It was a very interesting trip. I made a decision to celebrate my birthday abroad. Scotland is a country I wanted to visit. I thought this was a good opportunity to do so. I wanted to keep the trip simple and be able to navigate around either by foot or public transport hence my reason to just visit these two contrasting cities.
I spent more or less 3 days in Edinburgh and roughly 5 days in Glasgow. The weather, for the most part, cooperated although I must admit I thought the winds were a bit harsh. It rained some but it was more of a light rain, and it rained on and off and usually in the evenings. It was cold but not freezing except when the winds were blowing.
I’ve heard many Scots refer to their weather as dreich. It wasn’t until I arrived did I understand what they meant. The word “dreich” is perfect in describing the feel and visual quality of Scotland; at least in Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is gray, damp, cold, and gray. Yes, I’m aware I said gray twice. When the skies are overcast, the clouds are not thick and heavy. The clouds behave more like a filter; preventing much of the sun’s warm rays from touching the Scottish cities and landscapes but allowing the skies to remain somewhat bright.
When the sun came out in Edinburgh, the city seemed to glow warmly. I’ve been advised that Edinburgh is a pretty city. I have to agree with that, and add that it is also clean. The city of Edinburgh is very picturesque especially when seeing the city from high on top at Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. Even though Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, it did not feel as Scottish as I’d expected, in my opinion.
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Glasgow is an urban city. It is less picturesque but still visually interesting. I couldn’t help but notice the different styles of architecture that ranged from Classical to Victorian, and contemporary. The buildings seemed to tell a rich story of Glasgow’s industrial and shipping past.
The city of Glasgow felt and sounded authentically Scottish, which I found charming. In fact, I like the way Scottish people spoke, and I liked listening to passing conversations. I love how they made reference to people as, “darlin'” or “love”.
While gearing up for this trip, I made acquaintances with several people on Twitter, and had an opportunity to meet most of them in person. They were either locals or natives and so, the advice they shared about Edinburgh or Glasgow were genuine and informative. Sometimes, the location where i met them took me to places i would not have ventured. No particular reason other than it was not spoken about in guidebooks. I enjoyed their company and appreciated their time to meet with me.
I’ve even enjoyed a couple of brief conversations and encounters with natives who I met randomly during my jaunts about the city. Each of them seemed to have led interesting lives and if I had the time, I would have loved to learn more about them.
I don’t know what other people say about Scottish food but I ate really well while I was in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I didn’t eat as often. I didn’t bother to have breakfast, and I would sometimes forget to have lunch. When it came to dinner, I treated myself to something delightful. I even dined at a Michelin starred restaurant! The foods I ate were hearty. Many of the restaurants I ate at were proud to prepare and serve local Scottish goods.
Unlike some of my previous trips, this had little advanced planning involved. Not having an itinerary of activities for each day was intentional. I don’t think I could have planned out a better trip. And meeting the various people who I became acquainted with via social media also enhanced the experience of this particular trip. I spent a total of 8 days between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and enjoyed every moment – rain or shine.
I’ll be posting more and specific stories so stay tuned for more details and photos.