points on the tour. I am now addicted to Cadbury chocolate. In an attempt to not eat it all myself, I shared it when I hosted a small Thanksgiving dinner in my flat! It was also nice to skype with family and our couchsurfing friends on Thanksgiving, in Chicago, and my cousin in Korea.

Lastly, I just got back from a weekend trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. The weather was relatively mild but windy, and I spent a whirlwind 24 hours enjoying the accent, seeing the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, a “ghost tour” in underground vaults, and trying haggis and Scottish whisky. Haggis is a mix of mutton (lamb) and oatmeal, and generally has a bad reputation, but I actually enjoyed it. I also tried Macallan whisky based off a recommendation, and tried my best to enjoy that. While we spent a third of the weekend just driving, it was still fun…