After our harrowing experience in Manchester I was trying to keep my chin up heading into Glasgow. It was already a good road trip since we stopped at Hawkshead Brewery and had a lovely afternoon break and once we were back on the road my spirits were sailing high. We merrily drove past the gorgeous grassy hills speckled with sheep and cows and the occasional castle or ruins and descended into the heart of Glasgow during the magic hour when the sun was setting casting a warm glow around brightly colored clouds. It didn’t even bother me that we exited the freeway and got stuck in rush-hour traffic, it was just too pretty out and I was just excited to be in Scotland.
We arrived at the Kelvingrove Hotel on the west end of town, slightly outside of downtown, and it appeared that parking was going to be just as much of a pain as it was in Manchester. We parked and walked to check-in and to my surprise, everything worked-out better than I could’ve hoped. The gentleman behind the counter gave me a parking voucher so we could occupy the street parking until 2pm the next day for only 2 pounds which meant we could visit the museum that’s right down the street tomorrow before having to catch the 5pm ferry to Islay and it also meant that we didn’t have to schlep our luggage for miles from the parking spot to the hotel. I might’ve kissed the man I was so happy. Our room was huge and came with a queen and a single bed, which was more than I ordered. I am not sure if I got upgraded but it was really nice. The ceilings were so high it made the room feel regal along with the leather chairs and table in the corner for my laptop me feel like my 70 pounds ($113) went a long way.
We dropped our bags and relaxed for a little bit before heading out. I had strategically picked this hotel because of the proximity to the BrewDog Glasgow bar but it also worked-out that it was decently priced and also close to the Kelvingrove Museum as well. We walked to the BrewDog bar in search of food and beer and were not disappointed. The bar was similar to the one in Manchester, but it had some subtle differences. There were some different taps of beers we didn’t have at the last one, including IPA Is Dead in a hopinator with Chinook and Galaxy hop cones. The bartender was super nice and helpful in answering some of our travel questions, along with giving Sean the last beer from the hopinator when he went to clean it at the end of the night. The food was really good too, and surprisingly large portions. We ordered the small cheese plate which was nowhere near small in my opinion, and would’ve cost a small fortune at some places, but no…just 12 pounds for 5 different cheeses and 3 different sausages and 3 different breads. Sean ordered the burger and I ordered the veggie pizza which was more than enough food. We ended-up taking some of the pizza back to the hotel with us because it was just too much to finish. The food was really fresh and healthy tasting. I have dreams of that cheese plate.
The next day we planned on going to the museum but I was nervous to leave our luggage in the car on the street for hours. I asked the front receptionist if we could check the bags with them and they graciously agreed and didn’t charge me any extra! Seriously, this hotel rocks and I will loyally stay there next time I am in Glasgow. We walked down the street to the museum with perma-smiles and the sun shining. There is no charge to enter the museum but they do ask for donations. The museum is huge and old with the gilded ceilings and giant organ that still plays every day. Excited to look around I snagged a map (that I never really use because I just wander around) and started exploring. We saw dinosaur installations, planes, giant animals, skeletons, paintings, sculptures, modern art, etc. It was incredible the range of things they had which made it enjoyable no matter what kind of art you are into. I really loved the hanging faces instillation. I also loved that they had Rembrandt and Van Gogh and Dali paintings (among many others) because it was something recognizable for me. It was a lovely afternoon of art and culture but eventually we had to get on the road so after a quick lunch we left Glasgow and headed through the lochs to Kennacraig port for destination Islay.