Today was the start of our Spring Break. From March 14th until March 23rd, we would have 10 days to travel through the United Kingdom (and the rest of Europe). 10 days to explore, relax, eat, and have fun. Cassia, Julia, and I decided to spend the first part of our Spring Break together, traveling through the UK. Specifically, Scotland and Wales. Glasgow was the first stop on our trip, and after last-minute checks (and packing) we departed for the bus station.
The Victoria Coach Station (for buses) was around a 5-10 minute walk from the Victoria Tube Station. Luckily we arrived with plenty of time to relax and find our gate. The hardest part of our trip (so far) was dragging our suitcases from the hostel, through Paddington station, on the tube, and all the way to the coach station. Since it was a night bus (we left past midnight at around 1am), we were basically on the correct sleeping schedule. We arrived in Glasgow at 11:45am, but woke up a couple of hours earlier to enjoy the sun and look out the window to see the sights.
The hostel was around 20 minutes from the bus station by walking (according to Google Maps), but since we were unfamiliar with the city – and since the weather was pretty chilly AND windy – it took us 30+ minutes to get there. Luckily the hostel was quite recognizable once we arrived, and since it was right next to the river/bridge we were guaranteed a great view of the city from our window.
The Euro Hostel had a clean lobby and a bar inside the building. We were offered an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast, and free internet: two items us girls were very happy to take advantage of. After checking in we were given our room assignments, and using the iffy elevator (it was painted hot pink) we arrived at room 9. The room had two shower stalls and two toilets, and 6 bunk beds, for a total of 12 people. I got to claim the bottom bunk of one of them, since I don’t really like top bunks. Our bed was also right next to the wall sockets, which was great since Julia and I had to finish our final paper for Andrew’s class!
The internet was spotty at best, but our window view was definitely a plus! Unfortunately the weather was a bit overcast so there was a grey sky throughout the day. Since the internet failed us, we didn’t really get a chance to explore the city like we had wanted. From what we were able to see (which was basically the walk from the station, through George Square) the city kept a lot of their older architecture (which we really enjoyed). My two favorite statues were the equestrian statues by Baron Carlo Marochetti, a Turin-born sculptor brought up in Paris as a French citizen. He fled Paris along with King Louis-Philippe in 1848 and lived in London thereafter. His Queen Victoria statue was erected in 1854 and Prince Albert in 1866.
One interesting event that was happening as we walked to the station the next morning was the large red tent in the middle of George Square. Apparently it was for the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour – and of course Coca-Cola would want everyone to know who the sponsor was. It was a bit jarring to see this huge flash of red smack in the middle of the square, but if they wanted attention then they definitely had ours!
Although we weren’t able to see much (if at all) of Glasgow – hence the post’s title of (almost) Glasgow, I was glad that our first foray outside of England was successful – we were able to find and board the correct bus, had no problems getting to our hostel and checking in, and arrived back at the station with plenty of time for the next leg of our trip. Our next stop? Edinburgh!