Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Scotland: The Cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh . . .

My first impression of Scotland will come from it's largest City, Glasgow.~ Wikipedia

I will arrive on Friday where I will base in a small hotel located in the City Center near a part of town called the West End.

Glasgow's origins are actually very ancient as compared to Edinburgh. Archaeologists have actually uncovered evidence of Roman settlements in the City. In the 6th century, some 500 years before the first foundations of Edinburgh Castle were set, St. Kentigern (or St. Mungo) is believed to have begun a monastery at the site of Glasgow Cathedral on the hillside along the River Clyde. The City became Scotland's economic powerhouse in the 18th century and quickly grew into Scotland's largest city, the 4th most populous city in the entire UK.

Glasgow appears to be a vibrant modern city with a lively culture filled with shops, art galleries, music halls and hundreds of wonderful bars and restaurants to choose from. I think this will be a great first introduction to Scotland for me.

First on my priority list will be the Glasgow Cathedral. It is an excellent example of pre Reformation Gothic architecture that dates to the 12 century. Next to the Cathedral, I will visit the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art where I will get to see a collection that spans several centuries highlighting various religious groups. If time permits, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Provand's Lordship (Glasgow's oldest house, built in the 1470's, is the only survivor from the cluster of medieval homes-located near the Cathedral), Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA) and hopefully I'll find some great places to eat and hang out in.

I searched high and low for a video on Glagow and this one was my favorite because it just made me laugh. I wonder if those famous square sausages he talks about on his tour comes in turkey meat? :) Note to self, pack my leather gloves! He, he!

And last on my itinerary, the City of Endinburgh. Here I will stay in a self catering apartment on Dublin Street near the National Portrait Gallery. There's supposed to be many trendy cafes, bars and restaurants and shops within minutes of my apartment. Cool!

Edinburgh has been called one of Europe's fairest cities and the "Athens of the North." Built on extinct volcanoes near an inlet from the North Sea and enveloped by rolling hills, lakes, and forests, Edinburgh began as a small fortified settlement on a craggy hill. Edinburgh is a city that is filled with historic, intellectual and literary associations.

Central Edinburgh is divided into two distinct historic districts: the Old town and the New Town. Old Town is at the city's heart, featuring the dramatic Edinburgh Castle at the top end of the Royal Mile, a street that follows the spine of a hill down to the palace of Holyroodhouse. New Town which dates back to the 1770's and consists of broad avenues filled with shops and squares and where I will find such famous sightseeing attractions as the National Portrait Gallery.

Some of my top must see things are: Edinburgh Castle (of course), Calton Hill, National Gallery of Scotland, the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Princes Street Gardens (if weather permits), Royal Botanic Gardens, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Greyfriars Kirk, St. Giles Cathedral and a climb up to Arthur's Seat.

Here's a really cool video from Lonely Planet . . .

And I'm so excited that I will be there for several Holiday events according to the Edinburgh's Christmas website. HERE

High on my list: The Homecoming Art Car Parade, the Nativity Carol Concert, The Edinburgh Sparkles Fountain, Hark, and the Norwegian Carol Concert in front to St. Giles Cathedral.

And so there you have it! My plans to Discover Scotland and soon I'll be on my way . . .


  1. Kathy, it sounds like you have found some great little places to stay, in nice locations. The Christmas Holiday Events that you have on your list sound like such a wonderful way to get into Holiday season.
    I am taking advantage of the fall weather here in Oregon, and getting into the spirit. The weather back in Adelaide has been in the upper 90's and when I left I felt I should be preparing for the 4th of July rather than Thanksgiving!

  2. Hi Maya, thanks so much for your comments. I agree that being there for those wonderful Christmas Holiday events will be very cool. I'm actually really excited about experiencing that a lot.

    So you're in Oregon up north? How fun! Hope you have a wonderful trip yourself and have a very happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

  3. I think you should definitely try to take his tour. He is hilarious! Looking forward to learning more about Glasgow and Edinburgh as well at the beautiful countryside of Scotland through your eyes. Have a great time!!

  4. Hi G, wasn't he great! :) I wish I could take a tour with him! It would be so funny....I love how it rained then snow then sunny!

    I will try my best to do these beautiful cities justice in my blog entries and photos! :)

    Thanks so much for your well wishes! Have a great evening!

  5. I love that art car, it looks like a very cool event! I'm so envious, both Glasgow and Edinburgh sound truly fascinating!

  6. That first video WAS very funny! I would love to take a tour with him too!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.