Lifestyle Magazine

Feeling the ‘vibe’ of a Big-ger Scottish City

By Writtenbymorgan

J and I at last were able to see what Glasgow had to offer during the day. After having gone to the big smoke twice already, since we moved to Edinburgh, to see a couple of bands, we had never actually stayed to see it in the daylight. Now was our chance. Saturday, September 16
We were heading to Glasgow first off to see Karnivool, an Aussie band of course, what else do you see when you’re in another country (note the sarcasm). J and I were going with our cool Adelaidian flat mates who were huge fans (I was still new to their fan club), but being a fan of good music and the lead singer’s other band, Birds of Tokyo,I was keen to see them live.
They were playing at the Garage, a nightclub/bar; quite popular with a lot of my friends I’d previously talked too about my visit to Glasgow. Since J and I were going straight from work and our flat mates were flying out from Glasgow to Lanzarote for their holiday the next day, we decided to find accommodation that was quite close by to the venue, so we didn’t have to worry about getting a taxi or the subway.
After booking two rooms at McLay’s Guest House, which is located on Renfrew Street, J and I only realised how ridiculously close it is to the venue, when we asked for quick directions from the receptionist after an extremely hasty rush to get to the gig, ‘turn right, go down the hill and its on the left.’ Brilliant spot, if you plan on going to see a concert there. Not the flashiest, but it’s probably one of the best prices in town and staff were lovely.
First we headed to the Garage to watch Karnivool perform, at first it seemed the sound wasn’t great for the first couple of songs, but they seemed to fix whatever the problem was; because if something is affecting the way Ian Kenny’s voice sounds, it can have a quite an impact on the music.
After the gig ended, we crossed over the road and went into Nico’s, a bar just across the street and had a few more drinks before it closed at 1am. After asking the bartender where the nearest kebab shop was, we were pointed towards Magic and it was safe to say, that I ate the spiciest chicken doner kebab in my life and repeatedly asked the guy behind the counter for more garlic sauce. And not because I was drunk, but because I needed something to help the burn go away.
After that, since our flatmates had to wake up at some un-godly hour that same morning, we decided it was time to head back to the hotel.
As I was walking up the stairs, out of the corner of my eye I saw these guys standing on the street, beers in hand. I turned and looked and a guy with black hair and an impressive black beard looked back at me. And then I double-glanced and looked at him again, and he looked at me (well in my head this is how it played out), and as if the light bulb in my brain lit-up, I realised whom these guy were, that were standing in front of the guesthouse…it was the band, Karnivool!
And as quickly as I had realised, I told J and our flat mates, “guys you do realize that’s the band standing out the front…?!”
And as soon as I said it, I kind of regretted it, because as soon as I did, J, like a hot rash, was out there like a shot.
Before I could help him gather his composure, after all, unlike I, he is a fan of this band.
Though they probably didn’t want us bothering them, they were kind enough to humor us for about 20-minutes before they decided to leave, to head back into town.
Sunday, September 17
We woke up with a knock on our door and a guy yelling, “your taxi is here!”
It was 5:00am, and our flat mates had accidentally slept through their alarm. Though we did manage to go back to sleep, we then unfortunately slept through the free full-British breakfast that would’ve been provided to us.
Once we had finished getting ready, J popped down stairs to double-check if breakfast was still going. After five minutes I followed him down and there he was eating. Though we had crashed the hotels’ staff breakfast, one of the ladies who worked there was kind enough to save us from our hungover selves and cooked us a fried egg* each.
After that we decided the best time to spend our day would be just wandering around the West End. To get there we walked through Kelvingrove* Park, and surprisingly ran into a very friendly squirrel, then we crossed over the River Kelvin, walked past the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and came to Byres* Road.
First we popped into a second hand vintage clothing store, before we found Nardini’s, where we decided to nestle in for a coffee and where I indulged in a delicious cheesecake, though in our state, J and I wished we had both gone for one of their world famous ice-creams. After Nardini’s we wandered in and out of a few more shops where J was finding how easily distracted I can get frustrating, “Ooh look…shiny,” and then I’m usually off into another ‘fluff’ store.
Though we did find some cute Glaswegian-themed cards that would serve us as souvenirs. We then came across the Hillside Bookclub; a bistro that was hosting an array of market stalls on their balcony, where they were selling everything from homemade jewelry to cupcakes. Though we didn’t buy anything, it was great to have a nosy about.
Then we ventured into the Botanical Gardens for some more wandering, we even came across a ‘Killer Plant’ room and even a ‘Sub-tropics’ room; the latter made us become nostalgic of summer in Queensland. We also followed signs reading, “book fair – this way,’ that almost ended up like an ‘Alice venturing down the rabbit hole’ kind of affair, though it wasn’t, a few twist and turns through the smaller greenhouses we got there. J and I both bought books each.
After our book shopping we headed back to the Hillside Bookclub for lunch; that we had come across earlier; when we wished we had reserved a table, as this place was popular at lunchtime. We headed in, and after talking to the Maître d’, we were told there were no free tables and we were welcome to wait at the bar and he could come get us when one did become available, which he said was most likely in about 30-minutes.
Though we were enjoying our drinks, especially because I got a …. cocktail, we had not been approached by any staff member, except for the bar tender when she asked if our drinks were ok. J finally approached the Maître d’ after 45-minutes had gone by. J and I were told we could take the table over there, the Maître d’ pointing in the direction of a table (in the corner near the bar), that had been unoccupied for the guess what… the last forty-five minutes. I have to say I was unimpressed by his particular service.
However, J and I enjoyed our lunch and drinks, the service from the waiter and the bartender and we enjoyed dining in such a lovely old building; what used to be an old cinema.
So I do recommend going, though book a table, so you don’t waste any of your own time.
After that J and I had to head back to the hotel, by walking back through the park, to pick-up our backpacks.
We walked down Sauchiehall Street, towards the Buchanan Bus Station, taking in the ‘vibe’ of being in a big-ger city than Edinburgh, which we enjoyed so much. We will definitely be visiting again next year, before heading back to Brisbane. I think we’ll end up staying overnight again there, if we end up doing the Great Western Way*.
*Here’s a tip: Don’t sleep through the breakfast, it is one of the ONLY perks that staying at this place has, apart from obviously chance meetings with famous people. Going by the eggs I did have, the full-breakfast would’ve hit the mark.
*This is also the name of a suburb in Brisbane.
*As much as you want to, do NOT pronounce this ‘bew-ers’ road. Scottish folk pronounce this, ‘buy-ers’ road, otherwise you could embarrass yourself.
*Watch this space.
I would like to dedicate this piece to the people of Glasgow that are going through a time of grievance, after the devastating helicopter crash at the Clutha Club on Friday November 29. Thanks for being so kind and lovely to us during our stay there. I can only hope you will get through this as a community. To all the brave people from that beautiful city, who put the lives of others first, to save them from harms way, families will forever be thankful you were there to save their loved ones. My thoughts go out to you all, especially the families and friends, whom have lost their loved ones.

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